Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Postcard Swap - 2015 (closed)

Hello everyone!

Back in 2011 I hosted a 4x4 page swap with over 20 crafty friends from all around the world. We created a 4"x4" page for everyone in the swap, each of our own pages had to be the same that we sent to everyone in the swap - sort of like a production line. This time I am open to ideas from you all. If you don't want to make every postcard the same you are more than welcome to change them around a bit, it is totally up to you.

So I've put together some information on how it will work and you can see the pdf document by clicking HERE.

For those not wanting to click on the document, here are a few relevant details:

Create a 6”x4" sized postcard
Create from any cardstock, canvas, watercolor paper, or other lightweight surface
Can be any type of mixed media piece, card style or postcard style - whatever your style is
I would love to see some info about you on the back of the card such as, but not limited to, birthday, favourite colour(s), where you live, etc.
Info on page should reflect YOU as much as you wish to share about who you are and where you live
Also include your online info such as Twitter name, Ustream name, YouTube channel, Blog, Etsy….etc
Each page should include all the same info and be created from the same paper line, where possible – mass produce them
For example: If there are 20 in the group, make 20 of the same postcard
The page can be as dimensional or flat as you wish. Keep in mind there will be international postage for some
An invitation will be sent to you with these guidelines and Jen will track those wishing to participate so respond to her with your mailing address information. In order to keep track of all participant information please EMAIL me your details
The final list of participants will include everyone’s physical address
Each participant will mail out our pages to all other participants  as they can go as a regular letter/card and we felt this would be easiest for organisation and for mailing costs

As our online crafting group has grown exponentially since 2011 I'm thinking we might create 2 or more groups. If this is the case, After the deadline has been and gone for the first groups anyone who wants to do it again with participants from the other groups we can schedule another swap then.

So, we can start the swap now but we will have 6 months in which to post our postcards to all participants. That gives us time to get through the Christmas season. It also helps with postage - I remember most of us posted a couple a week until they were all posted. So it doesn't really take that much effort - and just think of all the art you will receive from all around the globe!!!

If you are a cardmaker, mixed media artist, art journaller, or just like to colour - please join us and share your art with us!

Please leave a comment under this post if you have any suggestions or ideas for this swap. Email me if you would like to be included in the swap. Look forward to seeing all these yummy postcards!!!

Happy Crafting!

Update on Update

Hi everyone!

I have been amazed by the amount of love and support I've received since my earlier update post.


I just wanted to let you all know how I have been handling all this to now. I am pleased to say I've turned a corner and have never been happier in my life as I am right now. I am dealing with all my past issues and am looking at a brighter future. I have never felt so loved and cared for throughout my road to recovery. I am blessed!

I'm not naive, I do know that I will have ups and downs along the road, but the difference from now on is that I now know and feel that I have the love and support from my family and friends, and I WILL continue to grow and look forward to where my life journey takes me.

I am still struggling with quitting smoking but I know it will happen in its own time, when I am ready to start that process again.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Hi everyone!

As some of you may have noticed I've been MIA from most online social media sites for almost 6 months. I have had people asking me both openly and in private messages if I was okay. My answer was always  that I have been unwell but on the road to recovery. Well I think I'm at a point now where I am comfortable talking about what's been happening. So here goes...

I started taking Champix in my attempt to quit smoking just prior to Christmas 2014. I was going really well, or so I thought. I stopped smoking completely for a couple of months until one day I just cracked. I told two of my daughters to 'commit me or I'll kill myself". Pretty hard to write that actually. I had been very emotional, crying at the drop of a hat, treating my family as if they were all against me, looking for the negative in everything. Until one day my husband (Squizz) told me he had been reading up on this Champix I was taking (prescribed by my doctor) and he said it had really bad side affects - one of which was severe depression. So he made me throw them in the bin, which I did because I knew something was not right.

Anyway, back to my daughters and what they did next after my statement.

As hard as it was for them they drove me to the hospital and I had to sign myself in, which I did - but after ensuring I could leave of my own accord the next day if all ok.

Well that was an eye opener!!!! I locked myself away in my room, ate when I had to and kept to myself. What I wasn't prepared for was to be placed there with no support! The staff on duty just left me alone - no discussions, no explanation as to what to do and what not to do. So when the staff changed shifts the next morning and I was told by my nurse that no doctors visit on Sundays. Well I lost it big time! Well, I just clammed up, put on my shoes and walked around the small enclosed outside area until I could walk no more. The nurse came back and talked to me and said she could call the doctor to see me and maybe I could be discharged. That was a huge relief. Anyway to cut a long story short I was discharged. Squizz had flown home after Mandy had phoned him to let him know what was going on (yes, I was home alone when I was going through the worst of it).

Shasz, Mandy & Squizz were waiting for my release and once the doctor signed the discharge form I was out of there as quick as I could. I am still in shock with the way I was treated when I arrived there. How do other people without family or friend support cope with that? The mind boggles. No wonder we have so many dysfunctional people in the world! This whole mental health system needs to be fixed!!!

So I saw my GP not long after that and was referred to a psychiatrist where I learned that severe depression and suicide is a major side affect when taking Champix. Why on earth do they still prescribe it??? I was told that people with no depressive history and for no reason have taken their lives or attempted to take their own life whilst taking Champix. This is not the case for me.

I won't go into detail but I will give you a brief outline of my life history. I am one of 8 kids. My mother left my abusive alcoholic father when she was pregnant with his 7th child. Mum put us into an orphanage due to pressure from the Catholic nuns and priests. I was eight years old at the time. There was no government help or assistance of any kind back in those days, my maternal grandmother had a large family and still had a few at home so we couldn't stay there (too many of us). My paternal grandmother was a nasty selfish b**ch so we couldn't stay there. So off we went to Cowper Orphanage (run by the Catholics) on the train with mum.

There was a dormitory for boys and a dormitory for girls. Four of my brothers were together and me and my sister were together. My sister was only 5 at the time and still wet the bed. Not a problem - Jen had to change the sheets and bath her before she could go eat breakfast every morning. I missed breakfasts most days. I remember one day after school (there was a school in the orphanage grounds) we used to have fruit. Mostly it was mangoes because there was a mango tree on the grounds (to this day I will not eat mangoes), but this afternoon we were having something other than mangoes and I really really wanted that fruit! So instead of washing our socks I went straight for the fruit. I got caught and got a couple of whacks of the cane for my troubles. I didn't do that again (that I can remember LOL)

I remember the dining room, my elder brother sat next to me - I now know why, he used to pile all his vegetables that he didn't like onto my plate and I had to eat them. One day he got caught and one of the nuns pulled him up out of his chair by his ear and he got a caning for that.

I remember fainting at church every Sunday.

I remember banana sandwiches for lunch on Sundays - loved those!

I remember there were only two of us in year 2, although kindergarten to year 4 were all in the one room. Nicholas and I vied for top position all the time.

I remember one of my brothers trying to run away once, they found him up a tree and brought him back.

I remember visits from our mother. They had a little cottage on the grounds where parents could stay. Mum did that as often as she could. I also remember her bringing our youngest brother for us to meet him. He slept in one of the drawers in the cottage because they didn't have any cribs for him. We had a nativity play at Christmas time and our baby brother was baby Jesus.

I remember learning to knit at the orphanage.

What I don't remember was the day mum came to take us home with her. I don't know why I don't remember that day. So sad. Anyway Mum had gone back to work (registered nurse), got a house (government home) and furnished it as best she could and then came to collect us. Mum was a very proud woman and could never give up her children. She worked hard to get us back out of the orphanage, there was so much pressure put on her by the nuns and priests to let us be adopted but she would not hear of it. I thank her for that.

Anyway a lot more had happened during my years growing up. Yes we were poor, yes we were looked down upon, Yes I was the eldest daughter so yes I did all the work. I had no childhood as such. I was never allowed to go and 'play' so I never did make any friends. To this day I do not know how. I have been abused by both my father and a so-called step-father.

I have been rejected by my mother, by my school peers, by almost everyone I have come in contact with. Most of that has been my fault though, as I do not know how to be me. I have always been this person for that one and that person for this one, and so on. I have never felt loved by my family. I don't even think I know how to love. I guess I do, I just don't FEEL it. I have a loving husband, three loving daughters and four gorgeous grandkids. I just want to FEEL the love that I know must be there. I have built up a protective barrier throughout my life and I am finally trying to break it down, bit by bit. I want to find out who I am.

I am currently seeing a psychologist who is helping me break down my barriers. I feel positive about the future and the communication lines are well and truly open!

I know this may not seem like any great issue for some of you, and I also know that there are many many more people out there that are worse off than I will ever be. But this is me, this is my struggle and it's real to me. I am on anti-depressants at the moment and seeing my GP regularly and I have a great family support network for which I am eternally grateful!

So....as soon as I left the hospital I lit up a cigarette. Yes I'm still smoking but I am trying to cut down and will try quitting again when I am stronger. There are more important issues to deal with before then.

Well you have seen a GLIMPSE into my background now. Just know that this is only a small piece of what I've gone through but it gives you a good overview of what I have been dealing with these past few months.

I have missed my online art buddies but I needed to be stronger in order to deal with the online issues that we deal with. I also needed to be stronger in order to tell my story. I needed to tell my story so that I can be true to myself and to those around me. I need all the help and support I can get in order to get through this.

Over the past few days I have streamed live and have been overwhelmed by my fibs (friends in the box). Thank you all for being YOU!

Take care

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Twitter Watercolour Card Class Rerun

Hi again!!! Three posts in as many days - something's up with that LOL.

Our Twitter group were discussing watercolour techniques in a stream recently and we decided we wanted to do the class TOGETHER again.

So those that did the class before are in again PLUS A FEW MORE! 

Starting this Thursday 22 January 2015, we will make a card using any one of the techniques shown in that day's class from the Online Card Classes web site which is hosted by Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire.

I should explain first. Online Card Classes run various card classes throughout the year such as Watercolour, Clean & Simple, Copic Markers, Stretch Your Stamps, etc. The cost is minimal and you get at least three different videos with pdf tutorials each day, the Watercolor class went for 11 days! That's over 30 videos with written tutorials! They also have guest instructors which allows for a wide variety of styles too! The beauty of these classes is that if you buy a class, the videos & pdfs are available to you forever, or as long as they are on the web. You can go back any time to view the videos, download the pdfs, etc.

Anyway, when this class started a few of us decided we would tweet a pic of our completed card using that day's techniques from the class. We want to do it again so that we can have some fun with it again while making cards and reinforcing what we learned. So here's my take on Day 1 of the Watercolor Class :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Card Series - Birthday #19

Hi everyone! Back again with week 2 of my 52 week card series for 2015.

This time I have another aged birthday card, this time it's a more simple card. This card was inspired by a card I found on Pinterest. The lady that makes these also sells them in her Etsy store at DaizyBlueDesigns. You can buy them from here. Well here goes!

Card Base: White cardstock cut to 8 1/4" x 5 1/4" scored in half at 4 1/8" (side folding card), Bottom right corner punched with We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

Top Layer: Black cardstock cut to 5" x 3 7/8", bottom right corner punched with We R Memory Keepers corner chomper

Before cutting the top layer I created a document in Microsoft Word, inserted a text box the same size as the top layer cardstock and typed in the following lines:

"is only 15 in Scrabble"

I then printed the document onto cardstock, cut it down to size then stamped the "SIXTY" scrabble tiles using Tuxedo Black Memento ink.

Once the stamped word was dry I took an E00 Copic marker and coloured in the scrabble tiles.

Using the Learning Curve Cricut cartridge I cut the 60 from black cardstock using the Shadow option at 1 3/4". I adhered these numbers at the top of the top layer using Scotch Quick Dry adhesive. I then took my clear Wink of Stella pen and covered the 60 making it all shiny and sparkly!

That's it! Job done! Just adhere the top layer to the card base.

Oh, forgot about the inside sentiment. Because it's a black card base I cut another piece of white cardstock to 5" x 3 7/8", adhered it to the inside of the card and stamped the sentiment from the KaiserCraft stamp set "Today". Again, don't forget to chomp the bottom right corner of each piece!

So here's the finished product!

OK, so it is VERY plain! So I decided to go surfing for a scrabble board background online. Found one and softened it so it was barely noticeable, printed it out onto white cardstock, stamped the scrabble tiles, attached the 60 and put it all together and here is the result of that one (NOTE: you may need to enlarge it to see the actual board in the background LOL).

OK, two down, 50 to go! Here's the link to this week's card on YouTube:

Card Series - Birthday #19

Card Series - Birthday #18

This is week 1 of my 52 week challenge of making a card and uploading it to YouTube each week of 2015! So here we go!

I decided I need a lot more aged birthday cards to add to my market stall so I searched my craft room for my Cricut, found it and switched it on! I needed to cut some numbers for the aged birthday card - multiple of them as I will glue them together to give dimension.

I started by cutting down a piece of white cardstock to 5" x 3 7/8" and using the middle sized die in the SimonSaysStamp "Balloons" die set, positioned the die in the centre of the cardstock and ran it through my big shot.

Balloon die

Next I took a piece of cardstock that was at least 3 1/2" tall by 3 1/2" wide and took the following distress inks and sponged them on in the form of a rainbow:

Distress Inks: barn door, wild honey, squeezed lemonade, shabby shutters, broken china, chipped sapphire

distress inks coloured across the paper in rainbow format
I then did the same thing, sponging on the above inks on a piece of white cardstock measuring at least 2 1/4" x 6". Placed this piece onto my Cricut mat, using the Learning Curve cartridge I cut the 70 using SHADOW feature and size at 1 3/4".

Ensure orientation correct before cutting (red at top)

To dimensionalise the numbers I cut 3 of each of the 7 and 0 using white cardstock and adhered them together with the coloured cardstock on top.

I then heat embossed the numbers using Versamark embossing ink and Ranger Holographic Embossing Powder which gave it a shiny sparkly finish.

Shiny & Sparkly

Next I stamped the "happy birthday" sentiment using Onyx Black Versafine ink at the top of the layer. This stamp was from the Hero Arts "Year Round Sentiment" stamp set.

I then stamped the "celebrate" (KaiserCraft "Save the Date") again using Onyx Black Versafine ink, then the "Let's" was stamped with the same ink. I do not have the packaging for this stamp but I'm sure it's from See Dee's. Both of these stamps are poor quality!

I then placed a strip of double-sided tape on the back of this top layer to hold the Baker's Twine in place while I wrapped it around the top layer of the card. I then tied a bow and adhered it down using Ranger Multi Matte Medium.

I hand wrote the "th" next to the zero using a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen sized XS in black.

I rounded all bottom edges using my We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper with the 1/2" side.

Next I applied foam tape to the back of the top layer and adhered it to the middle layer (yellow cardstock cut to 4" x 5 1/8") then adhered it to the front of a card base cut at 4 1/8" x 10 1/2" scored in half at 5 1/4" (this is a top folding card).

The inside sentiment "Today is your day!" from KaiserCraft's "Today" stamp set was stamped using Onyx Black Versafine ink.

And here is how it turned out!

And here is another variation of this type of card that I made also:

Oh here's the link to the YouTube video on the making of this card.

Card Series - Birthday #18

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

It's been a while since I last blogged, the silly season sure does take its toll on me! Anyway I'm back!

A while back my middle daughter, Shasz, made a deal with me that she would stop drinking if I quit smoking. That was back in June 2014. Shasz quit drinking for 4 months but I was to start the process of quitting smoking in December 2014. So I stuck to my end of the bargain and began the Champix program on 15 December 2014. You can smoke up to the first 2 weeks of taking the Champix but I went over that. It was probably on day 18 that I had almost a full packet of cigarettes so I decided that this was not going to happen if I didn't stop smoking. So I began to smoke the remaining cigarettes almost chain smoking until I couldn't smoke any more! I think there were about 6 cigarettes remaining. I scrunched them up and threw them in the bin!

Well I started off so good! I think I went 10 or 11 days without smoking a single cigarette! It was not easy, don't let anyone ever tell you it is easy. This would have to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life! I started smoking when I was 15 and I will be 55 this year, so almost 40 years of smoking, most of which I smoked the highest strength (16mg).

Then I don't know what prompted me to do it but I lit up and had a few cigarettes. I continued to have anywhere from one to three cigarettes a day until yesterday. I told myself I was weak and pathetic if I couldn't do this. I talk myself out of having a cigarette on a minute by minute basis at the moment. It's constantly in my mind! I need to keep busy and put my mind to better use than thinking about smoking all the time. I can do this, I will do this!

So since I decided to quit smoking before the New Year I made a resolution I think I can keep LOL. I have decided I am going to try to blog more and I will need to as I also promised myself to upload a video to YouTube each week for the entire year - yes that's correct, 52 videos - at least!

Stay tuned as I update my progress along the way.