About me

Spring Is In The Air

Hello readers and welcome to my new subscribers.

No doubt some of you will have been wondering what’s up with my extended absence from posting. Firstly, I’m not sick or injured, lol. I just gave myself permission to go off and do something else for a while. No blogging, Very little blog hopping. I have no commitments to design teams so I just quietly went in pursuit of other things for a couple of months. To refresh. Refocus. Re-energize. So what have I been doing? LOTS!

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Peacock 1

First up, September was the start of Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere. This is one of the farm peacocks at the bottom of the steps, showing off his new tail feathers. In another couple of months they will be moulting and with 11 males on the property that’ll be a lot of peacock feathers getting dropped and collected. I don’t do anything with them but they just call to be picked up and bunched up. Spring means breeding season for snakes and we’ve also had a few of those at the bottom of the steps too. Yikes! One of the other  things I’ve really enjoyed doing is going to some local craft fairs. I steered away from papercrafting and went exploring and discovering what other talented crafters where creating.

I bought my first lot of Distress paints to try out. Ummm…….we’re not really getting along so well. It all started off badly when I tried to remove the lid like a Distress Stain bottle, unscrewing the black portion instead of snapping of the clear portion. I have a huge Seedless Preserve splotch permanently preserved on my carpet and shoes I was wearing that day. LOL Definitely need more time to experiment with those. What I can say from the little I’ve tried of them, is I love the smooth finish of the dry painted surface.

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HYCCT  1326 Misstreez

I always keep October clear for the Splitcoast Stampers Hope You Can Cling to Challenges, which I participate in every year. The card above was as of my most viewed uploads and one of my personal favourites. It was made from my stash of inked and coloured tags. The birds and foliage die is a recent purchase I had made with winning vouchers and promotion codes, from Tim Holtz and Simon Says Stamp earlier this year. Thanks guys! And I now have another box of cards to send off to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane for the Pink Ladies.

And what happened to 12 Tags of 2013? I’ve had a go at doing the tags for the previous two months, but haven’t liked anything I’ve done on that score. But with sunshine and butterflies to chase I wasn’t going to dwell too much on my shortcomings. I’ve given myself to the end of the year to get my tag wall complete. Sometimes you just gotta know when to step back. My muse and I met up on other projects.

You can be sure to hear from me soon as I attempt to catch up on my tags and get back into a challenge or two. See ya then.

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Categories: About me | 5 Comments

My Stamping All Star

This week at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge we were asked to consider what our stamping all star was. Is it a stamp or a colour? I was a bit stumped about what my all star stamping go-to was. I had a look over my room to see what image or colour kept making a predominate appearance. I try to  make a point of combining my older and newer stamps on most everything I make. However, some of my all time favourite stamps have not been inked in months. When I find myself reaching for the same colours over and over again I turn my attention to the colours that have made it to the botton of the stack. So what was my all star?
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Work desk 3

Looking around my room there is one thing that sticks out more than anything else. TAGS. Lots and lots of tags made with my Sizzix Tag and Bookplate die. And not just tags, but the bookplates are very useful too. This is the place where I do 90% of my crafting. I did tidy up the great mess before I took the pics, so for all the normal messy crafters out there don’t feel intimidated by the clear space you see on the desk top. It won’t last, lol. Besides the tags in this corner of the room I also have them pinned to a bicycle wheel behind me, framed on the wall and my corkboard Tag Wall to the left. Am I a little obsessed?

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Work desk 5

I use the tags to make technique samples. I limit myself to using just two baskets for samples and I will go to this collection to look for a tag base as a starting point or I may die cut them into other shapes when assembling another tag. Some tag swaps sit in the back for furthur inspiration. I also cut tag shapes out of that thick plastic used for kitchen cutting surfaces as they make good little pallets when I’m mixing acrylic paints and other media. So handy.

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Work desk 4a

I’m always looking out for new ways to display my tags. I found this metal peacock decor piece in the local discount store last week. I knew I wanted his fanned tail to hold the tags and I counted out his feathers to make sure I’d get a full set of Tim Tags on there. It was originally an uninspiring dingy green and brown but a quick spray paint in cream made him more suitable to my needs. His tail holds the tags I made for 12 Days of Christmas 2011. As you can see I’m not a stickler for conventions or seasons, but I love the colour. While I was cleaning up the desk I also made a new arrangemnet with my vintage collection of bric-a-brac on top of the old pianola I need to share my space with. Love the shabby look.

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Work desk 2

My other project for this week was to finally start labelling my growing collection of ever so useful wire baskets. When I made the big decision to purge and functionally organise my craft room last year I trialed a couple of small wire baskets to see if they would be suitable. I love them! I really disliked the tote that I had my most used tools in so I converted the items out to these baskets. As I tend to throw things willy-nilly about I deemed it wise to label the containers to keep me on track.

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Work desk 1

I die cut aluminium drink cans with the square bookplate design from the Sizzix die. The labels where stamped with my old Just Rite alpha stamps and embossed in silver onto black cardstock. They dont make these stamps anymore but I find them so useful for making my own custom words. The finish labels were then easily attached with a couple of black brads thru the wire holes. I’ve been living with this new tool organization arrangment for about a month now and it is so easy for me to use. I can now see everything I need right within reach.

I apologize that my photos are very ordinary. . My little point and shoot camera suits me well for a lot of my normal blog shots which I always take outside in daylight hours. Not so good at the indoor shots. My next photography assignment thankfully will be outdoors as I try once again to get the neccessary shots for my Gelatin Print Tutorial. Crossing fingers!

Categories: About me, Tags | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

12 Tags of 2013 – August

Hello friends. Today I have finally got around to posting something for my 12 Tags Wall. Tims tag for August used an old technique which happens to be one of my favourites – masking. I got a bit carried away during the month and made several tags using the masking technique, but I only have room on the board for one and this is what made the cut.

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12 Tags of 2013 August a

I bought this Tim Holtz Wild West stamp set when I saw it on sale one day. I liked that it was so different in theme to a lot of what I already own so I decided to add it to my collection. It’s one of those sets that I love to get out and just mess about with, so I’m pleased it finally got an airing on the blog. I used all but one of the images from the set, masking each layer as I stamped further into the background. Once all the stamping was done I then worked in the reverse direction, sponging from the background to the foreground, peeling away the masks as I went. The final piece of masking was a freehand cut edge to create extra clouds of dust under the horses feet.

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12 Tags of 2013 August b

I totally forgot to take a photo of the tag wall for last month. Duh! First two rows are now full of inky goodness, And it won’t seem to take too long before the last row is full too.

Yesterday I could have used a real horse man, instead I had to rely on shanks pony. I was rounding up some loose cattle on a steep bit of country. I started out using 4WD but decided I’d have more luck if I just legged it up and down the slope. Got a great workout. On a more serious note though, I had to be self reliant doing this job as there was noone else around to help and I was so proud of myself for achieving what I did. Of course I rang my partner to let him know what I was up to and took advise from him before I set out. And in all reality it was probably a small job for any woman bought up on a farm, but I’m still kind of new to a lot of this action. Go me!!!

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Categories: About me, Tim Holtz, Tim Holtz 12 Tgas of 2013 | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Love This Old Stamp

Hello readers. Flooding rains have kept us on our toes and away from work for most of this week. I was starting to feel overwhelmed and down about the worry of it all. Lydia, always upbeat, suggested I should stamp MORE! And so I did. And I used the current Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge to use a stamp that we love but don’t use, to kick start a journal page.

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Love this old stamp a

This is the end result of my stamping session. I pulled out some old favourites from my stamp collection and set to work. But somewhere towards the end I was cleaning some excess ink off of what was meant to be an acrylic resist technique and ended up wiping away my design. What!?! This mixed media thing can be full of surprizes when you least expect it, but it’s great for learning more about my supplies and how they interact with each other. As I found out on this page. I think the ‘mistake’ occured because my first layer of colour onto the gessoed page was water colour crayon, or maybe it was the gesso. I dunno! More play time is needed to get to the bottom of this mystery.

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Love this old stamp b

For the keen eyed I can show you a peek into what was left of some of my stamping before I wiped most of it away. I wanted to make a background with that circle medallion stamp stamped with acrylic paint. I’ve completely forgetten who made it, I’ve had it so long and I haven’t used it in years. I’ve gone back thru my archives and discovered it was May 2009 when I last used it to make THIS CARD. While I delving into my older stamps I also came across some texture/pattern stamps I had ordered of ebay many, many moons ago. They look to me like they are cut up pieces from a larger stamp design, so it is anyones guess as to who made them. I used a sunray pattern to fill in some spaces between the circles.

Do you have a stamp you love but whenever you use it it just doesn’t quite hit the mark? For me it has always been this Hero Arts stamp of the butterfly. Nothing wrong with the stamp mind you, just the person holding the stamp, lol. I think this is the the most pleasing thing I’ve made with it. I stamped the image with acrylic paints too. And I still only own two colours of paint so my butterflies had to be blue. All these stamps definitely need more lovin’.

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Crossing 30 Jan 2013

As mentioned earlier we’ve been having flooding rains here. This is what was left of  creek crossing after the first lot of rains a month ago.

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Feb2013 Flood

The repair works get started and then the next flooding rains come down and cause more damage. On good days we can get our 4WD’s up to the house if we drive thru the creek. But we are in a habit of leaving our vehicles on the town side of the creek (you can see parked just beyond those fence posts) and walking the distance between the house , some 400m. We have more chances of walking across the damage than driving most days. We’re looking forward to sunnier days!

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Categories: About me, Art Journaling | Tags: | 3 Comments

Hard to Resist My Art Journal

It’s Not Hard To Resist is the name of the second installment of the new Mix Ability Challenge at Splitcoast Stampers, but now I’ve started my art journal I can’t resist working this challenge into it. I love resist techniques and my two most favourite stamping resists would have to be heat embossing and acrylic paint. I think five out of my last six projects have used either one or the other, or both! I’ve used both techniques on this journal spread.

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Hard To Resist Art Journal

I started my page by applying a light covering of Pan Pastels, clear embossing some stamped designs around the edge and than applying another layer of Pan Pastels in a different colour. My original intention was to keep working with that idea but the middle of my spead got very messed up. So I gessoed over it and had a rethink about what I needed to do to finish this. Tim Holtz tissue paper seemed like a good cover up so I ripped a piece off, stuck it down and coloured it with Lindy Stamp Gang stains. Ahhh…..yes!

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Hard To Resist Art Journal a

I love using the Lindy Stamp Gang Starburst Stains. The colours are great and the shimmer factor is amazing. I splashed the stains onto the tissue and spread them around with my fingers. Finger painting is so fun! Then I goofed up again when I went to trim off the excess tissue paper and managed to lift large portions of it off the page. Luckily collaging and art journaling are very forgiving. I decided to try out a pot of Claudine Helmuth Studio Matt Multi-Medium to stick it back together. I’ve had this stuff for months but have never got around to using it. Oh, this stuff is good! Not only does it work well to stick papers together, but I like to use my fingers in when I’m on a roll and this stuff didn’t gum up my skin as much as others do.

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Hard To Resist Art Journal b

I then stamped some Stampers Anonymous images with a white acrylic paint onto the tissue. When this was thoroughly dry I sponged on some Distress Inks and wiped the excess off of my images to reveal the white again. I stamped a sentiment and called it done.

In other news, I’m starting work with a new company this week. I’ve endured a very lean six months of work and things didn’t look like they were ever going to improve when we received word that a major contract was lost. I fortunately ran into a client from a few years ago and he advised me of the company they were now using to outsource their work and suggested I throw my hat in with them.

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Luther and Audrey March Out

My son Luther has just completed Basic Training at Kapooka for the Australian Army and did his March Out on 1 Feb 2013. I wasn’t able to go, which upset me greatly. I’ll even admit I completely fell to pieces the day before his big event. I was inconsolable. But on the day my thoughts were all for him and my daughter Audrey who got to share in this proud moment. This is a photo of them together after the parade was over. Audrey surprized me this weekend with a beautiful, large, framed official photo of Luther. You may guess I cried all over again, lol. I’ve been blessed with some wonderful proud mum moments recently.

Life is good!

Categories: About me, Art Journaling, Lindy's Stamp Gang, Mix Ability | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

I’ve Been Known To Sew

Simon Says Stamp asked us to think about what we are known for and use that as inspiration for our creation this week. I assume, like many others I’m multi faceted and I’m known for different things to different people. So I phoned a friend, and she pondered on my creative style and picked the words – colourful, imaginative and inky.

Then I got to thinking about what my readers might not know about me. Long before I ever got crafty with paper and ink I use to get creative with fabric and thread. I’d sew my own clothes, my partners clothes, the childrens clothes and I even gifted clothes. But not only clothes did I sew, also cloth dolls, patchwork, quilting, crossstitch and embroidery. I framed my significant pieces and my mother owns two special ones I made which hang on her wall and get a lot of admiration from guests. My sister-in-law has a couple of hand crafted cloth dolls I made and she tells me after all these years they still get a lot of attention.

And one more thing. I collect doileys. Lots of pretty hand crocheted and hand embroidered fancy worked doileys. I have an old suitcase full of them. I like collecting ones with unusual motifs like the ones I bought just last week of floral umberellas, and the ones in the shape of a wicker basket. About this time last year I was doing my own personal inspiration challenges based on my embroidered doileys.

This week I thought it’d be fun  to combine two challenges into one tag. Simon asks ‘What are you known for?‘………

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ibsic_43_thumb

…….and Inspired By Stamping has this colour inspired challenge. So, armed with colours white, saffron and pink, a style of colourful, inky and imaginative, and a theme of sewing and doileys, I was set to go.

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Inspired By Stamping #43

I inked up a manilla tag with yellows and pink tones using shimmer stains and Distress Inks. I stamped and heat embossed the dress form (Stampers Anonymous) in white. And then I hit a wee obstacle – a power outage from the storm we are having today. That meant what ever I did from here on in had to be done without the assistance of electricity, and around here that also meant the water was off since we require a pump to get water to the taps. I opted to continue stamping my background in white acrylic paint. I almost had to give that plan a miss on account of no running taps, but then I realized I had abundant water over running our gutters, lol. Clean up was a cinch. I have some doileys stamped into the background using the stamps I won a few weeks ago from Inspired By Stamping. These are clear stamps and I really like how these stamped up with the acrylic paint. Some doileys were also stamped with ink.

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Inspired By Stamping #43 b

I had a couple of days to think about this challenge, so I was fortunate to have made a paper flower for this tag the day before. The large pink bloom was cut from layers of dressmakers tissue paper using my Rose Creation dies (Spellbinders), and then sprayed with shimmer stains before heat drying. I really liked the look of those ruffled tissue paper balls hanging from the ceiling in the photo and I wanted my flowers to have  a similar look. The little carnation mulberry paper flower (also from the  Inspired By Stamping store) was an easy choise. The yellow ones I made by stacking and ruffling single prima petals, secured with a brad. An online friend gifted me some lovely dies cut swirls and leaves which I had to find a way of using here. The green leafy swirl was one of those die cuts, and I snipped apart to tuck into some of the blank spots. The white die cut was of course perfect for this challenge since I’m so obviously white challenged. A stamped advert, a couple of decorative pins and some old lace trim finish it all off.

As mentioned earlier, we are in the midst of a storm which is due to a cyclone nearby. All my photos are daylight pics taken outside on the verandah so you may imagine the challenge I had to get a photo today. A brief lull in the rain gave me an opportunity to grab a couple of quick, but ordinary, snaps.  Oh! The humidity too. All my paper is so limp from all the moisture in the air. I was really worried that all my flowers would fall off as I didn’t have time for the glue to really set properly, lol. Thankfully our power was restored just before dark so I could do this post.

To all my readers who were with me during the last bad storm I experienced, this is one is not likely to be in that same magnitude for us, but others have not fared so well. We have had rain for three solid days, and more on the way.  All of the dams and water tanks are full to overflowing. This morning we parked one of the vehicles on the town side of the creek as a precaution. This afternoon we went down to check the crossing and sure enough part of the road is gone. So we’ll only be stuck here until such time as the creek subsides enough to wade across it and we can get to the vehicle. Otherwise we’re all safe and sound.

I’ve got some fun news to share on my Saturday, or if you’re from the States, your Friday. Hope you come back then to see what I’ve been up to.

Cheers!

Categories: About me, Inspired By Stamping, Simon Says Stamp and Show, Spellbinders | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Post Surgery Update 2

Oh wow, has it really been one week since the last post. I feel like a long time has passed since I was here.

Audrey had a successful surgery and is now home recovering and healing. The procedure lasted 6 hours,  she was in ICU for nearly 36 hours and then two more days in the wards before being sent home. The surgeons are confident they have done everything surgically possible to give her the best outcome for improved functioning of her mouth, the rest is now in the hands of the Orthodontist to hold everything in place while everything heals and sets.

I’m back at work again, which feels wonderfully normal. My hearing is improving everyday and I really notice the difference when I’m at work. I’m heading back to the city again and I’ll be bring Audrey home with me so she can have a peaceful and relaxing convalesence out in the country. She wants to snuggle up and watch videos with me when we get home – sweet!

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.

Categories: About me | 5 Comments

Post Surgery Update 1

Hello everyone, and thanks for all the thoughtful comments and well wishes for this week.

My operation to restore my hearing in my right ear went well. And as expected, I was able to hear as soon as I woke up. I wouldn’t say the hearing was normal though, but as each day passes it does seem to get better. There are some sounds that are amplified in the ear canal which are out of proportion to other sounds. For example when I go for a drive the wind passing outside the car is amplified in my ear canal, and at first I wasn’t sure if I was driving with all windows and doors open. Imagine if you will, the sound you hear when holding a sea shell up to your ear, but greater. Or the really wierd one was when the toilet was flushed, and I could see the water swirling around, but the noise of it was right up next to my ear drum, as if I was underwater. And blocking my ears doesn’t diminish the sound in anyway either. Weird. LOL. Thankfully those noises are getting lesser as things are settling down.

One of the things I’m not allowed to do is blow my nose and I have to avoid sneezing while the ear is healing. Without even thinking I naturally went to clear my nose. Oh dear! I wont do that again for another week I’m sure. And you know what, sometimes I just want to cry just to releive some tension, because it’s been a big week and I’m just a girl, but I dare not because the first thing I’ll want to do is grab a tissue, and of course blow my nose, lol. So I’m stifling a good cry which I’ll have to save up for another time.

And that brings me up to today, which is Friday. Later on today my Daughter has her reconstructive surgery. She is in good hands and all your prayers are appreciated. And I need the strength, will and determination to not cry. Breathe deeply. Aaahhhhhhh.

I’ll report back after it is all over.

Categories: About me | 7 Comments

Preparing Some Swaps and Preparing For Some Changes

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Today I’ve been playing around with a project I started on months ago. Some of you may recognize those stamped words from my 12 tags of Christmas 2011, and the many stampings I did with a custom stamp pad I made. Waste not, want not. I wasn’t that keen on keeping the custom stamp pad since I didn’t want to store it, as I was sure I’d never find it again. I also knew I was going to go to a Stamp camp later this year and would require some swaps, so I got as many stampings as I could from the custom stamp pad. Any left overs I’ll use for Christmas cards later in the year. When the mood hit I’d work on my swap project, either die cutting, or embossing, or sponging or …… whatever. I had to make 40 of something and I didn’t want to have to do it all in one go. The swap guidelines have been announced and we are to do Technique Tags. Easy! Today was the day to spend some time assembling some finished tags.

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And here is my effort for today. 20 tags completed. Me being me, I’ve incorporated a number of techniques into my tag, but the main ones would be emboss resist, custom stamp pad ( of course) and hand dyed lace trim. Yes, I dyed the lace too!

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I had thought to add some flower embellishments, but I think I better not overload myself with too much work. I hope these look shabby in the right kind of way – chic not cheap – lol. I don’t often do swaps, coz lets face it, everyone has a different idea about styles and tastes and efforts. I was quite pleased with last years Stamp Camp swap. I still have most of them out on display and quite often just study their composition. I’m already thinking about how I can display the Technique Tags once the swap is complete.

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So what are these changes I’m referring to in the post title? I’ve been comtemplating how I broach this subject. Where do I start? I’ll start with how I’m feeling.

Tired. Just plain old weary some days. I also have periods when it’s most days. That saddens me since I love to spend time doing my arts and crafts and blogging. I’ve always kept myself busy and loved to catch snippets of time to add a bit of crafty goodness to my day. I love the frantic pace of the Hope You Can Cling To Challenges or squeezing in some Tim Time to work on a tag or two. It was nothing unusual to work on something while having my early morning (4.30 am) cuppa as I got ready for work, or quickly stamp something just before I headed out the door to socialize. Now I’m just too weary. For now at least.

In truth, this past couple of months has been a time for me to face some changes. Some big, some not so big and some very small. But change nonetheless. In no particular order those changes involve a review of all my finances and insurances (eek!), an update of mobile phones, computers and telecomunication services (I’m ready to move into the 21st century, LOL), I’m moving house in a couple of months (thats big!), selling my car ( I liked that old girl) and a bunch of other trying things. And it all takes up a lot of time and energy.

And the bigger event(s) will be not one, but two, surgical operations at the end of May. One will be a relatively small op to restore my hearing. The other is a more intensive op on my daughter, which will see her in hospital care for several days and then several weeks off of work as she is healing. We’ve known about the need for the ops for a few years now and the time has finally arrived to get them done. By the way, in case your wondering, the ops are not related in any way, it was just a matter of timing.

There is some other changes on the horizon too, but I’ll save that reveal for another day. I think you’ll agree I’ve got more than enough to keep me occupied for now. So where does that leave me with crafting and blogging? With very little time I’m afraid. But I’m not ready to give it all away just yet, but my posts for the next few months will be a lot less often than once a week. At the very least I still want to participate in 12 tags of 2012 once a month. Anything after that will be a bonus. Once all the dust settles after I move out in July, I should be back to a more regular routine with blogging. I hope!

Thanks to all my readers for your encouragment to me to keep on moving forward.

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Categories: About me, Tags | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

What? No Pictures?

So, here I find myself on a Sunday evening, sitting quietly at my computer wondering what to blog about this week. This past week has been unusually full of life outside of the craft room. Looking back over the week, I recall Wednesday evening being the last true quiet time I had. Since then my time has been taken up with sleep, work and visitors. I doubt I had 15 minutes true rest in the past few days, apart from bed time. Would you believe I even crawled away during my lunch break on Saturday to find a place a catch some much need rest/sleep?  I could have grabbed some shut eye on a pile of jaggered rocks and still found comfort there, lol.

So the upshot of this is that I’ve got nothing to show you today. Anything I may have completed, with my Creative Chemistry 101 course earlier in the week, I never got a chance to get photographed. But despite my lack of time to experiement with techniques, or even watch the last part of the course videos for week two, I’ll have a life time access to all the class content to catch up. In truth, my head is still back in week one, with all the stuff I learnt then and ideas I still want to test from that week. I’ll be having fun for weeks, playing and learning.

I’d like to say I’ll be back with a mid week post, to fill in for todays post, but I better not test fate. Sometimes life just goes into overdrive and you just have to run with it. I love being busy, but I do manage to get a good balance of quiet time into my busy-ness. My main objective these next couple of days is to get the balance back, and unburden myself of all the stuff I feel I don’t need to carry with me into the fresh, new week.

See ya all soon. Cheers.

Categories: About me | 1 Comment

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