Friday, 16 September 2016

Layered Cuts.....

Good Morning!

Well its been a bit non stop here this morning, however I'm working my way through my list and am finally at job 4 of 20 for today.... 

Im here to share with you now a layered paper cut I have created using the wonderful Layered Cut Software by Bramble Crafts available from here .  The software has been about for nearly a year now and I have to say as a paper crafter its one of my favourites!!! 

I have spent hours using the software and I even got to create the instructions! 

First up my friends little girl, If I remember correctly the original photo was taken at a wedding, I was so pleased when she said to me I could use the image to create a cut.  The end result was stunning, she has since ordered another of her son! I can't wait to cut it!!! 

This is a photo of my little girls at my sisters wedding a couple of years ago!  This picture stole my heart the day I saw it and I have been lucky enough that the photographer (Plenty to Declare) allowed me to create this beautiful cut using 14 layers of paper!

I have given this version to my mum, and I will be redoing it (for the third time) for my walls at some time very soon!!!   I would like to enter this layered cut into the following challenges; 

Crafting with an Attitude - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls Creations - Anything Goes
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes

So before I go let me tell you a little about the software!   Its easy to use, you literally import your picture, change the settings to how many layers you require and the detail you would like  and click go, the software takes the image and separates it into the number of layers you require.... 

You can then play with the settings until you are happy with the look of it and then print them or you can use a electronic cutting machine! you work from your darkest colour to your lightest then cut (if you have printed!) away the 'printed areas' of your layers and stick it together!

Its really easy to use and the end results are amazing!  There is also a support group here on Facebook!!  there are loads of helpful people in there that are more than happy to help!!!   Alternatively you can pop me an email and I can answer any questions :) 

I do hope if you have a moment you will leave me a comment! 

See you again soon! 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A few days in review....

Hello again,

I thought this evening I would do a little review of the last few days... just trying to get myself used to remembering my blog again!!!! Its most likely not going to mean much, but its been a busy week between kids and working at the pub and running my own business(es), but me being me can never take a step back, I just seem to get by and add more strings to my bow!!!

This week has been different, the beginning of the week felt rather slow....

Monday was a bit boring, it was all admin and organising - those are the days that really are not my favourite!  But they are part of running my own business and so I have to be pretty strict on myself and do it!!! I work in 'chaos' as Mr B likes to call it - I like to say its 'organised chaos myself - but were each to our own - after all they say messy people are the most creative!!! 

Anyway on Tuesday Miss N was poorly and that just slowed me down, all she wanted was cuddles and for me to watch Pokemon on Netflix - and all I wanted was it to cool down!! Work was mostly vinyl for the day however I did finally get to share this beautiful book over on my Facebook Page!!

Its the biggest MMCF (Measure, Mark, Cut and Fold) book I have done at 600 pages... it too me ages to do!!! I have to say I LOVE how it finished up!  Its also been loved over on my Facebook Page and my Etsy shop too!!  

Wednesday was a LONG day, thanks to Miss A, I spent the day running on around 4.5 hours sleep!
I had to be out the door before everyone else as my mums kittens were going in to be 'seen to'.... I think I was as worked up as she was!!!  

Above are Pip (on the left) and Marty (on the right) - they are rescue kittens from our local RSPCA, originally Pip was meant to live here with me, however my little smudge cat had other ideas!!! 

Anyway they are now 'done' (thats what mum keeps saying) they are very happy little boys especially after what has been done to them!!!  Wednesday evening was out Open Mic Night that we run every other week at a local pub, it was a fantastic night with lots of amazing artists!!! 

Today has been realising that I'm not cut out for running on so little sleep anymore!!  I have worked at the pub this afternoon, then school run, dance run and now I'm shattered!!!  

Im hopeful that tomorrow I shall be back with something creative! 


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Its been a while (again!)


Well were trying again..... its been over 5 months since I was last here with the promise of being back to blogging and making a change to my life with my creativity - however life took a dramatic turn for my family back in early June.  

This is a bit of a sensitive post, its what I have been through in the last 5 months, I am going to put it down here, please don't feel you have to read it, I just feel I need this here not only so I can look back in years to come and remember how far I have come, but maybe it will help others going through what we have.

It all started just before Easter 2016 when my dad was unwell, we were on holiday and he just wasn't himself.  We came back from holiday and he started to feel more and more unwell - we never thought it would turn out how it did.

He spent a few weeks  back and forth to the doctors, with blood tests and scans, we were told it was nothing other than an infection.  A couple of weeks went by and he hadn't improved, he went back to the GP and they ran more tests.  He had an abdominal scan done and within less than 24 hours of the scan the Dr called him in.  He was told they were over 50% certain he had secondary cancer of the liver.  At this point he was referred him to a general surgeon, who ran a couple of tests and said she thought it may be his gaul bladder and referred him for a CT scan and other tests.

Having had the CT scan on a Saturday, and still awaiting a minor procedure to be done (more tests but in other ways!) he took a turn on the Monday evening - I will never forget calling my dads phone to see how he was, when my mum answered I knew something was wrong, she told me he had been taken to hospital.  I got strait in my car and went over, at around 9:30pm we went to the hospital to see what was happening.  Mum and I spent most of that night with him at the hospital with with no further answers as to what was happening, they didn't know what was wrong with my dad.

 The following day we were there early in the morning, my sister made the drive from Winchester to Stoke Poges to be here with us all and to find out what was happening.  He was still having more tests done that morning - but we were told he had suffered a stroke, but we still didn't have all the answers.

They moved him that afternoon to another ward,  the Acute Stroke Unit.  We all had so many questions, and the first one was 'are you sure this is a stroke?' - they said to us that they were certain dad had suffered a minor stroke and it's at this point we were asked if we could be there the following Monday at 10am for a meeting.  Over the next week my dad made huge progress with moving his arm, it was so hard to watch him unable to get up but the progress he made in those 7 days with being able to drink using that arm was amazing! At first when it all happened he told me he didn't want my girls to see him like this, it broke my heart but I had to listen to what he wanted.  I was so pleased when by that Friday he asked me to take them in to see him, they were missing him so much!

The Monday of the meeting came and we all sat there in complete shock with what we were being told.  My Dad, who has never smoked and wasn't a heavy drinker had Cancer, it was terminal, there was nothing that could be done immediately as he was so weak from the stoke.  They said he had 3-6 months - I have never had such a feeling as I did that morning - I felt sick, I was scared, I felt I was dreaming. how could this be happening? I'm sure everyone who has been through this questions it in the same way of 'why us'???

We all tried to look on the bright side as 'chemo' was mentioned, and a biopsy was going to be done, we were hopeful it wasn't as bad as they initially said.   There was the suggestion of him coming home to be with us in his own space, we planned how we would do it with the house and having him a bed and what he needed, and someone being there to help mum with moving him through the day.

He still made progress with movement over the next 7 days, he still wanted to try to get his strength back although he had told us he didn't want chemo - he wanted to do what he could in his heart to fight.  That same week that he made more progress and a biopsy was done.  A couple of days after the biopsy we were asked to attend another meeting, we were hopeful that it was going to be good news, sadly it wasn't.  Dad was riddled, it was worse than they anticipated, we were now told we had days possibly weeks with him, chemo now wasn't an option, we were told there was no chance of him coming home, the best place for him was going to be Thames Hospice, Windsor.

My heart broke, my whole world fell apart at that moment.  Being told that my plans of taking him to the park to watch Nancy ride her bike without stabilisers wasn't going to happen, the idea of taking him to see the sea again and smell the sea air, wasn't going to happen.  Knowing he wouldn't be here to celebrate my 30th Birthday with me, or to see Christmas with us again just took me back to a head space that this wasn't really happening.

Each day went by  when he was still at the hospital, and we all made a point of being there.  Family and friends traveled huge distances to see him, knowing that this may be their last time of seeing him.

They moved him to Thames Hospice in Windsor on a Thursday.  He really perked up that day, he seemed happy.  He was joking again we were back to my dad before we were told he had cancer, I thought maybe they had it wrong - maybe he can fight this, maybe he will be here for my 30th and Christmas - but little did I know what was around the corner.   There was an afternoon that he called asking if I would be down that night, I told him I would be - he asked if I was staying to tuck him in, as mum, Kathy and I always knew what needed to be where for him, we knew how to plump his pillow just right. Oh how I wish I could still be doing it for him.

Thames Hospice are absolutely amazing, the staff are so caring, polite, helpful and they want to be your friend, they want to support not only the person thats ill, but their family and friends.  Every day I went to visit him he was talking about my girls, and his girls (my mum, sister and I) he would talk about his friends and tell stories to them all.  There was one day that we spent the whole day up in the sanctuary, its a beautiful room at the hospice thats got glass doors that open right up, dad loved it up there. He also had a couple of larger's with one of his best friends, he still joked, he still hated us telling him we loved him, he was never one for  hearing those words.

Sadly on the 2nd July I had a call, just as I had finalised the sale of his pride and joy 'his motorbike'.  The Dr asked for mum and I to go down as soon as we could to speak to her.  We went strait down, it was a hard conversation.  Dad was taking a turn for the worse, they wanted to put him on a driver to ensure he wasn't in pain, he knew as much as we did what this meant.  That night, the nurse came in and my mum, sister and I were at his bedside as they inserted the driver.  I once again went back to that head in the clouds.

The following days, dad became less and less responsive to us, he was so in and out of it that we didn't know if he knew what was happening.

On Monday 4th July at 7am my mum called as dad was asking for me, he wanted to speak to me.  I arrived at the hospice and he grabbed my hand so tight, he looked me in the eye and he told me that he was going to die that day, I held it together and told him that if that is what he needed to do, then I understood and I was ready - little did I know this would be the last conversation I would have with him.

His medication was topped regularly through the day, at the slightest discomfort we would call the nurses who would mix his cocktail up as quickly as they could and administer it.  We kept a ritual that day of sitting by his bedside and talking to him so he knew we were all there, we also told him that we were ready for him to take his ride into the sunset.

At around 7:25pm, Monday 4th July, my dad took his bike and rode into the sunset.  He has gone to pastures new where he has a bigger job to do.  People tell me that he had done what he needed to here, I'm also told that he would have had an option to come back, but he would have seen that the other side was where he needed to be.

In his time at Thames Hospice, he got to see my eldest daughter turn 9, to see the planes coming in and out over Windsor, he spent time with my mum, my sister and me on a one to one, we got to talk about the old times at the caravan, the nights at the pub and my girls, my girls got to spend time making his last few days the best he could ask for - he even saw 'doves' in the tree (part of the tree did look like a dove, not a real one!)

I don't know if I believe he had done his job here, I still needed my dad, my girls need their Pop's.  I don't know if I believe that he had an option to come back and chose not to, but we will never know - this is the thing with life and death - we all have our own beliefs, and mine still undecided.

It still hurts each and every day that he has passed some more than others, and I know time is the only thing that will help, I know I will never get over loosing the one man I could trust, the one I could depend on, the one I called My DAD - but I know I have to do him proud and I have to make sure I do the best I can with his girls - thats my girls and my mum and sister.

Im thankful for all the support from my family and friends through this time, and I'm so grateful to all the staff at Thames Hospice, Windsor.  You really do an amazing job, you have such strength and patience, thank you for all you did for my dad and my family and friends.

If you have read all of this post, thank you.  I know my next post will be back to creativity and what I have been doing in the past couple of weeks.


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Not too Shabby....

So its been longer than I planned this post, life has once again got in the way of taking time to be here - however I am taking a moment to be here now... so its all on the up I suppose. 

The past week has been hectic, its all catching up, illness that has been with me for weeks, and I finally think we have found a way to get over it - although I have been told 'rest' well I sit all day so thats resting as I keep telling myself!!! 

Anyway I'm here to share with you a card and some crochet that has actually been completed in the past 24 hours!!! Miss A announced the fact it was her teachers Birthday tomorrow (wednesday) and she wanted to give her a card and gift... so I have come up with this.... 

I know photography skills not at their best but it shows what I have managed to make!!  

The card was created using my stash that has been away for far too long!!! 

Papers from Prima Tea-Thyme 6x6 pad, 
the image of the cute bear from one of the fantastic Lili of the Valley pads, 
the plain backing is from Paper Story!
Ribbon from many many moons ago!
Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch

The coasters have been hand made by me!!  Yes I can actually follow crochet tutorials now :)  Using the amazing Bella Coco you tube!!!  The tag has a very cheeky message of 'one for the coffee at school and three for the glasses of wine needed to recover' - I'm sure her teacher will see the funny side of it!!! 

I would really like to enter this into some challenges this week - they are as follows;

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and I do really appreciate any comments left 

See you again soon! 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Looking back...

Good Morning! 

well so far it looks like I'm doing good on this 'blogging' again - That could be the fact that I'm trying to distract myself from the fact Miss A and Miss N are back at school!! 

So Today I'm going to share with you some cards I made after my last blog post, now as I wasn't blogging I have no idea where the images are from or what colours I used, but I can tell you they are two of my favourite makes!!! 

Lets start with this beauty....

This was made for a very special customer, it was for her angel babies 18th birthday, I was honoured to be asked to create this for her, I spent a long time talking with her about what she wanted - the main thing was she had to have wings and jet black hair.

She was so pleased when I sent her the final photos of the card, and even happier when she received it.  Im going to have to look for this stamp later to colour it up again, it has given me some ideas!!! 

So onto the the next card - this one was a bit of a challenge - with not blogging and distracting myself with 101 other crafts this image became somewhat daunting - the hair, the butterflies.....

The customer had come across the image and asked for me to colour it, I have to say looking at it, its not my 'usual' colour combo on the papers eat however I think it works!  

Well Im hopeful to be back tomorrow with a new creation - and maybe, just maybe I may enter some challenges (if I can remember how) 

For now its time to get on with the house work and sort out the website!!! 

See ya!

Monday, 11 April 2016

The Butterfly in me

Good Morning! 

As promised today I'm back to show you some of what I have been doing with my time away from here!  I have learnt so many new techniques and I can't wait to share some of the with you.  

Today I have chosen to share with you my crochet - A skill I learnt late last August thanks to my mum - its something that I love sitting down at the end of a busy day and spending an hour making something!! I even take it on the school run at times! 

Its not been easy and there have been many disasters along the way - many times I have frogged it back, or once launched it across the room!! But I am slowly learning new techniques and ways to create what I have in my head.

Im still on the very basic stuff - but love that I can make something special in just a few days and those that I have given my creations too have always been pleased :) 

This one is has to be my favourite so far, the photo doesn't do this yarn justice - its skylecraft DK in sherbet - in real life it looks more blue than the picture!   Its from this pattern available from here

The finished blanket is approx 23 inches square and felt so soft and warm, I gifted it to a friend who has recently had a baby boy - the first thing she did was wrap him in in!!  

I do have it available from the website too!! ohhh yes I haven't told you!  Im moving away from all the platforms as they cost a small fortune, so we now have a  website that sells everything from our book folding patterns to finished books, as well as the paper cuts, templates and knitted and crochet items!  Would love it if you would check it out here!! 

This is the same pattern as the blanket above, but with some beautiful King Cole Comfort in Rhubarb  at first I wasn't too sure on it, but once it was finished I was head over heals for it! This one came up at about 22''x24''  

Again Photos just don't do it justice, but it is available now from the website here.

Well I think thats me done for today - Miss A and Miss N both have an inset day so were planning on getting our crafty on very very soon!! Don't forget to check out the website, we still have lots to add to it!! 

I shall be back tomorrow with more creations!!! 


Sunday, 10 April 2016

And where have I been.....

**A bit of a BORING post - but would love you to read and say Hi if you do :) **

That is the question I have been asked this evening... where have you been?!?!

Honestly - I'm not quite sure, Looking back though my posts, my last post as a proper 'blogger' (as I thought I was) was 05/01/12015.... thats OVER a year ago!!!  then I tried to get myself back into it on 30/09/2015 with no luck as I think I didn't want to come her and bore you - I suppose I blame the distraction of being self employed (for quite a while!) but finally taking it seriously - realising that I was the ONLY person that was going to get my own business up off the ground - and that I have - and for that I am pleased, I am happy!!!

I stood back from all Design Teams and moved on, that sounds bad... as I sit and look around at all the supplies I have to make cards around me - I have so many its untrue - then there are the supplies that have evolved since my post before last, papers for paper cutting, knives, blades, quilling papers, fabric and yarn to name what I can see! 

 I never ever saw myself doing anything other than cards before January 2015, thats where I was and thats what I did, however in the time away from my blog and the design teams, kids growing and life changing I can honestly say I have learnt new techniques, things that will help me in later life... like making tutu's.... OK no not them.... but the ability to crochet - Its something I have always wanted to learn but never had the patience - I remember watching my nan in awe - wishing I could only be so cleaver - and its only thanks to my mum that I have learnt and mastered (some) the technique - I'm no pro but I'm trying! I was too interested in colouring - however breaking away and folding books, cutting paper, curling paper and notting yarn as I have as I did made me realise that I was capable of more than what I was allowing myself to do and to show you!

So I suppose this is my way of saying I'm here... I'm coming back - with paper cuts, quilling, cards, crochet and just general butterfly ness..... I do hope if you have managed to read to the end you may pop me a 'Hi' so I know some of you are still out there - I shall be back soon (tomorrow I hope) with another post - with something creative!!! 


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