Monday, 25 February 2013

Happy Birthday AJ

My little guy turned 13 today - happy birthday sweetheart xxx

That means we officially have three teenagers in the house eeeeeeek !!!

My boys are into all things, BMX, Skate and Scooter and spend all their free time honing their skills at the local skate park

So this is the card I put together for AJ

I wrote a poem for him as I wanted the verse inside to be more personal ( I must admit to looking up some of the scooter terms on You Tube)

I'm not sleeping in, you cannot make me
I'm heading out early to perfect my fakie
The skatepark calls, the scooter beckons
I am addicted - so my mum reckons !
Tail whips to start, the park is mine
No other scooters, no waiting in line
Grinding each and every rail
Dropping in - no fear of fail
Backside to half cab, grind some more
Air out and hang five until everything's sore
All done to perfection, not one single spill
Or am I still dreaming and in my bed still ?

I learnt a lot from watching the videos, to be honest the only grinding I was aware of before my little foray into scooter speak was the grinding that occurs inside my pepper mill !

We always let the kids choose their favourite teas on their birthdays, they get free rein, they can choose to eat anywhere so we were fully expecting AJ to choose Domino's or MacDonalds or something of that ilk, but no ! He wanted me to make tacos. He has never had them in his life so this was a gamble, but I was chuffed he chose home cooking if I am honest !

Here is the table all laid out with our Mexican delights ( Neil had to make the night totally authentic with Mexican beers for us adults lol)

It was YUMMY, utterly delish even if I do say so myself

And here is the birthday boy tucking into his tacos !

Birthday wishes

Another week has slipped by, I have been very busy with many a craft project, all of them finished I might add, so tonight will be the first in a series of catch up posts, of all the items I have completed this last week

For tonight I have my niece Katie's card to share, sorry for the poor pic, the lighting has been horrific this last week ( or it is when I actually remember to take the photo !)

The card is a slight variation on the one I taught in class a couple of weeks ago, I used Melissa Frances papers and sentiment stamps from Stampin' Up, the daisy is  an older stamp from Judikins. Martha Stewart punches were used for the butterflies and the borders.

See you tomorrow (ooops didnt realise the time - later today !!!) with a card I have made  for the baby of our family who is now 13 !

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

My heart

Sorry for not keeping up with my blogging this week, I totally got stuck into cleaning and sorting, tidying and organising at home, you know real life stuff

Utterly boring

Utterly not blog worthy

But utterly necessary

Hopefully over the next few days I can share with you the creativity that has been occurring ( even if I hadn't the time to blog it - I have still been playing with my papers, paints and crafty stuff)

Tonight I have the Valentine card I made for Neil to share with you.

This is a variation on the card we made last tuesday in our regular get together at the shop, I actually managed to create four cards in the two hours, all very different, all to be shared here eventually.

I hope I never get 'too old'

'too married'

'too past it'

'too complacent'

'Too whatever'

To stop making cards for Neil for Valentines day

I totally agree with the fact that a lot of the holidays are becoming commercial, a marketing ploy by the big names in business.

I totally agree that the true meaning of many occasions are lost

But I also feel that it is good to celebrate the important things in life




Not by spending money

Not by making empty grand gestures

But by marking a day, setting it aside and celebrating an event or a person, for who or what they are to YOU

So, with that said

Valentine's day to me is not about it being my birthday ( although that may explain my fascination with all things heart related)

It is not about roses - or any other flower type

It is not about chocolate ( although that is a big part of my life lol)

And it is not about gift giving or money spending

It is a day when I celebrate openly my love for the man in my life, the one who I turn to every day, the one who makes each day that little bit more special, the father of my children, the sharer of my secrets, the shoulder I cry on, the rock I lean on.

It is all too easy to take all these roles for granted, to forget that every day that special person puts you before themselves. 

Valentine's day to me is an opportunity to say thankyou ( for putting up with me and all my foibles)

To say thankyou for sticking with me ( through all the many trials and tribulations)

To say thankyou for sharing the burden and making life easier-  more fun 

To generally say 'I love you !' 

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Christmas not crafting

Tonight I have no crafting to share, so please skip if you are here for paper inspiration.

This weekend saw the annual Christmas 'do' for Neil at APT, we share the L.O.R works 'do' and it has so happened that the last few years has seen the annual ball fall in the new year -  well into february this time round.

I apologise for the less than smily look - you must understand - our lift was waiting, daughter was using a camera I was trying to  give instructions for ( through gritted teeth) at the same time as standing, posing and balancing on shoes I hadn't worn for eight years ! Also the dog was intent on creating a candid camera moment !!!

Shortly before this photo, the previous photo would have revealed me trying to balance - on tiny 6 inch stiletto's,   attempting to gently shoo wilful westie from under my feet ( hence slightly raised left foot) and bear in mind less than patient mother in law waiting outside whilst  I was also coaching daughter into using new camera, so please forgive my slightly pursed lips, these were hiding, 'shift snowy', 'don't forget flash Amy', 'won't be long MIL' and 'please don't slip dress-  this is not a peep show!'

The dress did hold up - it was bought  for me by Neil several years ago and I have never been able to fit into it - until recently - there is a good reason I hang onto clothes. I was worried a little that there might be a little boobage due to my recent weight loss, but I hung on to my dignity and kept all fleshy bits under wraps - all night - even under the influence of a free bar all night - mum would be so proud.

Sadly the same could not be said for my shoes - also over eight years old and being consigned to the attic for the last 7 years, they gave up the ghost and the straps spewed pearls all over the car  ten minutes from home !!! Luckily I had a similar pair as stand by, so after a quick detour home we were back out and on schedule in a matter of minutes !

After such a frantic start to the evening, all else went like clockwork - great food, great company, great entertainment !!!

We had a fab night, it was lovely to just eat drink and be merry.

NO I did not empty my drink on anyones head this year

NO I did not 'borrow' any balloons this year

and NO - no animals were harmed in the taking of the photo this year !

Friday, 8 February 2013

Create the life you love

I have a wee little altered project to share this evening.

I have a wall hanging, this is just 7x5 inches and was inspired by a project in the Creative Expressions pamphlet, the original being made by the very talented Hels Sheridan - you can find Hels' blog here 

The background mountboard was provided by Beryl - thankyou, the scissors and bottle with beads were a gift from Anita - thankyou and Margaret lent me the die to make the leaves - thankyou xxx

I used Melissa Frances papers, some free beaded trim I received from Wild Orchid Crafts and embellishments I was hoarding in my stash, the little wooden heart was also a gift from Lynn - thankyou xxx

This was one of our tuesday afternoon projects, you can find Anita's shelf HERE and Linda's shelf HERE, Margaret hasn't blogged hers yet and Beryl doesn't 'DO' blogging, but trust me their wall-hangings are gorgeous too !

My little plaque now has a new home with someone who is very special to me, someone who spends her whole life GIVING, doing for and helping others, a lady with a heart of gold. I originally planned on hanging this in  the shop but I am much happier knowing it is in the home of someone who is such a dear friend.

You Rock Robbie

 Tuesday saw my boy turn 17. Honestly with each birthday we celebrate, I have a mild panic at the speed by which the years are passing.

In a fortnights time we will have three teenagers in the house as AJ turns 13.

The nappies, baby gro's, bottles and teddy bears are long gone ( well AJ still has a teddy but don't let on I have told you)  In their place - skateboards, guitars, ipods, fancy phones and clothes that seem to have grown along with them overnight, litter the house where the baby stuff used to be.

My heart aches for those days sometimes, the days of innocence and total dependance ( and the smell of Johnson's baby products).

But those days are disappearing fast, as they grow into young adults, with confidence, with increasing independance and with opinions all their own.

Nevertheless they will always be my babies.

This is the card I made Rob ( as you might guess he is guitar mad)

I used an Inkadinkadoo stamp, the sentiment was computer generated, the patterned paper is Tim Holtz.

The mat behind the photo is a normal scalloped circle Nestability which I have lopped the curves off to make it appear more masculine ( if you punch out the middle too they make great cogs )

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

ATC's - last batch

Tonight I am sharing my final batch of ATC's for the overseas swap myself and a couple of friends are in.

The main image is by Stampin' Up, and these are all made out of scraps.

You can have a peep at Margaret's ATC's here on her blog  Cuts and Corners

And Anita is sharing hers on her blog Crafty Me

I have loved making these ATCs and can't wait to receive our swaps back.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Vintage charm and Neil's before and afters

First up I have a little easel card I put together quickly yesterday

I used Melissa Frances papers and an image by Marianne Design - all available at Running With Scissors.

The sentiment stamp is by Stampin' Up as is the punch I used to shape it, everything is inked in Malted Mauve chalk ink.
The border punch is by Martha Stewart.
 The gorgeous crinkly ribbon was a gift from my dear friend Margaret.

Speaking of whom, these next pics are for you Margaret lol

Only kidding, I am going to share Neil's before and after pics too, he did the full Insanity programme with me, supporting me and keeping me company. I did get his permission to put these on here.

Neil didn't have as much weight to lose as me but he did lose a few pounds and quite a few inches too, he generally got much leaner and was aiming more for definition and cardio conditioning - both of which he achieved.

I am so proud of him, as my friends and family know, Neil struggles due to his illness and to complete this programme with very little balance and total numbness absolutely amazes me - he truly did inspire me to keep going.

Thanks Neil, love you and so very proud of you, I am so happy we shared this experience xxx

Lastly thankyou so much for everyones really lovely comments yesterday, I was worried about sharing the photos but you all made me feel much happier about it, thanks for the support xxx

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Crafters look away now

OK this is not for the weak of stomach, look away now if you have come here for cards, layouts or crafts of any sort.

As you are all now aware now,
Neil and I have been doing the Insanity home workout programme, here are my before and after shots

Please bear in mind, this is over just 60 days, we did NOT diet, we ate and drank what we liked as Christmas, New Year, birthdays and various other celebrations peppered our path

The befores are on the left

We never ever missed a workout, even donned our trainers on Christmas day

Not quite a six pack but definitely a lot slimmer and more toned than before

And for the changes on the tape measure

I lost

1cm off each arm
8cm off my bust
10cm off stomach
4cm off my hips
2cm off each thigh 
1cm off each calf

I lost 6lbs in weight, not bad considering how much I ate and drank over the period, had I stuck to the Insanity diet I have no doubt I could easily have doubled my fat loss, but you know what, I am happy with my loss, it means I lost no muscle but lost lots of inches.

Another thing I noticed was a massive increase in strength and endurance.

I know some people will probably not see much of a difference, some people might even laugh at me for posting this, and to be honest I worried about it. 
I pondered long and hard. It is a big thing sharing these photos. 
I have had a little encouragement, mainly from Neil, the kids ( who think I am awesome for even trying it) and one of my facebook friends who is doing the same programme and one of my class members who has also seen the programme and her husband and son tried it.
But generally most people have been fairly non-plussed and that is fine.
I didn't do it for anyone else.
I did it for me.
Neil summed it up when I asked whether I should blog it, when he said 'You did good! You should be proud, I am so proud of you ! - You should blog it, it is an achievement and those that don't like it don't matter'

Friday, 1 February 2013

Keep Calm and craft on!

Another little batch of ATC's for the international swap. We are almost there now so I will only have one more set to share and then back to cards and other stuff.

This time I went with a real 'British' look and couldn't resist using this stamp. 

The main stamp is a Hobbycraft one and the little 'tap tap tap' stamp is by Stampin' Up.

Papers are by Papermania, the vintage union flag ribbon is from my shop and the twine from a little craft shop I found whilst in the lakes.

Happy weekend to you all xxx