Sunday, 27 February 2011

Week #8 of my NEW52 life ...

I really wasn't sure what my "new" for this week was going to be. I couldn't think of anything I'd done that would count. I hadn't tried any new recipes, I hadn't been anywhere new and I hadn't tried any new digi-scrapping techniques. Heck! What was I going to blog about?

DH must have heard me pondering what to do, because last weekend, he said he was "popping out for a bit" and about 2hrs later, returned home and handed me a small bag. Inside was this beautiful charm style necklace / bracelet set ...

Do I have the best DH or what? I love the style (I've got a thing for BIG beads and charms at the moment!) and the colour is a beautiful mottled jade ... swoooooooon!

Thank you babe ... your NEW gift to me is gorgeous and I ♥ it.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Week #7 of my NEW52 life ...

My NEW for this week is big, huge, massive, life changing! OK, that last one might be a slight exaggeration, but never-the-less, you get the idea, right? But before I tell you about it, I want to give you a bit of back history, to tell you a little bit about how I arrived at digi-scrapping and blogging. So in true story-teller fashion I'll ask you this question ... are you sitting comfortably? OK, then I'll begin ...

On 5th February 2009 the world as I knew it, shattered. I remember it like is was yesterday. It had snowed the night before and when I arrived at the office, a few colleagues and I built a snowman, we were like kids, messing about, snowball fighting and creating snow angels.

The day was like any other, a mixture of meetings and phone calls, then at 3:30pm my boss asked me to step into her office. It wasn't a scheduled meeting, so I had no idea what it was about and I certainly didn't expect what happened next.

I didn't get upset, I didn't get angry. I simply said that I understood, that I was disappointed, but I understood. Then I went back to my desk and carried on working until 5pm. I said "good night" to colleagues and that was that. The end of my career with the company.

Losing my job smack bang in the middle of one of the worst economic recessions [in my living memory] was awful. But one good thing to came from it, was all the unexpected free time I gained. Time that allowed me to truly discover the delights of digi-scrapping. Time that allowed me to share my enthusiasm for all things digital and creative. Time that allowed me to create this blog where I could share my passions with anyone of cared to read about them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Fast forward to the end of July 2010. I received a phone call from my "ex" boss asking if I was available to do some temping work in the office? My "old" office. For the company that had made my job redundant some 18 months earlier.

At first it was odd being back, but at the same time,it was almost like I'd never been away! It felt good to be able to help, to put my years of experience and knowledge to use again. But alas, all too soon my temporary contract came to an end. "Oh well!", back to the digi-scrapping drawing board (whilst job hunting of course. LOL!), I thought.

Two quick months later and I received another phone call from my "ex-ex" boss, again asking if I was available to do some more temping work? Sure. Why not? The money before Christmas would come in very handy.

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That was almost 4 months ago and I'm still temping at my "old" office. But not for long ... you see I've been offered a permanent contract back with my "old" company! Eeeeekkk! Almost exactly 2 years later and I'm back. And it feels good. And it feels like coming home after a long holiday. Welcome back me.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Week #6 of my NEW52 life ...

I'm keeping it short and sweet this week, much like my new haircut ...



Note to self:- the light at my desk in the afternoon is slightly better than it is in the morning, but still not great. Oh, and the higher resolution on my webcam is better too!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

And the nominations are ...

click here to go to {the} Mscraps Oscars forum

Have you checked out out the digi-scrapping award ceremony taking place at Mscraps right now?

There are some fabulous categories ... such as "best use of a template", "best non-photo page" & "most humorous page" and the prizes, oh my goodness ... they are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!

You really don't want to miss this! Check out the Mscraps forum here for full details. Oh, and get your working on your acceptance speech ... you may just be a winner!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Week #5 of my NEW52 life ...

I've lived in the same town for almost 18 years now, so I guess I should consider it "my home town". Yet despite living here for that length of time, there are still towns and villages within a 10 mile radius of "my home town" that I've never explored ... until TODAY that is!

I'd read about an antiques & collectibles fair that was being held in the town of Wallingford, which is only 8 miles down the road. I'd mentioned to DH that I'd like to go, just to have a browse around, but is facial expression said it all ... not really his type of thing. Not one to be easily deterred, I decided to venture out on my own, jumped in my car and started driving in the rough direction of Wallingford. At this point, it should be said that I'm not a sat-nav kind of girl ... oh no! I prefer the old fashioned method of map and/or road sign reading (both of which are dying art-forms I fear) and with the need for only one U-turn, I found Wallingford town centre and more importantly, somewhere to safely park my car.

You're probably thinking now would be a good time to insert a photo. Well yes it would ... HOWEVER ... I actually forgot to take my camera with me (shock! gasp! horror!), so you'll either just have to take my word for it, when I tell you that Wallingford is one of the most charming towns I've ever visited, or you'll have to come and visit for yourself (and I'd do the later if I were you!).

The town has an abundance of antique shops, little treasure troves, Aladdin's caves full of curiosities and collectibles from every era imaginable. By far my favourite find of the day was The Lamb Arcade. It's a fabulous historic building that has 40+ small businesses spread over the three uneven, creaky floors. It's full of cubby-holes, alcoves and rooms packed to the rafters with charming nic-nacs and beautiful objet d'art.

(c) Anne Brewer Antiques, Furnishings & Gifts

One of the nicest things about Wallingford town, is the selection of independently owned shops. There were thankfully very few of the usual high street chain stores and the town has capitalised on it's quaint, twisty narrow streets and alleyways, as every time you turn a corner, you come across another unique little shop selling things that you never realised you needed, hand-made soaps, hand-made shoes, hand-made jewellery, hand-made cards ... LOTS of hand-made, custom creations ... my kind of town.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Traci Murphy Designs blog blitz ...

So right now you may be thinking "what the heck's a blog blitz?". Well, it's an opportunity for you, my dear reader, to get the low down on a specific designer and read honest reviews of a featured kit from said designer. The reviews are written by people just like you & me. In other words, real people, with real experiences and REAL opinions. Are you with me so far?

OK, so you've probably figured out from my post title that Traci Murphy is the designer we're "blitzing" today. The kit I'm reviewing is this one, Ring It In ...

Now, I'll be honest (after all that's what this post is all about right?), my first reaction when I saw the kit preview was "oh, I'm not sure about the those masks!". But actually, once I'd downloaded the kit, those masks became the key element I definitely wanted to include in my page.

I was seriously delighted with the paper choices in this kit. There's a great selection of plain papers (8 in total), all of which have a really nice subtle texture to them. There's also a funky collection of vibrant patterned papers (15 in total), each of which has a plain paper to compliment it.

I've got to say that I was a little disappointed by the relatively small selection of elements in the kit (11 in total). Having said that, what there was, were of good quality, great colour and the splendor and pizazz of those masks made up for what I initially felt was missing in terms of elements quantity. It's worth noting that you also get a full set of very sparkly alphas in the kit, which is great for titles or adding a bit bling to your page! None of the elements are pre-shadowed, which is useful if you're an experienced digi-scrapper as it means you have total control over such matters, but I can imagine some newer digi-scrappers may find the elements looking a bit flat and kind of lost on their page (kwim?) because of the lack of shadow.

So I've talked a bit about the kit contents ... I suppose you'd like to see the page I created with it, yes? OK, here you go ...

click here for credits

Do you want to hear some EXCITING news about Traci??? Well, she's been dipping her toes in the water at Oscraps for a couple of months now, but I'm thrilled to say she's decided to take the plunge and make the "O" her hOme. Woo-hoo!

How do you fancy seeing more of Traci's designs and possibly winning a PRIZE as well? Then check out the fabulously fun Gallery Crawl challenge Traci's set for you. It's really simple ...

1.) Grab a spot in this thread

2.) Go to the Traci's designer gallery and start leaving some love on the wonderful layouts there!

3.) After every comment - copy the link to that layout and paste it back in this thread - - by editing your original post! (each post should hold approximately 100 links before you need to create a new post to continue your list.) Please do not create a new post for each link. We ask that you don't just copy & paste or leave one word comments (such as "beautiful", "gorgeous", "lovely" etc). We want to make sure that each layout receives genuine comments and love. Hope you understand where we're coming from!

Bonus ~ Bonus ~ Bonus
As part of the Traci Murphy Designs Blog Blitz, several friends have created layouts and done their own kit reviews on their blog. You can earn BONUS entry to the prize draw by visiting their blog, reading their review and leaving a comment (one entry per blog). For details of the blogs involved, check out this thread

Thanks for stopping by today ... I hope you'll come and visit again soon!

NB: I was provided a with a free copy of Traci Murphy Designs' Ring It In kit by However, my review was not influenced by it being a free kit. I say this just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. :-)