OLW2018 - February...

The February prompt for OLW2018 didn't come easily to me.  I found loads of pictures etc that spoke to me but when it came to putting my vision board together, it just didn't seem right so I went back to my magazines and started again, only to end up with the same problem.  I decided to give it away, not worry about this months prompt.  But today, in a quiet house all by myself I found 6 images that spoke to me but didn't seem to fit the idea of what I wanted in my head.  I decided to let these images guide me, and just like that my vision board started to come together.  

I paused for awhile to take it all in, potter about to find just the right wording to add.  Not rushing,just letting it come to be what it will be.  I found several quotes/wording that said just what I needed them to say so I added them to my board.

My vision board has ended up nothing like I had planned for it to look.  I was going to add images of vegetables, exercise, books, etc etc.  The images were going to cover all the areas that I want to tackle this year with my word.  But when I had all those images, for some reason I just couldn't get them to come together on a vision board.  I was frustrated, very frustrated.  After deciding to give it all away and just sloth on the couch with a coffee and an intention to read some magazines that I hadn't got to yet, it just happened.  I had six images that I wanted, loved and somehow found a real connection to.

I am quickly finding this year, that when I try to force things, it doesn't work.  But when I step back, slow down and accept that the timing is not right for what ever it is that I need to happen.  The right thing happens instead.

I love this top one, "no looking back, love where you're going".  It's a great reminder that the life I had before is not the same anymore, Cancer has changed that.  I have no idea what the future holds for me health wise, but I can't think about the past anymore, I need to focus on the future, what ever that is and embrace it.

Love me :-)


Embracing the grey...

It's been awhile since I have done any documenting in my "side trip" adventure with breast cancer album so I thought it was about time.  And, this story is one that I have wanted to tell for some time.
When you lose your hair from chemo it's devastating I can tell you.  You know it's going to happen but I don't thing you can ever really be truly prepared for it.  Right from the beginning though I was told that when it grows back it will probably come back grey and curly.  Well curly part is no where to be seen but the grey has certainly come in thick and fast.  Some days I don't mind the grey but other days not so much.  Everyone says that it really suits me, both the short hair and the grey.  As I said, still not sure how I feel about it although I love the simplicity of it.  Just wash and towel dry. Bam! hair done.  What's not to love about that.
It's probably not a hair style that I would choose for myself but sometimes life doesn't always give you what you would choose.  So I am making the most of it and embracing the grey.

When Paislee Press released the "messy beautiful" digital kit I couldn't believe it when I saw the "this hair" element.  It was perfect for my story and it reminded me it was time to tell the story.

What are you embracing lately?

Love me :-)


What I cooked in January...

One of the things that I have challenged myself to this year is cooking.  Of course I can cook.  Well actually I am more of a cook to survive type of cook.  I cook very basic stuff (enough so that we don't die) and I definitely must follow a  recipe.  Cooking has never really been something that I am very good at or very interested in actually.  I find the whole thing to be quite boring.  Actually, boring is the wrong word.  I am just not that into it, I can always think of a hundred things I would rather be doing than cooking.  Plus my family are quite fussy and it's very hard to come up with something that everyone likes.

However, I have decided to get a better attitude (this is a tough one but I am trying) and try and cook more.  But not just my usual stuff, I want to branch out and try different things (and by different I mean different to me, remember plain, boring cook here).  I am also not going to worry too much about whether everyone will like it or not.

So here we go!  This is what I cooked in January...

Chicken and Potatoes with Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce
Recipe from Damn Delicious
Photo from Damn Delicious

I found this originally on Pinterest, posted it to my board "Tasty Treats to Try" but sat on it for a couple of weeks.  But I finally decided to take the plunge and have a go.  I read quite a few of the comments regarding this recipe and the general consensus was that it needed to be cooked for longer than thirty minutes.  With this in mind I put it all together, cut my potatoes quite small and cooked it for just over one hour.
Very tasty, very tasty indeed.
Score (from my husband) 7/10
Three out of four of us liked it
Will try it again, but with chicken breasts as my family don't really like eating things off the bone.

Recipe from Lil Luna
Photo from Lil Luna

It was Saturday and no one could be bothered cooking.  Usually these types of nights mean that we go through the freezer and pull out anything that can be chucked in the oven.  Tonight was no different.  We had some party pies/sausage rolls and some crumbed chicken pieces but for some reason I felt like trying something different.  I went through my trusty Pinterest board, came across these and gave them a go.  
These were quite tasty but needed to cook for longer than suggested.  Next time I will cut the puff pastry pieces bigger and use a little less feta cheese (taste was quite strong)
Score (from husband) 7/10
Three out of four of us tried them and three out of three of us liked it.
Will definitely try this again making a few adjustments as mentioned above.

Recipe from Yum
Photo from Yum

As soon as I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it.  It was simple, easy to put together and tasted super delicious.  It got a thumbs up all round (except my son but then he doesn't like anything except spaghetti bolognese and I have explained that we cannot eat that every night).
Score (from husband) 8/10  woohoo!
All four of us ate it, but as usual one didn't like it (but ate it) the rest of us loved it.
Will definitely be making this one again.

Super happy with myself that I stepped up and cooked some different things this month.  I was also happy that I did three new recipes.  

So there you have it...what I cooked in January.  Lets see if I can do it again in February!

Love me :-)


Card making - my process...

I am in card making frenzy today as we are celebrating three birthdays tonight, two first birthday's and one sixteenth.  I thought I would share with you my process when making cards using digital products.  Over the past year or so I have been using digital products more and more because I love  that there is no limit as to how I can use them.  By far my most used digital kit is the "Oh Happy Day" digital scrapbook from Paislee Press by Liz Tamanaha.  There are so many choices in this kit to allow for any type of birthday that  is being celebrated, especially for the men in your life.  But again that is the advantage with digital products, I can even change the colour on most things so I really am unlimited with choice.

When I first start to put a card together using digital products, I start out in photoshop and play around with design, colours and embellishments.  Once I am happy with the basic design I print out all of the elements  (as seen in above photo).  I also "save as" the card design so that I can use it again.

My next step is to cut all the elements out.  Sometimes when I am designing the card in photoshop I may be torn between a few elements, not sure how I want the card to look.  If this happens I print out the extra pieces even if I am not sure if I will use them.  It's easier to do it as this stage because there is usually some space left on your initial print and it saves having to go back and print again and waste a whole sheet of cardstock.
When I was making two of these cards I was unsure if I wanted to include a number "one" or not on the card.  These cards are for my great niece and nephew who are turning one and I didn't know if I liked the look of the number on the card or not so I printed them out anyway.  As it turned out I loved how it looked on the card.  Making things with digital products is no different than physical product.  Sometimes things look better when you can play around with them physically.

The other thing I love about this digital kit is that I was able to use it to make a first birthday card as well as a sixteen birthday card.  Plus, two of the cards are for boys and one for a girl.  So as I said, digital is so versatile.

I have also go into the habit lately of making an extra card.  I figure I already have all the stuff out so  I might as well make an extra one to add to my stash.  For the card below all I have to do is add some number stickers to the front once I know what birthday is being celebrated.

I hope that you found this helpful and I hope that it may inspire you to give products a go.  If you have any questions please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments below.

Happy card making!
Love me :-)


A new adventure...

Nothing is more exciting than planning a new adventure, booking a holiday.  Sometimes I think I get more enjoyment from the actual planning than I do the holiday.  
2017 was a shit year for us (sorry about the language but it was just that shit!) and although I am still going through treatment, there is an end in sight.  Many people said that we should book a holiday and get away as a little celebration for getting through the whole breast cancer thing.  So that's exactly what we have done.  We have booked to go to Dubai and Holland and I can't wait.

I was so excited that I wanted to create a layout about a new adventure.  Paislee Press has just released some new 2018 Calandar Cards and Overlays and I love how they have turned out on the layout.  I wanted to somehow show when our adventure was booked for and these calendar cards were perfect.  

Everything on this layout is a digital product (from Paislee Press) including the pattern paper.  The only things not digital are the gold stars and the paint splatters.  As usual, I first designed my layout in the photoshop elements and then when I was happy I printed all the pieces out, then created my layout.

So now the countdown begins...

Love me :-)


Eat cake - birthday cards...

January is a busy time for us with Birthdays, lots of Birthdays.  So, that means lots of cards and one thing I am trying to do this year is to make my cards ahead of time, to be organised.  Usually I am sticking down pieces onto a card as I am walking out the door.

One thing that has made "being organised" possible is my move to digital elements and papers to make my cards.  I don't mean making a digital card and sending it via email, I mean using digital products to make my card making easier.  Since being on the Creative Team for Paislee Press I have learned to use digital elements/papers etc more and more.  I think I have said it before, but using digital products means that I can plan my project in photoshop, make sure I am happy with everything then print out all the pieces and put it together.

When I design a card in photoshop, once I am happy with my final product I save it as a PSE file so that all the layers are retained.  I do this so that if I need another card I can simply print it out as is or change things around if I need to before printing it out.  It also means  I can use the same card for a male or female, I just need to change the pattern paper or an element.  It's the same if I want to add numbers/age to the front of the card, if I need to redo the card I can just simply change the numbers to fit the situation.

Below is each of the cards after I have printed all the elements out and then put it together to create the card.  The last photo is what the cards looks like digitally.

Here are the cards in digital format:-
It also means I never run out of my favourite paper or embellishment, because all I have to do it print it out.  And it also means that I can stop hoarding all my cards.  You know what I mean, you make a card and you just love it and you just can't bear to give it away.  Now I can give it away and simply print off another one.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by and happy card making.
Love me :-)

Please note:  Digital papers and elements used are from the "Oh Happy Day" collection from Paislee Press available at The Lily Pad.


Book review #2...

I have read my second book already for the year and it makes me so happy.

I was a little unsure how I would feel about this book.  I was scared that it might be a little too close to home.  A very dear family friend bought it for me so I felt like I needed to at least try and read it.  I loved it.  I loved it so much I read it in two days.  And yes, it was very close to home.  It was like reading MY story but it actually felt good to read it.  It sought of validated my feelings if that makes sense.  It was good to know that these weird thoughts and feelings that I have had/have are totally normal in a very "not normal" time in my life.  I laughed, cried and at times nodded my head saying out loud "yes! that is so right".

Andrea Hutton wrote this book in simple to understand language but also straight to the point.  It was clear and concise with a lot of great advice.  My favourite parts were her "top 5" list at the end of every topic.  So many great tips in those lists and if you are currently going through treatment for breast cancer it is a great read.  As I said it's not difficult to read, a nice simple book but with loads of great advice and great laughs along the way.

I added my review to my "Read" travellers notebook using papers from Felicity Jane Studio along with digital elements, die cuts and journal cards from the "Mark your Place" kit from Brandi Kincaid and Feed Your Craft.  The kit has sold out but the die cuts (my personal favourite) and digital elements are still available here.

I am really enjoying getting back into reading, now I only hope that I can keep this up.

Enjoy your week
Love me :-)

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