Monday, 31 January 2011

Blog Candy Update - Must Read

Thank you to those who have already left a comment on my blogaversary post, I appreciate your visit and comments and can't wait to give a few goodies away in celebration of a whole year of blogging and making friends - because thats what this journey has been about so far - for me anyway...

You know I said on the original post that the deadline to leave a comment was today, 28th January?.... well, I've only gone and extended it!!!  Yes that's what I said - extended it- giving those who haven't had the chance so far, to take part.... AND, this is the best news - if you want to double your chances of winning, simply leave another comment on the blogaversary post HERE .  When you get there, just tell me that you've already left one comment and this is your 2nd play.  How cool is that? - I'll tell you how cool it is.... too cool for school - that's what.... LOL!!!

The draw will now be made on Monday 31st January - which happens to be my OH's Birthday (oops, best make him a card then) - so, as a special treat, i'm going to let him help me with the draw.... I know it will be the highlight of his year and he'll be forever in my debt for giving him this rare and special opportunity...

Some more fabby news.... there's going to be a SECOND and THIRD prize...

So far, the FIRST PRIZE consists of:


 5 x Packs of sparkly ribbons (yum yum) in various spangly colours from Papermania
1 x pack of 40 pearl brads from Papermania
1 x pack of 20 bows in the Persimmon collection from Papermania
6 x DL size coloured plastic wallets, 
1 x Pack of DL Envelopes, 
1 x Fluffy pink girly pencil case with hearts on, 
1 x Woodware dragonfly emboss 'n' punch, 
1 x February edition (84) of Quick Cards Made Easy Magazine with the free gift of Pink Petticoat vintage roses paperstack 
12 x sheets of bronze and pewter coloured die cut decorative plates, corners, ornamental frames, toppers and other shapes
8 x Sheets of bronze and antique gold coloured decorative peel-off borders
1 x Forever Friends 'Just for Him' paperstack (this is from my stash so a couple of sheets are missing)
1 x Bag of Petalloo flowers (loads in here of various colours, sizes and textures)
5 x Rolls of double sided tape
1 x roll of foam tape 
( and a couple of additional surprises as a bonus will be placed in the package)

The SECOND PRIZE consists of:


1 x bag of Petalloo flowers of various colours, textures and sizes
1 x pack of spangly Papermania ribbons
1 x small wooden easel
several sheets of girly 6x6 design papers

and finally, the THIRD PRIZE consists of:


1 x plastic DL wallet full of Petalloo flowers
1 x small wooden easel
several sheets of floral 6x6 design papers

So - what are you waiting for huh?  Go HERE and get your name down.  Obviously - I'd appreciate it if the prizes went to my followers - and if I can just add that this isn't a recruitment drive for more followers just for the candy.  I'd like to think that people are following because they want to know (for some reason) what the tials and tribulations of PMG are - or aren't as the case may be!  

Also - I'd like to say again - a big Thank You to all those who visit here time after time and leave wonderful comments which are like cyber hugs to me - and who wouldn't want one of those???  And a double thank you to all those who keep in touch with me on a regular basis via e-mail.  Your love and support means the world to me - and without you lovely lot - I'd probably have given up blogging - having said that.... but I do have to say that it was THE BEST thing to happen to me last year.

Ooh - just one last thing... I will be sending all prizes out in recycled packaging  - just in case you are expecting gold wrapped paper parcels with bows and bells on!!!

Leaving love for you all

Paula. x x x

Friday, 28 January 2011

Happy New Year to you and a Happy Blogaversary to Me - **blog candy give-away**


I'd like to wish all readers - old and new - a very Happy New Year.  I wish you health and happiness, prosperity and success in 2011 - but most of all I wish you LOVE!

Can you believe, its been almost a month since I last posted - with very good reason, but I'll reveal all in a separate post later.  

While I wanted to post before today, it just seemed very fitting that this should be my first post of the year because - this time last year, it was my very first blog post ever.... because, that's right - Its my BLOGAVERSARY!!!!!! YIPPEE!!!!

I cannot believe that a year has gone by since I started my blog.  I cannot believe a year has gone by - period.  I've made so many special blogging and cyber crafting friends in the last year - from all over the UK, and all over the globe.  I truly am a very lucky person, despite everything else that happened over the last 12 months.

It was the night of Sunday 4th January 2010, and everyone was in bed because it was back to work and school in the morning following the Christmas break.  I'd just had a cuttlebug (after Christmas because Santa clearly ignored my request, so I ordered one on Christmas day which duly arrived in between the Christmas and NY break).

I was sat with the laptop on my knee (and foot raised due to having a slight accident where I'd fallen out of my friends front door (slightly merry) doing a bit of research on the web, looking for inspiration on how to use my new cuttlebug and embossing folders.

While I was flitting about browsing and surfing, I remembered that I'd seen some stunning cards created by a fellow crafter who was one of my buddies on the Docrafts forum so, needing some inspiration on what to do with my new embossing folders (because I only bought the CB with the intention of using it for embossing because I'd got my Silhouette cutter for cutting shapes etc).  I logged on to Docrafts and found my buddy, getting engrossed in her stunning cards, when, on one of the card write-ups, she'd put a link to a website where crafters would be able to find lots of hints and tips on using the cuttlebug.  Without further ado, I followed the link, and ended up on a website called 'Ikki's Cuttlebug Cupboard' - well, I was totally submerged.  On this website (now known to me as being a blog), there were links down the side of the pages to other pages of card makers - and on those pages, were more links...  I followed them and followed more, and before I knew it - I'd spent hours looking and reading and being totally blown away by this phenomenon.  My buddy from Docrafts was (is) Barbara from Hunnybunny cards

Wow - I loved how these people crafted, talked about their cards and showed pictures of them.  In fact, I loved how they talked about anything - crafty or non-crafty... I'd discovered blogland!!!  I was seeing things i'd never seen before.  I was reading about techniques i'd not heard of before.  I was learning terminology, shortcuts, tips, hints etc that i'd never come across before.  Then I thought "this is something I could do" - I can talk the hind legs off a donkey and take pictures of what I was doing - even if it wasn't as good as the stuff I was seeing on these 'travels' - so, before I knew it, I'd clicked on a button in the top corner that said "create a blog"...

By the end of the same week, I'd come down with one of my recurring chest infections and had to go for a chest x-ray on doctors orders, due to pains from coughing - pains that felt like someone had punched and winded me from the back.  48 hours later, I had a call from my GP telling me that he'd had a call from the radiographer at the hospital saying there was something 'abnormal' on a chest x-ray and I needed to go to the lung clinic 2 days later...

The rest, as they say, is history.

All of the events that took place last year, have led me to where I am today - and really defined me and shaped me as a person and crafter.  2010 was a life changing year in more than a couple of ways.

Seeing as it is a blogaversary - its only right that I give away some candy - quite what they will be, I'm not sure yet seeing as I only realised literally today that it is indeed a year since I first set my blog up.  Hmmm - let me think about it - so please do come back because I will update this post when I've decided upon something - I'll make it worth your while...

Anyway, I thought that I would also make you do a little work for the candy as well so, I'd like your comments - and when you leave a comment - I want you to tell me how you got into crafting as you know it today... I know many people say they've crafted since they were small etc etc... but I want to know whether it was an event that got you into crafting - i.e. needed to do some thank you cards and it started from there, or had an illness started it off etc... please leave a comment with your answer on to this post and I'll pick a winner using a random number generator thingy...  While I don't really agree that this is an appropriate way of gaining followers, I would like to think that my candy will go to a follower or a regular visitor to my blog.  For those without a blog of their own but still either follow via google reader or subscribe by email to my posts (please think about doing this if you don't already - that way, you'll never miss a post from me), please drop me a line, and I will include you in the count - although you can leave an 'anonymous' comment - but remember to put an email address or leave some indication of who you are!

I'm going to leave that post right there, because I have soooo much to tell you, I don't want to put it all in one post - plus, I'm going to make every effort to post more than I have been doing - so watch this space - as it were!!!

Please don't forget to leave your comment about how you got into crafting for a chance to win my candy - and check back for updates/edit to this as I will edit to add what that candy will be - and the deadline for your comments?  28th January 2011!

Thanks for reading - hope to see you back soon
Hugs
Paula x x x

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Little Bit of News (at last)

Apologies in advance for the lenght of this post - but you don't have to read it!  Also - there are no  pictures - so its a long post - hope you have enough stamina.

I thought I'd bring my blogging friends up to date with stuff as I've been a bit on the quiet side for a while.  Its not that I didn't want to post - I was just more concerned at who else might be reading so i posted less and held back when I did post - being an employed person at a company that will use something that's 'in the public domain' against you.

Being off work for a while was inevitable after what I'd been through - and was held back even more when I had the second operation.  Eventually, I was in a situation where I was being bombarded with phone calls, letters and visits from work - none of this could be shared with anyone because there was always a chance that it would be seen by someone who wanted to make menaces (is that a real phrase?)!  

I eventually went back to work in September under duress and after discussing the situation with my Union rep, I went back because I was at the point that if I didn't, my contract was going to be terminated under the sickness capability policy and procedure.  I'd had a major operation that is renowned in the medical profession for being one of the most difficult to recover from (this is written in medical papers and on-line journals etc), but that didn't matter - it was the policy that said I had to go back.  So whether I'd had a cold, a broken leg, or 'stress', I was being treated with no consideration for the situation I found myself in.

As some of you know, I returned to work week commencing 6th September.  I had to take my pillow with me so that I could try and sit comfortably. I only had to go in for one afternoon the 1st week, increasing to 2 afternoons the 2nd week.  I barely made it through the first session of week 2.  The HR Officer recognised how much pain I was in, and suggested I return to my doctor as it was clear for all to see - I wasn't fit enough to be at work.  The Health and Safety Officer had been trying to set up my chair in a way that I would be as comfortable as possible.  When he finished, he'd said to the HR Officer that I was clearly in a lot of pain.  Well I'd been telling them that for months and as you all know - it didn't improve for a very long time.  I ended up being off another 10 weeks.

During November, I felt in the frame of mind that I could start thinking about returning again because I'd had a couple of OK days - and you really know they're OK days when the others have been so rubbish.

The Dr. had changed my medication again to something called Pregabalin, and put me on the maximum dose (along with everything else I was taking too).  I went back to see him and said that while I'd had a couple of OK days - I wanted more (being greedy like that).  The pain consultant at the clinic had prescribed some morphine patches - well, he'd told my doctor that these were an option should I need them, so in order that I were able to return, he prescribed them.

I went back to work week commencing 15th December.   After my first session where I did the housekeeping in my e-mail in-box, I just about got through it.  However, I had to go back to the doctor asking him to increase the patch as I was back in pain.  He did so and i was on 10mgs.  I'd asked him to put on my return to work note that the medication might, and were having some side effects- but he didn't want to write that down because he said that my employers might not let me go back.  Fair enough.  I was experiencing a very dry mouth; memory recall problems, trouble stringing a sentence together, lack of focus, problems with remembering words for things.  But my back was more comfortable - and I'd always promised myself I'd return when that felt OK and it wasn't on my mind 24/7.

Despite all the side effects - which I saw as 'pay-off' for no pain, I went back and on my very 2nd afternoon session on a phased return - I was forced to have an interview because they'd 'saved it' long enough while I went off again.  So I sat in through the interview and did the best I could.  The next time I was in the office was the following week for one afternoon.  I had to have another job interview for another post I was ringfenced for.  Again, I struggled to remember words, recall what I knew and relate my experience and answer questions.  I'd been asked about some recent legislation the government had brought in - but I didn't have a clue.  I'd been ringfence for a job that I had no experience in.  Someone had seen fit to put me up for it.  I didn't ask about the job because it didn't exist on the structure.  It was literally a brand new post.  I'd not heard about the previous interview I'd had and no one had given me the outcome of it.  

A while after, I was called back to the interview room for feedback and outcome.  Well, surprise surprise - I didn't get it.  I was told that I couldn't answer questions they expected me to know.  They said that I couldn't tell them about the legislation I'd been asked about - they'd checked with the Director and he told the panel that he'd provided me with all the information including about the post, the purpose of the post etc.  Yes, I'd had the info - and I'd read it 3 times.  I'd even been on the intranet and looked at the other policies that had an influence on the post - but I couldn't remember a single stitch.  I couldn't even get basic words out, id have to ask and ask for the question to be repeated - it wasn't sinking in.  

I went back to my desk, then went in with HR who informed me that I didn't get the first job either.  I was gobsmacked.  I asked if my current situation had been taken into account and whether the meds would be taken into consideration.  She knew fully well how they were affecting me - she'd witnessed it on numerous occasions.  She said they wouldn't take them into account.  She then informed me that because I hadn't secured permanent employment from the ringfenced posts, I was now at risk and on the redundancy register.  I told her I didn't want to be made redundant and that I'd stick around to see if anything came up.  I had 12 weeks to secure a job.

In the meantime, I'd started to struggle more and more with joint pain - more than ever before.  I had mentioned it to my GP on a couple of occasions, but he'd always said we needed to get the other pain under control and would only talk about the most important issue (my operation site and the nerve damage).  He had however, referred me a couple of weeks before to the hospital to see the rheumatologist, because I'd told him that my mum had Osteo Arthritis and was being checked out for Inflammatory Arthritis too.  Either it was that or the side effect of the medication I was on.  I went, had my physical exam as well as providing family history.  He said the good news was that it wasn't arthritis and it wasn't the side effects of the meds.  He said I had something called Fibromyalgia and another condition called Joint Hypermobility Syndrome. 

Explaining this he said that he'd asked me to do some manoeuvres to my thumb, legs, wrists, little finger (all a bit weird)... he then said if you are what people used to call double jointed, it meant that you could move your joints round further than normal and have more flexible joints.  This explained a lot because when I was younger, my mum used to get me to show people my arms and look at how weird they were and how far I could bend them.  Later in life, it hurt to move them like that anymore.  Classic signs!  He said that dancers and sportsmen and women trained their bodies to be that flexible.  I was unfortunate that I was born like it.  Basically, your joints are flexible because they naturally over produce collegen.  Because they've been flexible when you were younger can be an advantage but later in life - you could end up with pain in them - this becomes the 'sydrome'.  Simply having flexible joints is called Joint Hypermobility.  I don't fully understand it and need to read more about it.  All I do know is that its painful and my knee's feel like an old persons when they need a knee replacement.  Only mine isn't 100% of the time.  Its unpredictable.  I might go to bed OK, then the next morning, its bad again.  When this is so, I have to walk downstairs one step at a time.. Its hard to tell which leg should be the lead leg as they're both as bad.

Went to work and told HR Officer about my diagnosis and whether it would or could be taken into account in the interviews, after all, other colleagues were registered disabled because of the condition and got preferential treatment (certain concessions under the DDA) - because they were all registered disabled and I'm not.  The officer said because they weren't aware before the interview that I had these conditions, they couldn't be taken into consideration.  My argument was that I didn't just develop the condition over night.  I still had the condition despite not having had a diagnosis before the interview - (although it was suspected).  What can you do?

The next few weeks I was struggling terribly.  My back was OK - which left other pains being able to come to the fore. If that makes sense.  I hardly felt any other pains when I had my back pain at its worst.  However, once that was under control, it 'allowed' other pain to be felt. 

I was struggling to get out of bed - and I don't mean in terms of "oh no, I don't want to get up" - I mean physically.  I literally had to drag myself to the edge holding onto the edge of the mattress so I could swing my legs out.  Once out - I couldn't stand up straight, then struggle to walk to the bathroom.  I was (and still am) like an old woman, all bent and slow.  It was a good job I was only there for half a day because I wouldn't have made it very well in the morning, but I knew that it was inevitable I'd have to go in when it was morning some time because a phased return doesn't last forever - usually 6 weeks.  However, it seemed that because I was on the 'risk register', I was allowed to go in the afternoons only on my phased return and while I was struggling - it later dawned on me that I really didn't have to go in at all if I was on notice - so I was doing the favour.  

I wasn't well.  Each time I was at work, I'd be in the office of the HR Officer sobbing.  Sobbing with pain; because I felt like I'd been treated unfairly; and basically because I wasn't well.  At one point, I was placed with a team that needed some help.  I sat with an officer who i'd never really had a lot of time for before (i wasn't alone there).  She gave me some work and I apologised because I warned her beforehand that I may have to keep asking her to explain what I needed to do as I wouldn't be able to remember (It was only bloody filling at that too)... I explained it was the medication that was causing problems with my memory - and being in the situation I was in - my lack of confidence.  She piped out - "I wish I could blame all my mistakes on my tablets"!  She's not know for her tact and diplomacy.  Nontheless, this insensitivity upset me because I was already feeling low having to work with her in the first place.  And the only reason I was there at all was because I hadn't secured a post through the ringfenced interview process.

During my daily meeting with the HR officer (she was my only contact really because I basically had no line-manager, no team, no purpose and no job).  Struggling as I had been, I asked if I would be able to put annual leave in rather than call in sick if I ever needed to (testing the ground) because I didn't want to affect the sickness figures again- and i didn't want to put myself at risk of triggering one of the trigger points in the sickness policy.  However, I was told that annual leave couldn't be used because it masks genuine sickness which should be recorded and monitored.  I did accept her point as that the organisation would rather staff use their annual leave entitlement to have a proper break from work.  I don't think it was sold like that in a staff conference, but that was basically the reason.

By now, I was on the verge of calling in sick, but was afraid that it would again put me at risk under the terms of the sickness policy and procedure.  I was informed that any further absense would be picked up where it was left off last time - and before, the procedure was progressed as far as the point of termination - thats why I returned in September.

On Friday 10th December, I couldn't take it any longer.  After speaking with someone in a department that I been sent to help out in she kind of explained it from her point of view.  I'd never met her before that afternoon - so she looked at the situation for what it was, with no bias toward or against me.  I came to the conclusion that I couldn't carry on.  I was in chronic pain, the tablets were having a terrible affect on me and I was just simply going through the motions by being at work.  Who was to say that if a suitable post came up and i did get another interview that I'd be able to get through it, afterall - things weren't getting any better?   Also, what if I did get a secure permanent job.  I was still in the same position health wise, plus, if I still ended up going off sick (which was inevitable), I'd be finished under sickness capability with nothing.  

I also realised that - to say I'd worked there for a long time (13+ years), I hadn't received much support - I'd not witnessed this 'caring employer'...  Did I really want to challenge things (I had a right to challenge the reason why I ended up on the redundancy register by writing to the CEO - I had a reasonable case and a good arguement).  So, I'd made up my mind...  I was taking the redundancy.  This would give me the stress free, pressure free opportunity to put my health first, take time to recover and to feel like I wasn't looking over my shoulder all the time.

After discussing the issue over the weekend with the OH and my boys, they were in full support of me taking the redundancy package.  My mum was happy too and said it was important that I now take care of myself.  My health had to come first.  We'd survive, we'd manage.  I know for sure that wouldn't have managed if I had another 37 hours a week job; one afternoon was traumatic and painful enough.

I informed the HR officer the following Monday (13th December) when I phoned in to say I'd got an appointment with the pain clinic - and because of my new recent diagnosis I really wanted to speak with the consultant.  I also wanted to speak about the medication I was on and to see if they envisaged me being on these amount of meds long term - how on earth could someone survive on that amount of medication.  It seemed that they could - and indicated that I would be.
My decision was received with surprise; well shock actually, but the officer fully understood.  The biggest weight ever was lifted off my shoulders in a nano second.  I can't explain how that felt.  Mentally at least it had made a massive difference.

I asked if things could be taken care of right away as I wanted to confine the redundancy to 2010. I didn't want it to drag on into 2011 because I wanted to leave all the negative things behind.  So the last time I went into work was 10th December.  My last official day of employment was 31st December.

1st January - in with the new.  Start off on a positive note and hope it continues in a similar vein.

I'm really happy with my decision.  It was the right one for me and my health and it was the right one in terms of the fact that I made the decision to leave and I walked away with a package.  The day after the pain clinic, I went to the doctor who signed me off straight away.  It was such a relief because I didn't have to worry about the procedure anymore.  How terrible is it that the sickness absence policy which is basically written to manage those employees who aren't genuine put so much pressure on me and brought me so much grief.  A policy where 'one size fits all' doesn't differentiate between someone off with 'stress' or a broken leg - or indeed someone who's had a major surgery because of a tumor??? How can one policy try and cover so many different things.  How can there be no sensibility applied to genuine cases.  It messes with performance figures thats why. 
Anyway, I'm now officially a lady of leisure. (in my dreams).

The even better news?    As you know I applied for the Funky Hand Design Team to join Anice as a Funkette, and was successful; I've got 2 Brides-to-Be looking for me to do their wedding stationery for their summer weddings, and I completed the stationery for my friends wedding stationery who married on 28th December.  

Everything looked absolutely stunning.  I had loads of her family and friends coming up to me asking me if I was 'the lady who did the stationery'.  The brides sister has also asked for my details as someone she works with is interested.

Watch this space for more details. I have my diary and files and folders ready and a little system Iin place, so am really hoping it takes off.  I need a name for my new venture - so if anyone out there has any ideas - please leave it in a comment as I want to make some business cards and flyers and need to get cracking.

Well, that was long winded and I suppose I could have made it much shorter - but that just wouldn't be me now, would it???  Forgive any bad grammar - i'm really tired at the moment and have almost fallen to sleep on a couple of occasions while writing this.

Thank you for sticking with it if you did get this far.  I really do mean thank you.  Also, I apologise if this isn't as interesting as you might have anticipated it to be!

I AM NO LONGER JUST A NUMBER!!!

Hugs

P x x x








WOYWW - 19th January 2011

Well Hello my blogging buddies
How are you this fine morning - full of the joys of spring. Yes? - Well join the club - because I feel so springlike and refreshed... I've had two nights sleep.  I've woken up in the morning like a regular person for 2 days running and I feel ready for the world.  My world.

When I say that I've had two nights sleep- technically I've had between 5-6 hours average but that is super fantastic for me.  While some might run on that amount of sleep regularly - not me.  I'm a baby and in my old life could have slept 10 hours per night no problem.

Things are well in the household despite me feeling full of the joys... My youngest Son (K) is off school again - with suspected glandular fever.  He went to the nurse on Monday to tell her he wasn't feeling well - he only made it in because he had an exam or he wouldn't have gone in the first place.  However, the day they were back to school after the Christmas holidays (4th Jan), he was sent home in the afternoon unwell.  He had a a sore throat and was chesty, I had a chest infection which lasted over two weeks; eldest son (A) was also ill - all courtesy of DH... cheers!

Anyway - that's that.  You came to look at my desk - not to hear about MORE illnesses.  This household has certainly had its share in the last year.  A year ago today, I was having a CT scan and a bronchoscopy :O(  The rest is history now - but it was the start of everything that happened last year and led me to where I am today.  As it happens, in pain again for the last 4-5 days, so saw my GP yesterday - and another increase of the morphine patch strength.

Right - onto the desk.  I've been adding to my spellbinders and other dies collection since Christmas and been in a quandary as to whether to get a Cricut Expression or a Grand Calibur... Anyway - reason for me mentioning the spellbinders is because I been messing with my storage again!  Here is how it [currently] looks!


I can tell you're impressed, go-on, admit it!!!!

Here's another view


Spot the difference!!!  Did you get it?  Weyhey!  those LUSH ribbons... want a better look?

Aren't they lovely?


Just call me a mega photographer because I've captured the spangly sparkles.  And I took it last night... in the dark!!!  In fact all of the photos on today's blog post were taken at just after midnight.  I took the laptop with me when I went to bed with the intentions of doing this post...  no chance.  I started to fall to sleep.  And when that happens - I start to twitch big style.  So much so that I mentioned it to the Doctor yesterday but she didn't seem overly concerned... it was a different Doctor from my usual one - although before she had others employed at the surgery, she was my GP for the last 22 years.  She was alarmed at the amount of painkillers I was on etc but she knew that they'd been approved by the Pain Consultant.  She then had to increase my patch from 15mgs per hour to 20mgs per hour.  I put the bigger patch on last night - so I have 2 x 10mgs - high up on my back.  I'm still in pain today though. Oh well.

Well, the good news is that some of those ribbons are going to be in the little stash candy for my blogaversary - and you've got to be in it to win it.  You have to be a follower to be in with a chance.  This is in no way a recruitment drive for followers.  I only want people to follow me because they like what they see when they come to my blog.  If you do want to become a follower, as long as its not just for the candy - I'd love to welcome you - and get to know more about you...  Can I just ask one thing though... I don't want you to advertise my candy on your blog.  I'm not giving it away to attract people from afar if you know what I mean.  Anyway - I can't wait to give it away, and I'm slowly getting a package of stuff together (if I can bear to let it go LOL)... if you've dropped on here and didn't read the original post - here it is.  Good luck - and don't forget to tell me how you got into crafting - the question is on the blog post anyway...

In my last two posts, I've hinted that I had some news to share.  Only those followers that joined me early last year when I first set up my blog will know what kind of year I had. To prevent this being a mega mega post - I am going to do a fresh one which will follow this one.  If you want to know what my news is (it's not that exciting - and no, I'm not pregnant LOL)!!!

Happy WOWWY to you all and look forward to continuing to meet new friends through this phenomenon that is the brainchild of a very special person and friend Julia of the Stamping Ground blog.  To find out more if you've not come from Julia's and haven't heard about What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW), please go here to meet Julia and leave her some love - and hopefully join in.

Hugs,

Paula x x x x

Monday, 17 January 2011

Introducing the new Funky Hand Challenge for January

Hello blogging buddies, blog subscribers and general blog hoppers!!!

As a brand new member of the Funky Hand DT - (you may call me a Funkette now!), this is the very first challenge I get to introduce to you.

New for 2011, the DT will introduce a brand new challenge on the FUNKY FIFTEENTH of each month... and in true Paula fashion - I'm (unfashionably) late!!!  The old challenge used to start on the first of each month and each member of the DT would showcase their cards there and then.  However, its been all go behind the scenes in order to totally refresh how the challenge will be run from now on.

Each month, one of the DT will get the opportunity to play hostess with the mostest on the blog, they will be responsible for setting the challenge and kicking it off by introducing it on the Funky Fifteenth.  Every couple of days or so, in rotation, each member of the DT will, in turn, introduce their take on the challenge and post their card on Get Funky.

Your lovely hostess of the challenge this month is Allison, who has chosen her theme and named it

"Going Round In Circles"

so just produce anything with circles on it, circular shaped card, circle nesties etc.  As long as there is at least one Funky Hand product used - and you show us your circles, it will qualify for the challenge.

Do not despair if you don't have any Funky Hand design products, Anice - the fabby owner and designer of Funky Hand has designed a FREEBIE to give everyone a chance to join in (and show me a crafter who doesn't like a freebie)!!!

To find your funky freebie, go to the Funky Hand shop by - clicking here. This will take you to the downloads section of the shop.  You will need to go to page 2 go to page 2. of the Funky Hand shop.  Maybe you would like a browse while you're there.  Well, you might as well!

The winner of the challenge stands to win a Funky Hand download of their choice - and that could be anything in the shop that is downloadable - a whole collection of papers, a 
word book collection or a collection of digi stamps etc.

Don't forget to check back here often for a few sneak peeks of my very first DT challenge offering.  I'm scheduled to introduce my piece on the Get Funky blog on the 8th February as the schedule goes... Also - remember to check back every 3 or so days to see the latest DT piece for inspiration too and then enter a funky card of your own!

In addition to the exciting things happening with the challenges, it remains for me to tell you all about Betty.

Betty is a girl about town - getting up to what girls get up to - shopping, needing shoes and handbags, congratulating loved ones and friends, and being all lurved up etc etc.

Betty is a brand new character brought into the world by Anice (not in a given birth kind of way before I get myself into hot water)... She's a clear stamp!!!

The DT (before the new girls on the block arrived), have produced some fab designs using Betty - who comes as four different theme plates.  Click on each design to be whisked off to the site to see some fabulous samples produced by the team:

All a girl needs:
Celebrate
Love 'n' that
And last but not least

Your special day

Isn't she just the girl that's got it all!!!  Remember to do all your paper piecing with her - and the elements on each of the stamp sheets can be mixed and matched too.

Wow - that's it for now from me.  Just a little short post as usual (tee hee)!!!

Keep on coming back to see what I create as my first ever DT piece - that will be shown on 8th Feb - but in the meantime - my fellow funkettes will be posting their DT projects - some may include Betty - and some might not - but they will all be featuring circles this month!

Oooh - I still have to tell you my news - the very same news I told you I needed to tell you last week... the moment will have gone soon and it will be as old as the hills!!!

Ciao dahhlings - hope to see you back here soon!!!

Paula x x x

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

lots to tell - and a card to keep you interested!!!

Well hello my lovely blogging friends, followers and new visitors to my blog...

I've had loads going on in the last few weeks and each time I want to sit and write a post - something else crops up - or I went and got a chest infection which i've had for the best part of a fortnight although I hope i'm getting over it - (but i'm still coughing like i've been on 40 a day).
Well, because I've got so much to tell you - I really don't know where to start... so, how about with some super fabby news then?

I'm sure many visitors know that digital CD crafting is my first love - and something that actually got me into crafting properly.... The first craft CD I bought was after watching Create and Craft TV and a lovely lady called Anice was demo-ing one of her very first craft Cd's - FUNKY HAND.  I actually bought it directly from her on e-bay rather than from C&C - but when I got it home - OMG... i was smitten.  In fact, I was smitten so much that I bought everyone she released since then - and some downloads from the website which you will find HERE.

Anyway... when I first started my blog a year ago (please see my blogaversary post HERE for a chance to win some lovely goodies when I've decided what it will be), it took me a while to pluck up the courage to enter a blog challenge - but when I finally decided I would do it - FUNKY HAND was the very first one.  And FUNKY HAND was the very first one that I won - see my post - HERE.

Well, my good news my friends is that last week, I thought it would be in order for me to apply for a DT spot with Anice and her gang, and guess what - I was successful. Whoop whoop... I'm a 'Funkette'! 

I can't wait to get going on producing challenge pieces in order to inspire others - those who are already aware of FUNKY HAND - and hopefully - those who are less familiar.

Most of my blogging friends may be aware that I'm totally not into buying paper because A) obviously you only buy what you like - and for that very reason - I wouldn't be able to use it - I'd just 'have' it, 'own' it and not do anything with it - cos once its gone, its gone.  However, with my CD crafting (this would be my 'B' then)!!! - I have a shop stand full all on one little round disk - and I can print and print to my hearts delight.  Imagine then, having all the Cd's that I have - its a HUGE number of designs and colourways.... then having my CISS (Continuous Ink Supply System) installed obviously makes a MASSIVE difference - and I don't think twice about churning papers out - all on best print quality of course!

So ladies - I hope you'll visit often to see what I'm up to...

Here's a card I made before I knew that FUNKY HAND were calling out for new DT members... and guess what - its made using scraps of my favourite funky hand papers (yes, I save the scraps too and file them in colour coded folders (sad - me? - nah).


The two patterned papers are from the latest CD - Colour Me Happy - which is part of the Paper craft Factory collection.  I made it very quickly for my son's friend - Ben, who passed his test on 31st December.  My DS1 and Ben were born on exactly the same day - and its very likely I was in hospital with his mum.  DS1 plays a lot of tennis, as you know - and Ben and him go to tennis every week.  I might have done a bit more to it had I not made it in a rush - but as far as boys go - they don't care do they - its the thought that counts... however - DS1 hasn't given it to him yet - he keeps 'forgetting' (as boys do) - so if he doesn't hurry up - the moment will have totally gone!

Right, as I said I have loads more news for you - but, in order not to make this a blog post that rivals 'War and Peace', I'll tell my news in another blog post - you know how I don't like doing long blog posts don't you (NOT)!  - so,  you'll just have to come back and read all about it - won't you?... Please???... go-on then PRETTY please!!!

I'd love to have your comments - or just for you to say 'Hi - I've been to your blog - hello'... I don't look for compliments on my projects - I just like to hear from you - if you like what I've done - well that's great - and if you tell me - well, that's even better - but most of all, I like to meet new people and also hear from 'old' blogging friends (well, i have known some of you for a year now!).

big hugs - hope to see you back here shortly

Paula x x x

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

WOYWW - 5th January 2011

Hey Guys!

When I saw a couple of posts appear in my inbox earlier with the title of WOYWW - to say I was gobsmacked was putting it a bit lightly me thinks... I was confused because I didn't realise it was a Wednesday for one... 

Anyway - cos it was late(ish) when I realised, and i'd missed all the best light in the craft room so I thought i'd provide last weeks pics... taken with every intention of joining in - however, I'd just come in from my friends wedding and was absolutely knackered.  The wedding was actually Tuesday, but we stayed over in the hotel.

Back to the matter in hand.  I'm basically showing you last weeks desk because i've done no crafting all week due to nursing a chest infection.


Oh Dear!

It looks like someone just dumped everything on my desk.... oops - remember now - thats cos somebody did - moi!  Nothing exciting to speak of.  some l'occitane (or how ever you spell overpriced handcream in tubes) in the book thing, my baby Kars cutter - very handy for little things.  A clear plastic wallet with elements for making Forever Friends cards.  And a bag of tea lights - which is no longer there because i've been using them up by lighting them all week...


This is my empty DVD storage tower where all my Spellbinders and other dies were stored... thats something i'll show you in the future because its a work in progress and is in the lounge with me at the moment because I've been cataloguing them and am awaiting the delivery of 12 more sets (which i've treated myself to), so alternative storage was necessary.

I have two poorly boys at home with me today - they only went back yesterday.  Youngest DS was sent home from school and neither of them were well enough to be there today.  We all have germs and are trying to contain them as much as possible.


 Finally, a picture of the floor of my conservatory/craftroom.  This had been tidied up since the picture was taken, but is presently in an even worse state thanks to boys being in there and youngest taking his X-Box in there.  Well at least I get to see him that way - otherwise he's tucked away in his bedroom and only coming out for food!!!

If you want to join in with WOYWW - the acronym for Whats On Your Workdesk Wednesday - hop over to Julia's blog - The Stamping Ground and learn all about the weekly blog hop to visit fellow bloggers spaces where they create.

Thats it for this post.  Thank you for visiting and hope to see you again soon

hugs

Paula x x x



My First Blog Award of 2011

I'm honoured to receive the following blog award from my blogging friend,  the seriously talented Chrissie of 'Simply One of A Kind' Blog.  I'm in awe of Chrissie's ability to churn cards out at a fair rate of knots...!

Check out the Digis with Attitude blog, where you will find some fabby images...this award comes along with a $5 Gift Certificate, if you complete the following requirements: 

1)  Tell us 3 things that make you different from everyone else, then pass on the award to 5 other bloggers
2)  Display the Blog Award Badge in your sidebar and link it back to the Digi’s With Attitude! Challenge Blog.

If you have been awarded the “I got the Attitude! Blog Award” and followed all the required steps, email  dwacblog@live.com to claim your Gift Certificate.  Don't forget to include your full name and your blog name. 
Only one gift Certificate per person & blog is permitted. 

Gift Certificates will be sent to you within 48 hours of receipt on a business day via a reply to the email received.


Right, here goes...

I was born on Thursday 11th March at 4.30am - my first son was also born on Thursday 11th March - at 5.04am - just over half an hour difference - on my 22nd Birthday.  This means that he will be 18 on my 40th Birthday - which just happens to be in about 10 weeks time!!!

Within a space of 5 weeks last year, I accumulated 6 scars on my abdomen!

Until recent years, I had a tiny horseshoe shaped scar right on the end of my nose - from falling over when I was 18months old. Its faded now.

Well, I now have to pass this award on to 5 other bloggers, so here goes:


Thanks again Chrissie for thinking of me... I found it really hard to think of these things and had to ask my boys for ideas after the first one!  

Hugs to all 

Paula x x x

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