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Friday, 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas

Warmest Christmas greetings at all.

2015 continues to be a year of some highs, and some very deep lows.

If you read 2 previous posts here and here, you will understand why I have not been 
blogging for several months. John is slowly recovering, but will probably never be 
at the level of health that he had before 'things' went so dreadfully wrong. 
He had his 4th (and hopefully last) operation in early November. 

With the help of several tradesmen, and a group of wonderful friends, we prepared
our farm for sale, and were thrown into total shock and quite a bit of panic, when 
we sold on the 8th day it was advertised!! Part of the panic was because there were
 no homes for sale at the retirement village we chose to move into...our buyers want
to move in a.s.a.p., so we feared we may become 'homeless'. A few months earlier 
we fell in love with a beautiful house at the village, but someone beat us to 
putting a deposit down, as we were not ready to put our farm on the market.

Imagine our joy when the day after we exchanged contracts, the manager at the 
village phoned to say that the people had backed out of buying the house
we loved, and it was ours if we still wanted it. There was a huge 
"YES PLEASE" from us!!

HOWEVER, Fate had not finished with us!!!....the very next day  (3 weeks 
ago), we received a phone call that every parent dreads. Our son who has
lived in London for 18 years, had been hit by a car (for several years we
have been estranged from him, but John's near death brought him
back into our lives).

He had his right ear torn off, his left eye damaged, several broken bones
(he requires more surgery on his knee), cuts, and severe bruising. Much more 
serious though is the brain damage, caused by a 2cm tear to his frontal lobe.
He is very confused about everything, and it is so distressing when he 
sometimes doesn't know who we are when they put him on the phone to us. 
The doctors are hopeful that when all the cerebral swelling and bruising 
subsides, and the blood clot dissolves, he will regain his memory and  
most (if not all) his cognitive skills.

I so desparately want to fly to London, but John is not well enough to travel,
nor well enough to leave alone. Besides, we have to be out of here in 3 weeks,
and I have barely begun packing. We have to put our belongings into storage 
and stay in a B. & B. for 1 week, as the house in the village won't be available
for that time. Once we are basically unpacked, I will then probably fly to
London, as John will have people around him, and there are emergency
alarms in all the houses. The manager has said that staff will 'keep an eye
out' for John while I am away.

With that rather depressing news, I will say "bye for now", and wish you all a
happy and safe Christmas. Treasure your loved ones, because we never
know when our lives can be turned upside down in an instant.

Hopefully, in a few months, I will be able to set up my craft room and return
 to creating cards and mixed media projects...I am really having 'withdrawals'.

Love and hugs,
Jennifer xx

The lovely image is a freebie from The Feathered Nest..."Thank You", Dawn.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

BIG Changes!

Hello to all my patient crafting friends in blogland.

It is now a month since I last posted anything on my blog, so I thought I had better put
you all in the picture, so as to speak. If you read my post (here), you will know that we
have been having an awful time with John's health, following what was supposed to
be a simple procedure in hospital, but which turned into a case of medical negligence.
 Since that post, we have continued to lurch from one medical crisis to another, 
with John having several urgent admissions to hospital. He has to have 
another operation next Friday, and another in early November.

John has lost 11kgs in total (I would love to lose that much weight, but definitely NOT
how he has lost it!), and is still very weak. All this medical trauma has accelerated the
symptoms of his Parkinson's Disease, and one of the medications they commenced him
on, caused problems with his already unstable heart. Sooo, we have made the very sad 
decision to sell our farm and move into a retirement village. When we moved here more
than 35 years ago, our 26 acres had a very 'ordinary' house on it, with one cactus near
the front door. We have done massive improvements on the house, built lots of farm
buildings, created several paddocks, and landscaped huge gardens.

It will break our hearts to leave, but I guess we have to face the fact that we are no
longer the young, fit, healthy couple we were in January, 1980. It will be a huge 
adjustment for us, from having all this lovely space around us, to living in very 
close proximity to lots of people. However, we are trying to look at it as being 
a big adventure in much the same way as when we moved here.

Because we have to get my poor darling John back on his feet to a reasonable
degree, and we have to get our home and farm ready for sale (with the help
of a lot of lovely friends), then move, I have decided to put my blog
 'in suspended animation' for a few months. 

I have reluctantly stepped down from the DT at Winter Wonderland, but the
lovely ladies there have very kindly said I am welcome to rejoin the team when 
my life settles down. They are a fabulous DT, and I look forward to being 
part of them again in the future.

Until we meet again, I shall wish you all "happy crafting".
Hugs, Jennifer. xxx

Friday, 18 September 2015

Christmas Fairy

This is my second post today, the earlier one being my explanation
for my long absence from blogging.

There are less than 100 days until Christmas, so I hope you have all
made a start on your Christmas cards. If not, why not join us each week
for our challenges at Winter Wonderland. That way you can get a 
'head-start' on your festive cards. This week, our theme is
and our lovely sponsor this week is 

I have quite a few Christmas Angel stamps, but no Christmas Fairy
stamps, so hope this fairy looks as if she has made a special 
effort to dress for a visit at Christmas.
The lovely paper was in a large stack of Christmas paper that I bought
so many years ago, I have forgotten where, or what brand it is. To 'dress
it up' a bit, I put a dot of Stickles Star Dust in the centre of each snowflake.
I cut out the sentiment by hand, and to hide my 'wonky' cutting, I  
added a narrow border of Stickles around the edge.

I also added lots of Stickles to my fairy's dress, wand and wings, but
as is the usual case, it does not show up in the photos. My lovely fairy
is from a set of children's stamps I bought many years ago.

Inside my card is quite simple. That beautiful 'lace' border was created
with a Martha Stewart punch I had forgotten I had. I must use it
more often, as it is so pretty. I thought it matched the edge 
of my fairy's dress quite well.

Challenges I would like to enter
Christmas Card #41 - 'Anything Goes'
Fantastic Tuesday #103 - 'Anything Goes with a Twist-Bright and Colourful'
Jingle Belles - 'Something From Our Stash, at Least One Year Old' (stamp, paper and border punch are many years old)
Shopping Our Stash #219 - 'Outa This World' (stamp, paper and border punch are many years old)

Image - rubber stamp (un-named children's set)
Colouring - Promarkers
Paper - Unknown brand, very old, from my junk stash
Sentiment - Crafts 4 Eternity (Digi) 
Die - Joy Craft Snowflake; Spellbinders Butterfly Circles
Punch - Martha Stewart Doily Lace Edge
Gems are from my junk stash

For some great inspiration, pop over to the Winter Wonderland challenge,
and have a look at my teamies' gorgeous projects. We would then love 
you to enter your Christmas Fairy creation, for a chance 
to win a fab prize.

Jennifer. x


Hello all my crafty friends.

I thought I had better let you all know why I have been AWOL for the past 6 weeks. 
I would like to say that I have been having a lovely relaxing holiday at some 
exotic destination, but sadly, that is not the case. In fact, John and I have been 
"living a nightmare", from which we will not wake up for some time yet.

Five weeks ago, John went into hospital to have a kidney stone removed by laser. 
That should have involved an overnight stay, with a return trip six weeks later 
to have the stent removed. However, John experienced several major complications, 
including having several internal organs perforated. He had to undergo emergency 
surgery in the middle of one night, then a week later finished up in ICU, with 
septicaemia and urosepsis, unconscious for one night, and at one stage I was told 
he may not survive. He was also given a huge dose of I.V. Penicillin, despite the
fact that he was wearing red wristbands, and his allergy was noted on all his papers.

He has been home for one week, and I am having to care for him around the clock. 
He is still terribly weak, and is still bleeding slightly. He lost 10kgs, and looks terrible 
(he was slim before the op). He will require more surgery in 3-4 weeks to deal with
the internal scarring from the damage that was done to him.

I have not had any spare time to do anything creative, and have been 
soooooo missing being in my craft room. However, I sat up very late 
last night, and made my DT card (very simple) for our Winter Wonderland 
challenge this week, so will be back later today with it.

Until then,
Jennifer. x

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

How Charming

Our UK visitors left yesterday to return home, and although I am completely
exhausted, it was very sad to see them go. I shall miss them immensely.
Naturally, I did not get a chance to 'play' in my craft room, except for 
fulfilling my DT commitments......almost.......

I managed to load this card onto the Winter Wonderland blog for our 'How
Charming' challenge (which ended last Thursday), but I did not get a
chance to post it into my blog until today.

Michelle from MR Designs sponsored the challenge, and she kindly
gave us a generous selection of her lovely digital papers 
to use on our creations.

I cut the sentiment out by hand, and sponged the edges with Vintage Photo 
distress ink. Without reinking the sponge, I folded it over and pulled the 
stark white twine through it several times, thus using the remainder of  
the distress ink. The holly charm had raised edges, so I applied 
copper and red Stickles to it.

The flowers were cut with punches, sponged with Distress ink,
shaped with McGill tools, and when assembled, I applied
copper Stickles to the centres.

My deer was made with four layers of cardstock and one of shimmery
copper paper. To create even more dimension, I mounted him with
tiny pieces of 3D tape.

Inside the card. 

Paper - MR Designs digital
Sentiment - Crafts 4 Eternity
Dies - Spellbinders Classic Ovals; Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Holiday Greens; Marianne Deer LR 0179
Punches - EK Success Retro Flowers Large and Medium
Charm and twine are from my junk stash

Challenges I Would like To Enter
ABC - 'O Is For Open' (Anything Goes) 
A Gem Of A Challenge #150 - 'Animals or Birds'
Animal Friends #29 - 'At The Zoo'
Brown Sugar # 157 - 'Animals'
Crafting For All Seasons #106 - 'Christmas In July'

'Art' is a wonderful journey, don't you think. For me personally I feel I am
evolving all the time. Why I say this is because even just a year ago, I 
would have intensely disliked this style of card, and I have always 
'hated' the colour combination of blue and I love it...
along with shabby chic, distressed, and mixed media.

Now I have finished my self "psycho-analysis", I will come back to 
earth with a bump to attend to the massive pile of linen that is 
lurking in my laundry. 

Until next time, thank you for visiting,
Jennifer. x

Friday, 31 July 2015

♫Joy To The World♫

It is some time since I last posted a card, but as I explained a few posts
ago, we have overseas visitors, and we have been quite busy in one way
or another.

Welcome to my newest followers, Julie and Donna. I hope you  
enjoy your visits to my blog.

At Winter Wonderland, many of our Design Team are on holidays, so
our challenge will last 4 weeks instead of our usual 1 week. Our theme
for that period should provide you with lots of creative ideas because it is

Because of the lengthy break we have 4 wonderful sponsors, and they 

This DT card is very similar to my last one, in that I have recycled a
lovely card sent to us last year. Other similarities are that it was a 
large card which I cropped heavily, and I forgot to photograph
the original card before cutting it up.

To comply with our theme of  'Christmas Carol or Song', I could have 
chosen 'Away In A Manger' for this image, but I decided to go with 
'Joy To The World', (the Lord is come) because I had that greeting
on another recyclable card, and the background colour 
matched the image perfectly.

A closer look at the beautiful, serene image. In the window in the 
scene, there was a very tiny star, over which I have attached a 
die-cut star, covered with Star Dust Stickles.

Image - recycled Christmas card
Sentiment - recycled Christmas card
Paper - Lili Of The Valley Frosty Christmas
Die - Memory Box Star Of Wonder
Clear/Gold border stickers are from my junk stash

There is a wonderful selection of cards by my teamies at Winter Wonderland, so why not pop over to our challenge blog, drool over their creations, then enter your own fabulous projects for a chance to win one of the great prizes.

Until next time, thank you for visiting,
Jennifer. x

Friday, 10 July 2015

Star Gazing

Well folks, here we are again with only 167 days until Christmas, and to
help you prepare your cards for the festive season we have a new
challenge for you at Winter Wonderland. Our theme this week is

Thank you to this week's wonderful sponsor......

For the past few years I have been saving pretty cards given to us by
friends, with a plan to recycle them. However, each Christmas the 
collection expands, when I stash them away and forget about them. 
When I saw the theme of our challenge for this week I remembered 
that I had a large card with cute polar bears in the enormous collection.

Silly muggins me forgot to photograph the card before I chopped it up.
I cut the image down considerably, so as to showcase the bears, layered
the image on mauve pearlised cardstock (same as the base card), then 
created a border of silvery clear border stickers that I have had in my
junk stash forever. The sentiment is recycled from the same card.

A closer look at the little cuties. I was not happy with how I joined the
border stickers at the corners, so I covered them with tiny negatives
from a Martha Stewart PATP punch.

Inside the card is very plain.

Image - Recycled Christmas card
Sentiment - Recycled Christmas card
Paper - Kaisercraft Christmas Spirit
Dies - Spellbinders Scalloped Rectangle; Impression Obsession Mini Snowflakes
Punches - Martha Stewart PATP Aspen Snowflakes; Carl Snowflake
Glitter - Ranger Stickles Star Dust
Peel-off Border Sticker is from my junk stash

For a chance to win a lovely prize, and be inspired by my teamies gorgeous creations, pop over to Winter Wonderland for our 'Have a Beary Christmas' challenge.

Thank you for visiting, and until next time,
Jennifer. x