Hello my lovelies,
Are you all still here??
Thank you for sticking around during my many long absences in the past year.
As I want to give you the option to just look at my latest creation without having to read "my story", I'll post my update below.
I was quickly flipping through some challenge blogs this afternoon and happened upon this gorgeous new challenge over at Jay Gee's Nook. The picture is exquisite and I was inspired to get inky!!
I was quite taken with several of the actual photos and their contents and will more than likely create again based on this, but for today's card, I went with the overall colours represented here.
I've used one of my brand new Hero Arts 2012 stamps. I've had a love affair with all things Paris/French themed for a long time and so this stamp will see plenty of ink. I know I'm not alone in the "french" thing - there's been such an influx of parisian products on the market recently - my heart is so happy. :)
I'm a bit rusty with the ol' Blogger so am just going to list the items I used below. I'll practice using inlinkz and try that again for next time. ;)
I'm also linking this one into the Clean and Simple Classes that I'm following with Kristina, Jennifer, Julie and friends. I've joined every class these lovelies have had so far - and though I may not have participated in many of them, I've come away with valuable tips and learnt some new things. Well worth the few $$$ since I can't get to classes at any of the LSS's around here. This is based on the 3rd of Kristina's sketches from Day 1.
And sorry the photo's a bit dark - it's late at night here and I wanted to get my first post for 2012 up.
Stamps: Hero Arts Newspaper Eiffel Tower CL417 and Paris CL325
Inks: Distress Inks: Chipped Sapphire, Walnut Stain, Mustard Seed, Peeled Paint, Old Paper, Frayed Burlap and Scattered Straw (Sentiment panel); Versamark
Cardstock: PTI White Stampers Select and Kraft
Other: Black Embossing Powder, PTI Enchanted Evening Button, The Twinery Buttercream Twine, EK Success Punch Dotted Scallop, Cuttlebug Houndstooth Embossing Folder, Cuttlebug
You know it was a challenging year for me, a year I was grossly unprepared for. But I have survived it. I am in a much better place these days than I have been for some time. And I believe that I have emerged a stronger, more compassionate person as a result.
Last year started with my family and friends being impacted in every possible way in Queensland's devastating floods in the beginning of 2011. I was also caught up in them as well as I was visiting home with my Mama. I'll never have words to describe quite how it felt to see the area I grew up in and loved ones devastated in this unprecedented manner. Nevertheless, we've just passed the first anniversaries and life goes on. Some have been able to make grounds in getting on already and have resumed building/restoration works, but there are many who are waiting and waiting and waiting on dollars (either from Insurers or the Government) and resources before any work can even begin.
Then as you know my beloved Mama became quite unwell in early April and passed away after giving it quite a fight at the end of June. She's was very peaceful and went quietly in her sleep and I'm grateful that she is no longer struggling or suffering, but I miss her bunches. It's a loss that one can never fully recover from - how can you when a parent leaves forever, but life does go on. It is coming up to 7 months since she passed and the tears don't fall every day anymore. Though they are never far away and are triggered by the slightest thing; a remembered moment, a familiar smell or sight....or even just the fact that I miss her so much.
Then some dear friends lost a much wanted baby in early August and we had the precious wee girl's funeral on the same day that my family marked 10years since my niece, Katelyn, had passed away.
And just as I was preparing myself to face my first Christmas without Mum, a very dear friend lost his life quite unexpectedly in early December. Really threw me, I have to say. Steve was like a Dad to me, I even called him 'Papa Bear', and he'd been there for me through life's up and downs over the years. His funeral, however, was such a celebration of a life lived fully that we were able to comfort ourselves in knowing that Steve loved life and all with 100% of his being and that we will see him again one day. He always had a joke and a kind word ready for anyone who crossed his path and that has challenged me to do the same.
I passed a quiet Christmas with some very dear friends. Both my brother and sister were away with their respective in-laws for the first time and though I was invited to travel with both of them, I declined. I wanted to be near home and have a low-key day. Started with a lovely service at my church where I was surrounded by some very dear, long-time friends and then the rest of my day was spent in the company of a husband and wife who have been very dear friends for well over 19years now.
I managed a trip up to Queensland for the New Year and saw in 2012 on a friend's farm, almost in the middle of nowhere. Was perfect! One of the local towns had a rodeo on during the day and into the evening and I went along with a friend. Was a hoot! Has been a very long time since I attended a rodeo and I loved every dusty minute of it. Its an annual event, though last year it was cancelled as the grounds were under inches/metres of water!!
So 2012 is here and I'm resolved to throw myself headfirst into all that it holds. I'm hoping the highs far outweigh the lows this year and I'm expecting so many good things to happen, not just to me but to all those I love too.
And I've been busy the past few weeks in re-organising my studio and am almost there! It was in such a state having been moved a few times last year. And with all that was going on I just never got my act into gear to get it sorted. I'm fairly sure I've got some serious culling to do....one of the things I did was make an inventory of all the stamp sets, dies, inks, tools, markers, etc that I have and seriously - I think I have more than one person could ever use in their lifetime. I think I'll start removing those things that I no longer use or am not likely to use again and start giving them away or selling them so I can then make room for more! Ha! It's a never-ending cycle isn't it?
I promise I'll do a studio post soon so you can see where my craft space came from and the transitions it's made to get to what it is today.
And 2012 will now see me blogging more. I started creating again late in 2011 for an advent swap I was a part of and will show you those soon.
I'm itching to get inky more and more these days and am branching out into off the page and canvas/mixed media art too. Such fun getting all inky and painty. The best possible therapy.
Hope you are all well, my sweet friends.
I'll try and pop around your blogs more often too.
To those of you who messaged me or sent me cards - I apologise for not being by to personally say thank you...I will, I promise - it's just taken me longer to get back on my feet than I thought. Thank you for your kind words and prayers and hugs sent across the miles - they are very precious to me and shall never be forgotten.