Wednesday, 31 March 2010

WOYWW/ Missing In Action/Goodbye Tommy/ I'm 'Back in the Room'

W A R N I N G ---- THIS IS A LONG POST!! ----  

Well blogging buddies, where to start???

Firstly - my desk i suppose- after all, I couldn't miss WOYWW could I and at least I'm here to visit everyone in return this week - so sorry i didn't come and see you all last week.  I was somewhat otherwise engaged...

oops, all a bit messy!!! - and not even like its down to crafting!

Had a few things delivered since my last desk post which was somewhat of a postdated, present past and future tense affair!! (hope you followed it).  There are some bits and bobs of an order (can't remember where from), I had a Kirsty Wiseman CD delivered and some little goodies that Pat from Patcrafts / Pat's Blog sent and also some lovely bits that Gez from GezzyB's Crafty Bits included with her card too - thanks both!  I also have had lovely cards from Anne (Liverpool Lou) and one all the way from America - from our Brenda (Butlers abroad) - also Angela from Toucan Scraps did me a digial card - how clever is that - it moved with balloons on and everything (thanks Angela - truely talented) in fact, you are all a talented and generous bunch o' gals!!

My 'get well soon cards' i've received so far are adorning the curtain rail and windowsill in my bedroom where i can enjoy them along with some refreshing yellow tulips and daffodils, and a couple of very special pressies from the equally special WIPSO who has been keeping you up to date on her blog about my 'little visit' to hospital etc. and a marvelous job she's done of that as well as being a MASSIVE support to me via text too.  THANK YOU ANNIE!!! (she even sent me a pic of her, Twiglet and their friend on the Funday Monday when I'd arrived to be admitted to hospital last Monday just to cheer me up (i;ll let you all know now that Twiglet, Wipso's sister was eating chocolate while the other two were working (hee hee).  Annie has also regularly sent me lovely picture texts of her garden and daffodils,  her cute doggie and even of Twiglet (I think) on the floor cutting up curtains (Annie's least favourite job).  She's a true diamond friend - precious and rare.

pressies from WIPSO (and Twiglet):
cute or what??? (and much more unique than a me-to-you tatty teddy)

And this lovely dumfed notebook - perfect for writing instructions to my carer (my OH - whos had time off work to look after me) LOL,  to jot down my tablet times or if i just remember something i need the next time I call OH upstairs using my coathanger which i use to bang on the floor with (well, he'd never hear a bell would he?)

Missing in Action
So, i'll just give you some snippets of what's happened over the last week then.

Monday - Admitted to hospital - own room (felt privilaged) coloured some stamped images with my promarkers (took the job lot in a beach bag, then only managed to use them once)...

Later Monday and throughout evening, obs, shower, another ECG as pulse rate had risen to 140 (not good), pre-meds, sleeping pills, bloods taken. Visits from 3 separate Doctors, anaethatist, surgeon, pharmasist.  I got drawn on by one doctor - and when his pen didn't work I offered him a promarker - any colour of his choice - but he had a back up purple one instead (his loss).

I was second on list on Tuesday following some bloke having a minor procedure.  Off I went at approx 8.30 with my sexy white anti deep vein thrombosis stockings (called TEDS) on and paper pants (WTF?).  I vaguely remember being in the anaesthetic room - then not much else really which is just as well - as you're not supposed to!!!.  

My OH and our youngest came to visit - but not the eldest  -oh no, far too busy with mens Social Night at the tennis club! - but i was pretty much out of it anyway and of course it meant he wasn't too concerned and still doing things someone of his age should be doing - not looking at their mum with various pipes and wires coming out of them and talking gibberish. The Youngest was happy enough - solely due to the fact there were games on the patient TV thingy and the only thing reported back to his big brother was that it had a particularly good game on and he had recorded the highest score - I tell you!!!. (My boys have a lot of dignity about them and aren't melodramatic or worriers (MUST take after their Dad for that).

Next couple of days also a bit vague but remember texting Annie to see if my blog had appeared following my meticulous planning of the post dated WOYWW - not worked so i gathered myself togther in order to give her my login details for blogger so she could sort for me.  And she did!!!  You see, even under the influence of strong drugs I was thinking about you lot!!!! (LOL).  Apparently sent some pretty incomprehensible texts to randomers and stuff, most of which could not be fathomed out!

Wednesday afternoon walking to toilet then about the ward with the physio who made me cough to get the chest drain working (so it was cough then cuss)!!. 

Chest drain out Thursday then off the morphine. Up and about walking. various visits from pain consultant as the nurses thought i wasn't 'with it'...but he thought I was, (and I quote) "as bright as a button"...

The food was sh**e so ate very little apart from icecream while in there (child school meal portions) twice per day.  Funny thing was, I started a sweepstake with my fellow patients on who actually got anything they'd ordered the day before.  Biggest percentage wins.  No winners i'm afraid.  It did keep us amused though as they even had the cheek to include your menu card, with your name and your choices on the tray with the random food they included!!!

Came out Friday thinking that my rib cage was going to snap in half - NEVER EVER EVER had so much pain before - it felt like that until Sunday and I learned how to stand/relax to control/prevent it from keep happening. 

Bathing - painful - can get in but not back out
coughing - daren't cos too painful - but need to cos not coughing could lead to pneumonia
laughing - please don't make 
walking - like neanderthal man - (a bit lopsided)
hair - washed once by OH (never a hairdresser will he make) and its gone curly
Food - better than in hospital and I get what I've asked for
Carer - very good, bit of a looker, does as he's told and love him millions

Trying to keep pain managed by various drugs, spoke to my doc Monday and Tuesday - lovely man.  Have stiches out where my chest drain had been today by District Nurse.

Here's an interesting fact for you (which I didn't know until I dutifully read my discharge papers): I cannot legally drive until my surgeon has seen me and signed me fit to do so.  Until then, my insurance will not be valid following this surgery.  If you want more information on the surgery - it was a thoracotomy (some good websites out there with full frank details - if you dare!).

The wound - about 7+ inches, sewn using nylon thread (well, thats what it looks like - either that or fishing line).  When requested, refused to do a daisy stitch (true crafter in me) and looks like a shark bite - and that's what I might tell people it is IF they were to ever ask - cos that'd be a damn sight more interesting a conversation than the real one!!! Actually the wound itself has caused no pain what so ever, is clean and well good.  Pity they didn't do a tummy tuck or breast lift at same time :O(   Want a laugh??? The Doctor (or whatever he was, who worked under the surgeon - the one who's purple pencil ran out... well after surgery he came to tell me it went all well and acording to plan etc etc. and that I had big muscles - he was an african doctor with a strong accent - so picture the scene (one of the nurses called him Chris Eubank which was hilarious as you could see what she meant - but he didn't really look like him at all - and much older... (random)!!! - anyway, he said something along the lines of- "you were tough to cut - you built like ox!!!"  He said "you will take long time to heal" - i had to laugh - only because I couldn't move quick enough to swipe him.  It still makes me laugh now (I only just remembered he said that)!!!  I know i'm carrying some weight, but ox? - A bit far!!!

Goodbye Tommy
And the tumor?  Gone.  

Sent off for biopsy but expected to be OK.  Surgeon didn't need to remove rib or part of rib (although don't think that would have made any difference pain-wise) because the surgery still meant cutting through the intercostal nerve and muscle (and other nerves and muscle) and actually left the lung intact.  I'll get results when I go back on April 26th.  He did say that it had grown since discovered in January and described it as the size of a tennis ball (so grew quite a bit then).  Just shows you - I originally went to the docs with ANOTHER chest infection and associated back pains.  If I hadn't had the chest infection - I'm sure with the pain I was suffering in the end, she would have given me brupofen (as she had before) and said it was muscular.  How can I be sure? - The look on her face when I went back after being diagnosed by the consultant - she was totally (and genuinely) shocked.  Now don't be paranoid BUT don't ignore your body either, when you 'feel' something isn't right - get it checked out.  P L E A S E  -  Especially don't leave it and then go on TV's 'Embarrasing Bodies' - WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT????   Dear me!

3,2,1 - I'm Back in the Room
Not necessarily the craft room yet - far too uncomfortable at the moment, but defo back in blogland. 

a genuine thank you for the kindness, compassion and interest you have taken in my 'issue' over the last few weeks.  You know who you are if you are reading this.  Even a little comment has meant a lot to me - but some people went a whole 9 yards further - and they know who they are too.  Cards, little bits of stash, stamped images, keeping in touch via e-mail etc etc has helped me handle this a whole lot different than I would have without blogging and finding friends through Julia's blog.  But one very special blogger stands out miles and miles... THANK YOU ANNIE (WIPSO)  XXX

Thanks for staying 'til the end and enduring a rather long post!!  I needed to bring you up to date - for my sake if not for yours (LOL)! If you did manage to read to the end - you might need to go for a wee now (ROFL) before joining in the WOYWW fun by going to Julia's blog (stamping ground) - you should know the drill by now!!!

gently little hugs (IN THE SAME VEIN AS AIR KISSES) 'til I feel well enough for big hugs,

x x x

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


I didn't want to miss WOYWW so I thought I'd join in by post dating my desk.

Now, in order to do this, I'm writing this post on Sunday afternoon and scheduling it for Wednesday so please bear with me as I am writing in future, present and past tense - how weird is that (and I won't even be here to see it posted!!!)

Anyway, if i've done this right you should be reading on Wednesday and looking at a pic of my desk which was taken Sunday (which is actually today for me - but three days ago to anyone reading) - am I messing with your mind yet (LOL)!!!
If you are reading this, you are probably a member of Julia's gang that post a picture of their desks each Wednesday, tell you a bit about what's going on (or not), what they're currently working on or towards, reveal their mess, or obsessive tidyness and maybe give you a swing or two.  If you are really lucky - you might even get a look at their drawers (tee hee)!!!  Julia can be found over at the Stamping Ground which is the starting point for the trail of desks.  Mr Linky will help you visit each desk - there were 59 last week.  Pop over and join in the fun and remember to leave a comment everywhere you visit as we all like a comment or two.

As you can see (if you've been to my desk before), several things have changed.  I've altered the layout of my desk and put my cuttlebug on the right and stacked my embossing folders and nestabilities on a CD rack behind the cuttlebug.  This has enabled me to select what I need easier rather than scratting about in the drawer where they previously lived.  This has given me a spare drawer where i've rehoused my scissors and crop-o-dile.  ou might be able to spy some beer mats on here - I borrowed these from a pub following Linda from a Crafting Journey encouraging me to steal them - just like she does (ROFL)

I've also taken the lettering down off my wall and will be replacing this with something else equally extravagant (woteva).  Also, I'm not sure whether I'm going to have a shelf put there or not - that was the original plan when we first kitted out the craft area, but my OH is somewhat of a procrastinator (I can't really moan 'cos he does all the laundry instead!!!).  

You may have noticed that my cute little peach felt bear is missing from the wall also - thats because he is currently in hospital with me.  This little bear was kindly sent by my special blogging friend WIPSO from A Stitch in Time specially to take into hospital with me.

Isn't that poem just brilliant - Annie makes them up herself - so, please don't copy as it wouldn't be fair, but Annie does makes these little fella's for all sorts of ocassions and includes a little poem for each of them so go check out the blog shop at Sisters Crafty Creations.

Recently I have been thinking of a way to store my stamps to make it easier to select the one I want - I haven't nearly as many stamps as the average WOYWWer but my collection is steadily growing.  I've filed them in these lush A5 binder folders from tesco - 60p each for the pink ones and 20p each for the green.  Stamps are in polypockets with a piece of card in each to stop them from dragging at the bottom where the weight of the stamp is.  I've tried to create a theme in filing them - but anything is easier than how they were before.

Finally for this WOYWW post - I want to show you the threads that Sue H at Sue's Kraft Kards had on her desk last week.  I bought a couple of bundles and thoroughly enjoyed separating them.  Here they are in their new jar.

Righto, please feel free to leave a comment as I will read them when I come out of hospital (although not sure when that will be).  My surgery is/was scheduled for Tuesday (yesterday to you lot!) - but I'll be back checking as soon as possible.

I just want to add a BIG THANKYOU to all you WOYWWers, my followers and any visitors who sent their good wishes and enquired about me leading up to my surgery.  Its been a tough few weeks since I found out but blogging and meeting new friends and crafty bloggers has helped me through this time and helped me take my mind off it.  Actually it seems quite surreal that its happening to me at all because prior to being diagnosed, I hadn't had a day off work for 2 years and regularly worked almost a 50 hour week in a stressful job!  Thank you all once again.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read my post. Hope to see you again soon.

Happy Crafting!


x x x

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Some cards from the past week

This last week has seen the birthday of my youngest son who was 14 (on 18th) and MIL (on 20th).

Here are the two cards I made for Son

 This was made from my Crafters Companion Hobbies and Occupations CD ROM and made into an easel card.  He spends most of his life on his X-Box live - playing Call of Duty!!! So this is him (and most of his friends) down to a tee.

This card was made from my new Newtons Law CD ROM with an added sentiment on a circle nestie.

This is the one made for MIL - (from the boys)

Again, this one was made using the Crafters Companion Hobbies and Occupations CD ROM.

This one from me and OH

Inside view

This one was made using nesties to cut an aperture card with the image on the inside - using one of the lovely trees stamped for me by the kind Tracey (Handmade with love) - the Kanban Tree stamp which I love so much (Thank you Tracey).

Then the one from the Dylan the dog (as posted before) (image from Mo's Digital Pencil).

Well, I shan't be blogging for the next few days.... but then again - will I???  Watch this blog space!!!

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post.

x x x

Latest Candles

I did a couple of candles this weekend.  I've now got no candles left in the house to decorate so feel a trip to IKEA necessary (might have to send the OH though as I won't be able to go far in coming weeks).

This first one was decorated by stamping on white tissue paper using my new personal impression stamps bought from QVC last week.  I coloured the image with Promarkers.

From the same stamp set I stamped some smaller single butterflies to decorate the back

Using more of the skeleton leaves, I inked them up to alter their colour from an ivory colour and decorated a second candle for my MIL's Birthday

Here's another view of the candle

The large satin ribbon is from stash and the gold studs are from my Gem Magic set. 

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again.


x x x

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

WOYWW - 17th March

Afternoon fabulous bloggers.

Thanks for dropping by to view my space this week for WOYWW.  Wanna join in? - then pop over to Julia, cult leader, at Stamping Ground - founder of the ever growing group of bloggers that share their desks - what they're up to, what they've got on them, exuses, reasons - whatever you want to call it for the current state of said desk or washing machine LOL (pop over to GezzyB's Crafty Bits to find out more on this concept of crafting)!!!  Having said all that, if you want to join in or just have a nosey and visit everyone who partakes, please do remember to leave a comment or just say "Hi" and let everyone know you've been by.  We all appreciate this tremendously.

Anyway, without further ado, i'll show you my mess desk this week.  I didn't actually do any crafting yesterday as I fell on the hoover after cleaning up after the SKY man, who had just upgraded my craftroom/conservatory box from mere multiroom - to SKY plus.  He'd left his drill dust down the side of the sofa so I hoovered, tried to straighten the mat... the next minute I was on top of the hoover and in tremendous pain.  I hurt my knee, ankle, wrist and to add pain where it's least needed - my ribs!!!  I felt so sorry for myself yesterday, crafting was out of the question.  I went to sleep for a while on the sofa then just watched TV.   Ooops - there I go again, digressing!!!

Here's the desk:

On the desk are some scrapbooks I bought in out of the garage (it's never ending that there supply in my garage)!!!, some cards I made two days ago that I need to blog, my cupcake stand with all my adhesives in the bottom, my punches in the centre (not my MS ones though - they're safely away in the drawer), in the top I have squatters that I need to move on to their rightful place - i.e. my excuse of a sewing box!!!  Also on the desk are an order I received yesterday of some different coloured skeleton leaves for some more candle makes.  I also purchased some lovely bargain organza bags to put finished candles in should I ever do a craft stall anywhere!!!  Other than that, they'll do for gifts and were only 32p each and are actually sold as bottle bags - making them cheaper than those paper bag things you buy for bottles!!!

Here is the next view:

Here you can see some more A5 files from tesco - although these weren't 20p like the green ones - these were a whopping 60p each (LOL)!  I filled the green ones up too full so m OH fetched me some more while he was in the vacinity of tesco (well he was nearer than I was at the time - put it that way!!!).  All in all - not a lot to show on my desk really.

I want to share with you all the cards I recived for my birthday which I have photographed around the conservatory/craft room.  

This is the one that my lovely Mum made me...

and the inside:

My mum went to the 'More is More' school of crafting and is a self confessed 'I don't know when to stop' crafter!!!

Here are my lovely flowers:

My Birthday this year was such a fantastic day.  I had friends, family and colleagues round, a load of us had a chinese in the evening - which was my treat.  The day didn't end until 11.30 when my my dear friend Wendy went home...  My special friend (and one of my oldest) Donna came to stay until Sunday.  I was also spoilt by my new blogging friends - you know who you are - you really added to making this birthday extra special so thankyou with all my heart.

It so made up for the last two years which were both tinged with great sadness - the last one being the first without my Dad - but the memories were quite fresh as the year before on my Birthday he was basically told there wasn't a lot they could do for his lung cancer.  We'd went out for a meal in the evening but I kept excusing myself to go to the ladies where I'd break down rather than let my Dad see me upset.  Anyway, as I said - this year really made up for it!!!

One final thing - this will be my last WOYWW for a couple of weeks as next Monday, I will be admitted to hospital to have sugery to remove my tumor (which i've named Tommy).  I have my surgery on Tuesday and expect to remain in the Northern General at Sheffield for the remainder of the week - or until they throw me out!!!!  So from Monday, there won't be anything going on on my desk for at least a couple of weeks as I expect to be restricted in my activities especially on my lefthand side.  The surgery will include cutting through the muscle, ribs, chest wall and removing Tommy from my lungs and everything he's attached himself to so i'll take it all as it comes.  But do not fear - I will be blogging as soon as I can - so stand by your desks as I'll be helping Julia (if she doesn't mind) visit you all and inspecting craft areas - be they desks, the floor, the dining table or washing machine!!!

Big hugs to everyone - especially if you stayed and read to the end!!! tee hee!!!  I'll start visiting as soon as i've made myself respectable!!!

x x x

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Finishes Opulent Card!!!

I made a card the other day but was undecided about the recipient or sentiment... well, it came in perfect for my Cousin.  She is godmother to both the boys so here is the card again, finished off.

Front view:
 Inside view:

Sentiments made on PC and cut with nesties labels.  Distress inks - 'Black Soot and Antique Linen' used.

The spotty candle I did a few days ago was also for my Cousin - I went on to make a box for it, using only a ruler and scoring tool to make the template - i simply measured the height of the candle, then the diameter of the candle which became the width of each of the 4 sides of the box.  On the fourth panel, after scoring, I left a flap on to glue inside the first panel when constructed - it was easier than it sounds.  

Anyway, here is the result:

The DP which I used to cover the box with, is from the Pink Petticoat 'Just an Old Fashioned Girl'.  I learned a lot from this project on how I would do it different to make it easier... i.e. I would decorate the box once constructed rather than decorate it while it was flat as, while I also scored the DP paper - it wasn't as easy to do it this way.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again.


x x x

Wedding Acceptance

Just a short post to show you a card I made for my friend Donna, who has just been to stay with me - to send off for a wedding she's been invited to.  

Embossing on d'vinci swirls cuttlebug folder.  Image - copyright free from web - printed out in sepia.  Gold ribbon from stash.  Sentiment PC generated and distressed with Vintage Photo - which I also lightly swept over the swirls.  The gold dots are made with Gold Ranger Liquid Pearls.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again.


x x x

Card for my Son

This is the card I made for my Son for his 17th Birthday.  I was up until 5.50am that morning finishing it off for him.  When he was younger, staying up this late was normal on his (and my) Birthday as I used to make his birthday cakes and ice them in his favourite character of the moment.  Not being the best baker in the world, I used to start when he'd gone to bed and still be doing it until 3&4 in the morning.

Well this card was as difficult.  I really did set myself up for it!!!  These were the elements I had prepared ready for the project:

I made the DP's myself by getting a tennis ball image off the net and putting it in My Craft Studio graphics programme and tiling it.  The same image for both DP's but reduced the size of the ball before tiling to make the second DP.  I didn't use the tennis ball (cut from nestability circle and coloured in yellow then put the 'tennis ball' marks on with white sakura souffle pen.  I did use the ball on somebody else's card though (more later)..

First I made a racquet template on my Silhouette and drew round this onto cardboard (back of a teabag box).

Then I marked the where I needed my holes and made them with my sharp pokey tool:

The I used a darning needle and bead thread (one with a bit of spring to it) and threaded the strings.  This first attempt was a bit of a disaster as the cardboard wasn't strong enough and bent and contorted all ways - and just in the nick of time, my grungepaper arrived... so cut it out from that (ooh, doesn't it smell like leather??).  

So once I'd repeated the above (marked, pricked holes and 'sewn' the strings) this is what I had:

It was still bending, but the grungepaper didn't rip at the holes, so I made two more templates for the racquet head and glued it together and put it under my heavy dictionery to dry (used pinflair glue):

It still looked untidy so I cut two more templates out of black card and sandwiched the racquet between them.  I didn't take a pic of this because by this time I was tired and just wanted to get it finished.

Anyway, after hours and hours spent (in total since starting the project), here's the finished result - not how I had envisaged it turning out, but was still pleased with it.  The best thing is that Ashley was blown away by it - my kids always tell it how it is and are my biggest critics (and I appreciate the honesty) with my cards so his approval was the best I could receive!!!

The new tennis ball was made by printing one out and cutting with nestie circle.  The others on the band at the bottom of this easel card were done the same way by making them smaller and cutting with the smallest nestie circle.

This is the card I made for Ben, Ashley's friend who was born the same day as Ashley.  The play tennis together and I took them to London in November to watch the ATP Masters mens finals:

I used the template for the racquet and the ball I originally intended to use on Ashley's.  Ben was well chuffed and said that it was the single card he got that had the most thought put into it.  Ahhh bless!!!

Thanks for dropping by.

x x x

Mothers Day Cards

Just a quick look at the Mothers Day Cards I made for my Mum and MIL - both made using the lovely tree embossing folder from Crafts Too:

Pink hearts DP from Pink Petticoat CD, rest is card from stash.  Sentiments made on PC and cut with nested labels. Pink border made using MS Punch.

Next is the one I made for my lovely Mum.  She loves the brown and green coloured one I'd previously made and entered in a challenge (see previous card here), but I thought I'd make her one especially for her (and she loves it) 

Patterned DP K&Co, plain green DP - K&Co from double sided Hopcotch 12x12 pad. Everything else made by me with bits from stash. Scrolls cut out on silhouette, sentiments done on PC again and cut with nested labels.  Distress ink used: Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo.

Thanks for dropping by - still more stuff to come yet today!!!


x x x

More candles

I decorated a candle for my sister that she had supplied.  I used the skeleton leaves that Lynn (Crafty Linby) gave me in a bag of goodies.  I also, ages ago - pre-cardmaking phase, bought a Gem Magic - a machine that puts studs on things basically.  Anyway, I got that out and put some in the candle - here are the results:

Several different views of the candle.

Then, I made my friend one as a thankyou for coming over and staying a few days for my birthday.  It was so lovely having her here - I love her to bits - she makes me me laugh.

This is the front view
 Other views

This is the card I made her, thanking her for coming and helping making my birthday a great day:

The DP is from a sheet that Lynn also included in the goodie bag... Thanks Lynn - I made good use of the stuff so far.

Hope you like these candles. Look out for more posts - got loads to share today!!!

Thanks for dropping by - please come back again.

Hugs, Paula
x x x


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