31 Oct 2011

Im Baaaaaaaaack!

Oh I do have some travel news to share with you including "knickers tucked in my tights for 30 minutes walking through Schipol" and the fright of some woman shaving her legs in the sink at Frankfurt Airport on the way back. I gotta say, working with Tonic Studios has been an absolute scream (I mean it, my tummy is so, so sore). Best of all I got to cuddle up with Nat Kahlbach for four days - the craziest German I know. Its hard to replay laughter to the extent we experienced but man - I HURT! Oh and we did sell lots of product at the same time. It was equal parts of work hard and play hard. And laugh hard.

In the mean time, I wanted to let you know that I am demonstrating the Eclips machine for Sizzix at the Craft Superstore stand, this weekend at the NEC. Come and say hello!

I have to go now, I have to unpack and wash my demo clothes in time to go on Weds. Might I ever get some sleep?

25 Oct 2011

Job Vacancy

That job I blogged about a few weeks back? The link actually worked for about 2 hours until the website (initially hosting it) removed it without warning (erm, cheers?!). So here it is again. Any North London guy or gal would LOVE this job. I'd love it, I really would! Im inches away from submitting my CV but maybe I have other plans for that CV at the moment. Quandry! So whilst Im dithering, maybe YOU could apply?

WANTED: Creative Crafter - with loads of flair and imagination required inhouse by leading Kid’s Arts & Crafts Specialist opposite Blackhorse Road Tube Station (Victoria Line) to create, make and decorate craft products for photo shoots. Full/part-time, salary negotiable. Email full details of experience and examples of work to Dawn


Gotta go, Im about to catch ein Flugzeug to Frankenfurten.

24 Oct 2011

Fleeting Visit

Ive just spent a mad 36 hours at my Mums as I went t drop of Belles for a week. She loves going to my parents; they spoil her rotten. They take her to her favourite places plus she gets to hang out and have jammy days without me mithering her.

Yesterday, Belles and I took lil poochy for our favourite walk on the beach. Its only a short distance, as Ellie can't manage a long walk. You will have seen pictures of the beach huts before but at this time of year, they burst with colour and make us feel so cheery (look how the colour literally bursts down the line of the huts, behind Ellie!).


The boy, resting on a poop deck

As she gazed at the sea, I snuck a pic of her very elegant hands and nails. Ahem, they **do** need filing a little.

This view of the start of Bridlington promenade is lovely. Its a real old fashioned seaside town with the usual mix of salty air, biting winds, fish and chips, folk walking their pets, day trippers eating butties in their cars and children wading into the sea in all weather.

I had to come back as Ive got things to finish off before I go to Frankfurt on Wednesday. The thing is, in my line of work, is that I either have an exponential amount of things to do or nothing at all. Most recently I have had a great deal of work. I LOVE IT but I have to do what work, when I can, because I don't know when the next piece is coming. The last 4 weeks were not factored on being mega busy and because of that, I'm out of sorts and behind on some things. **I must take the time to sit and breathe**


Here is a colour picture of a black and white card - weird, right? My lighting studio is a bit lightless (waiting for a bulb from eBay) but anyways, this is a card I made at my Mums. And ooooh, look.........a butterfly!!!!. Must buy one of these dies for this particular butterfly.

And now I must go to bed and sleep off the sea air which has made me v v snoozy.

23 Oct 2011

Enlightened

I watch as many inpsiring and uplifting videos as I can - to make me smile and have faith in the day. I have to because there is far too much misery on the news. The pictures of the capture and subsequent execution of the former Libyan leader was unnecessary. Far too gory for young eyes and ears in this house. In fact, Im still squirming from the images in my head :(
I keep referring to this video of late. Since Oprahs show died a death of miserable afternoons for me, I switched to The Ellen show. WHY have I not watched this before? I LOVE HER. Her wit and timing is spot on - she really does make me laugh. And then when these two cutie patooties (from Essex, no less) were invited to go to California to chat with her - well, I just couldn't stop watching it.

Watch this:
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First off, Nicki Minaj has these scary presence in her videos on MTV but in real life she is such a sweetheart. You really warm to these people when you catch the REAL them. And these two girls, especially Sophia Grace, rapped the entire version of the song.......word perfect. Absolute magic. You ought to you tube the original video of them as it went viral to 10 million in a week!

Hope you enjoy my happy post.

22 Oct 2011

Seeing stars

Next to butterflies, I like stars.
A lot.
They are best for men's cards.
Men don't have a care in the world for butterflies. I think they would prefer moths.

Here is a man card. Using a star. Obvs. Its just clean and simple

Today I hosted a craft class for the girls who looked after Ellie during her 6 session stint on the local befriending service. This is what they made. Eeeeeeek lots of butterflies, no?!


You see that embossing design? I just bought that from Stampin Up, USA. I got it off eBay and I love it with my whole heart. Its such a deep impression unlike the paltry other embossing folders you find here.

Heading out to Wilmslow (Methodist Church on Kings Close) today for a table top sale.
Come and see whats on offer or drop by for a natter and some coyk.
Unless I've eaten it all.
Which is most likely a big fat "Yes I have".

PS: trying to lay off the butterflies for a few cards. Checking into butterfly rehab for a while.

20 Oct 2011

Butterflies? What, ME? Never!

So me and butterflies? Hmmmmmmmm?
But, but I didn't use the punch on this one. You know, the one I've been using the past few thousand cards? Instead, I've used my GORGE Stampin Up butterfly stamp and punch set to accent this card which is on its way to a sweet friend of mine.




I made this card after FINALLY getting up off my sorry backside after feeling really down since I got back on Tuesday night. I don't know what took over me but I couldn't face conversation, outdoors, housework, work commitments or anything. I just lay and lay and lay in my stinking pit. I don't think I was feeling sorry for myself but more sorry for the things I could have been doing. I just didn't have the energy. And I wasn't unwell; I wasn't sickening for anything either. I was just overcome by a nothingness. Crazy, isn't it?

Then something clicked this evening, after nibbling on cheese. Maybe cheese is the answer to all my woes? Who knows but just in case you are in a bit of a funk - may I recommend some cheese? LOL.

And lastly........
What you doing this Saturday? Are you in the Wilmslow area of the country (Cheshire?). My friend Jane is holding a crafty table top sale. There are some spaces left if you fancy off loading some housewares or handicrafts or usable old stash. Jane ran a successful one about 2 years ago and now its time to run another after we have all accumulated stash again. There will be new crafts, old stash and all sorts of stuff for sale so make sure you can steal away an hour or so to visit us.

Here is Janes leaflet (click to enlarge) to either book a space or drop by for coyk (especially coyk)
Come see, come see!

19 Oct 2011

Trip to the big smoke

Im spending so much time in London, it might help if I moved there. Buuuuuut I don't have 7 million fat ones to buy the house I'd need so I'll commute, thank you very much. Knightsbridge isn't cheap but if i can't live there, I'm not moving full stop. **Notes for my bucket list: Need to marry an oil tycoon**. Although, I'll quite happily take the lower flat of a house, like this one for a mere £2 million:

Its so posh in Knightsbridge, they refuse free papers! (The small sign under the door number!) LOl at Marion for that one.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway.
On Sunday night I traveled by train to Streatham hill. Not once did I sit down as all the trains and tubes were rammed. www.myfeetwerekillingme.com. My lovely hosts collected me from the station, toot sharp, in readiness for X Factor and Downton plus a rather generous cheeseboard. I miss cheeseboards, must eat them more often. They are not something I think to serve and yet love eating the most. Normally I reserve such incidents for Christmas. So my aim for the next few weeks is to free the cheese. And crackers. And ham. And fruit. And all the tripe you serve with it.

On Monday I trained over to Battersea for a meeting with QVC. I couldnt stay all day, as planned, as I had another appointment at Lavender Hill. All I can say about the QVC meeting was that there are some relatively sensible plans being put into place before they move location, sometime in early 2012. I like the ideas, they will be a fantastic addition to the current style of the show. The buyers have trawled the world over for the next best thing in crafting; you could say Im excited a bit.

In the afternoon I bussed over to Lavender Hill. Its not that far from QVC but the trip was full of the usual random sights and conversations. I met with Natalie from Edelman who took me to Griff's house to use his kitchen for a Pumpkin carving video. The kitchen was rammed with gorgeous, fat pumpkins and all the scenery for the background was so much fun. Carving pumpkins, I may add, ain't for the faint hearted and neither is a script. I never work on tv with a script.....its bloody hard going. I will be forever grateful for live TV and ad-libbing. However, I might just get a taste for script and envisage myself as a leading character on Downton or worse, Corrie.

Anyway, the video was for Disney who Edelman carry out PR work for. It was rather exciting especially as it fell under the Club Penguin arm of Disney. We know ALL about Club Penguin in this house. Moreover, we know lots about Puffles. Ellie was especially delighted when she received a generous parcel of merchandise via Edleman, of whom we are extremely grateful to. Here are the guys I worked with:

L-R: Natalie, George, Griff

And here are some shots of the day:


Later that night I met with my delicious friend Rubina and together we went to collect Marion. Rubes and Marion had never met before and I personally felt like I was bringing two atoms together. Such an explosive and rapturous night of laughter alongside an all-you-can-eat-buffet of chinese food. Burp. Oh we did laugh. My belly told me so as it was stiff as a board; like I had been doing sit ups all night. Afterwards, we dropped Marion off at her hotel and I went back to Comfy Castle with Rubes.

The next day we promised to take Marion to Harrods as she had never been before. Ladurees was screaming at us as was Lolas cupcakes but before we ventured into Knightsbridge, I nipped in to QVC to meet a prizewinner, Beryl Weintraub, who had won a days experience at QVC with the Craft prep team (and she got to go on air). Oh we did laugh in the meeting room, poor Beryl must have thought she had gone to a school for naughty girls. Personally I blame Marion and Roooobs for the hysterics.

Then it was off to Harrods to see how the other half live. Its such an adventure to go in and feel like you could literally trick the shop assistants that you are a gazillionaire as you try on size 2 Chanel dresses for them only to fit only over your wrist. But the food hall was obviously the only place we were realistically going to spend our money and we bought cupcakes and macaroons at Ladurees and bread from Paul Hollywood (MEZZIN!). We also went up to the Christmas shop which was choc-a-block full of delightful trimmings. Marion even got chatted up ;)

Too soon it was time to go. Marion was deposited back at QVC, I pranced on the stairway
And Marion and Roooooobs hug on the stairs
and then home to Roobs where we went thrift shopping for old books. We came away with GORGEOUS sheet music books that were a steal and some Olives. **random but oh-so-usual**

Next thing I knew I was on my train home with zero energy from having so much fun. But if that's the price you pay, I am not going to complain.

16 Oct 2011

Oddments

I know. I KNOW. I'm obsessed with this butterfly punch. And pins. And doilies. And ribbon. But I could seriously make approx 3.8 Bajillion different variations of projects using these beauties. And this one is headed for my friend, Lee.

I'm also sending a bunch of these Diwali cards for her to give to her family. Diwali falls at the end of Oct and this is my second time if making them. If anyone wants s copy of the Om, let me know and I'll email the images to you :)i

I'll probably be on the train when this blog goes live. Hmmm mm. Sunday trains are usually packed to the rafters which, for me, is good on so many levels as I LOVE to people watch.

Please dont forget about the post below and the gorgeous giveaway.

15 Oct 2011

Living on the edge & another giveaway

I love border and edger punches. I do, I DO!!!. They were a long time coming from when I first started cwafting!

And now Tonic Studios have brought out these babies. Check out this card using an edger and border punch. I love the clean look of just white on this card. I'm so, so excited about these punches because of their simplicity and scope for creating the perfect card.
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Look at all the frilly layers!
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I urge you (yes, urge is I word I often use because I can't think of another word right now!) to watch this 4 minute vid! I know a number of my friends are salivating at the thought of having them in their grasp........ perhaps you might be the same??!


One lucky commenter will be in with a chance of winning one edger/border punch of their choice if they leave a comment below.

I'm off to London tomorrow for a few days calling in at my favourite residence (if you haven't tried airbandb - you haven't lived!), QVC and a secret location in Clapham to make a crafting video for Disney **insert loud, annoying scream here**

Edited to add:
You see this beautiful elfin girl here? I could cry for her. I really could.
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Tonight, we were out with the dog and she was talking to me about reading "Of Men and Mice". I asked her if she understood it and she thinks she does but I think its heavy going for her, its way beyond her understanding. She can read but Ellies process of reading is managing to physically read but not necessarily taking in the story as it unfolds. So I'm going to read it with her so I can help her along the way but man - will it ever click with her, I wonder? Do any of you have any suggestions on how we can get her to leap from reading to reading and understanding? I'd be so grateful.

A digital Christmas

Rhonna has wrapped it all up for Christmas this year by providing me with a solution for my hybrid cards. I urge you, if you are in a creative rut, to use her BEAUTIFUL cards designs to your Christmas cards this year.

I'd like to think that many of you don't see this urge as some kind of advertisement. Well, it is in a way but I'm dead set that I am using this as one of my 6 hybrid designed cards for this coming season. I'm going to print this out tomorrow and decorate it with my fave "real" supplies to show you how effective hybrid card making can be **squeals at the prospect**


Please enjoy Rhonnas newsletter and generous discount code:

Rhonna Designs has 5 NEW Card Kits in the store & will be adding even more! These Card Kits give you all the tools you need for your annual newsletter, photo cards, Christmas cards, address wraps, gift tags, or stickers. Each card kit is filled to the brim with Printables and digital files! So, go on & check them out in the store! As one of our valued newsletter subscribers, we are offering 25% OFF each of our NEW Christmas Card Kits under any license!

Please be sure to type in: RDcaRd5 in the 'discount code' box at the bottom of your shopping cart before checkout.

Not sure about the card kit? Here’s a FREE Photo card template to drop your photo in the frame & print off...a festive gift from Rhonna Designs that will surely uplift and inspire you during this holiday season!

Remember: to see a HOW-TO on resizing your photo to fit in the cards, be sure to check Rhonna Designs Blog! *A place for ideas to uplift and inspire*


For more ideas on how to use the kits, check out the place for ideas to uplift and inspire: Rhonna Designs Blog.

13 Oct 2011

Crop night shenanigans & giveaway **winner announced**

I was in dire need of a crop night and although I have not been the "Koolest" of scrapbookers tonight (ie just not conforming to using the latest and "Koolest supplies" - instead I used a kit from 2007!!! Ancient history .....the horror!), I still enjoyed the process.

I made this layout here (following the sketch in the blog post below)
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Oh man - call the cops! I let my kid have Pepsi. After all these years she has had no cavities and she is still alive so go figure.

and with the left overs, I made this card here:
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The card and a pack of ancient (un-opened) rub-ons from Cosmo Cricket are part of a giveaway so if you want to win, leave your name below.

Tonight was also Ellies last night with the befriending service. I am not sure if I blogged this but Ellie was awarded 6 session with a befriending service from local volunteers (run by the council and Aiming High) to spend time with people other than her family. It breaks my bloody heart to have had to approach them for such a service when Ellie ought to have friends her own age that she can relate to and hang out with. But no. She has zero after school friends and is lumped with Mark and I of a night time and that's just not cool, is it? Aaaaanyway, we were so sad to see the end of this beautiful chapter of her life and as a thank you, I made one of each of these for the girls to take home as a massive thank you.
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I'm not sure its the last we have seen of Ashley and Chloe as they are now hooked on crafting, so as part of our huge thanks to their valiant volunteer work with kids like Ellie (and believe me, there are worse case children than Ellie as this service is normally reserved for "at risk" children), I have offered to host them at our house with a craft session. How else can you pay back society other than with paper and glue?

Winner announced - Congrats Jo, you win x

Live crop and chat - tonight

Come and join us HERE - tonight, at 8pm.
To join in with the chat facility, you must be a member of Ustream (its free to join at the address HERE.
You can either chat with like-minded crafters or join in with the challenge using this sketch here. Cardmakers can adapt too. Come join the fun x

12 Oct 2011

Tidying, re-arranging, pulling my hair out

The last 36 hours have been weird and I mean proper weird. I had to have sedation for dental treatment due to a dental phobia that I have but this time I have reacted strongly to Midazolam. Jittery, slurring my words, tired and feeling anxious. I have very little recollection of what Ive done in the past 36 hours (that would be a bonus in some cases!).

When I finally "came to", I had this urge to scour my office and give somethings a new home. I'm constantly (and I mean constantly) re-arranging my space to make it functional and easy to work in. I have to have my desk space just right for all craft types which now includes collage in addition to card making and scrapbooking. Its also the space I do prep work for QVC. And prep work for QVC needs separate tools and embellishments, so things have to be shifted about a bit . I spend more time primping and preening this office that I feel most of my productive time is spent just faffing around - its getting on my nerves!

This is the amount of workable space I have. I know its more than some people (I have friends who craft off their knees due to space issues - they have my utmost empathy). But this is my work room; which is increasingly decreasing!

Anyway, I found this on my travels around the office of doom and thought I'd bob it on here to look pretty.
Have you got a link to your workspace, I love to see how you all organise things x

11 Oct 2011

Samples - at last!

Here are some of my QVC samples from last week. All very simple with the added delishness that is ribbon (my weakness). Except this one, which was made using the circle scissor. Man, that item is fantastic. All these circles make me happy.

And this little lot:


And finally, I'm working on some painty collagey stuff and I thought Id let you see the crap state my desk gets into during a hard slog


I will show you it once its done.