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Friday, 18 July 2008

Peacock Download Password

If you have found your way here from the PSP CD, then let me thank you for purchasing a CD which is helping contribute valuable funds to PSP research.

The password for the downloaded files on the CD can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Many thanks

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Stamp Winners (and Christmas Sneak Peak)

The random number generator has spoken...

Thank you to everyone who left a comment - Adrian and I both appreciate all the kind words and support that you guys are sending our way. Yes he will be off with me next week, but we will be spending a lot of it with Derrick and Alma and probably a fair chunk of it with social services as we are making a transition from agency provided care to actually recruiting and employing carers ourselves. All good fun stuff!

Adrian is spending so much time caring for his parents that he is no longer working full time at Graphicus and the work he does can be done from home a lot of the time. As he likes to put it, he's taken partial early retirement!

Anyway, on to our two lucky winners.

The winner the Fantasy Floral stamp set is ... Pat Warren

And the Filigree Fusion stamps go to Veronica

Congratulations ladies - please could you either click this link to send me an email, or call the office on 01833 695958 to let us know where to send the stamps!

Comiserations to everyone else, but here's a little eye candy to tease you with.

These are the cards that feature in our Christmas workshop which is a class that Lynn and I both teach. I do the cards in the morning and in the afternoon Lynn does a gorgeous christmas organiser book with the bind it all. We will be putting more dates in the diary for this class as the next one is completely sold out with a waiting list.

There are three sets of Christmas stamps already in production and we launched them to our retailers at the event last week, so you might see them on the shelves already in one of our stockists. They are scheduled to go on the Graphicus site soon as we are doing a TV show with them on July 23rd. In fact we are doing two! Lynn and I will both be demonstrating on the 9.00am and 11.00am shows on that day.

I almost hesitate to put that information on here, because every time I do, it seems like they change the date on me. But I will have faith that it's all going to go ahead as planned.

So keep watching because one day soon there might just be another giveaway with those new christmas stamps ...

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Night Shift

Many of you spotted that the peacock stamps had sold out on the Create and Craft website, almost in the first day. Well yesterday there were several conversations back and forth about whether we could send a top up order to them. Of course we can I said. It's not as if we're busy with trade orders from last week's retreat, glimmer mist orders from the launch of the Glimmer with Glenda show, stampbord orders from the Stampbord Sensations show, Filigree and Floral stamps from Monday's show or getting the PSP CDs out which just arrived. (All CD pre-orders have now been shipped, by the way.)

So last night Adrian and I stayed late making stamps - ah, just like the old days. Funny what passes for a romantic night in these days ...

Well I confess that it's all starting to catch up with me a bit now and I'm taking next week off. Yes, some 'me' time! I'm currently thinking of sleeping all week, but I'm sure I'll be in that craft room in no time. I want to do some crafting just for me, maybe even some old fashioned drawing and painting. Or scrapbooking. Or some exciting new books for the autumn workshops. Or I could finish off my Rusty Pickle albums. I never showed you those did I?

On the left is the Rustic Journey book which is more like a folder with envelopes inside. Each envelope contains a decorated tag. The E on the other book stands for "Everything about Me", but mine might end up being an "Everything about Us" book so I can put pictures of Adrian and the boys in it.
This is looking inside the Rustic Journey book. Yes, I think I'll have to get some photos on my way to and from work to put in here as I genuinely do have a very rustic journey every day.

Well I shall probably go and fall asleep on the sofa now. I'm just a bit too tired to do any crafting tonight ... zzzzzzzonk!

Peacock CD Winners - please get in touch!

Back in April, I announced ten winners of the Peacock Summer Party CD. We have the contact details for some of the winners, but there are still some lucky ladies out there who have won, but not been in touch to give us details of where to send their prize!

Below is the list of winners as originally posted. If your name is on the list and we don't have your address, you need to get in touch with us as soon as possible as the CDs are in the building and we are keen to get them sent out to you.

If you know any of these people, please can you ask them to get in touch with us or they risk losing their prize.

The winners were:

1. Jill, a delightfully cheerful lady who has MS, but always seems to have a sunny smile on her face whenever she visits Graphicus. (address supplied)

2. Hayley, who has lost a child, a pain I cannot begin to imagine (address supplied)

3. Sharon, to whom crafting is a therapy while battling severe health problems (address supplied)

4. Lorraine who has Sarcoidosis, one of several illnesses I am now aware of that I wasn't before

5. Tina who runs a support group for people with Vasculitis, another rare disease (address supplied)

6. Hilary whose mother may have had undiagnosed PSP, but was treated for Parkinsons

7. Eli whose Daughters partners Mother was diagnosed with PSP last year

8. Stephanie, whose husband and two children have Marfan's Syndrome

9. Cat, whose brother has the oddly named Charcot Marie Tooth syndrome, nothing to do with teeth, but a neurological condition

10. Ann, whose son in law was diagnosed with Larfora Body Disease, one which I have found hardest to find user friendly information about on the Internet.

Monday, 7 July 2008


I'm all packed and just about to head off to Peterborough for today's live show ( The good stuff is all in my trolley, but from the debris on my craft table, I thought I'd share these little snippets, all from the Filigree Fusion themeplate, embossed in gold over Glimmer Misted backgrounds.

I have had such fun with these stamps and I think it's high time I had a giveaway on the blog!

So leave me a comment if you want to go in the draw to win a set of Fantasy Floral or Filigree Fusion stamps. I'll draw two names out of the hat on Friday (11th July). If you can't resist and have to buy them sooner than that, then you can pick your own themeplate from the Elusive Images range. They are shipping to retailers right now and of course they are available from Graphicus.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Put it away Basil

Hey Basil, you forgot to put your tongue away again. Dude, seriously. Put it away!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Fantastic News!!

Would you like a cup of tea? Well here I am on the way home again after filming a lovely show with Nigel. It flew by and I had hoped to get more demonstrations in, but I have a plan to get some step by step stuff done here on the blog with the demos that didn't get shown.

When I came out of the studio I called Adrian and had the most wonderful, if rather unexpected news. Derrick is coming home on Monday!!

We are all keeping our fingers crossed that he doesn't have any kind of setback over the weekend, but the doctors are happy that he is stable enough on the medication cocktail that he is currently on. I think we'll still have to deal with his hyper delicate stomach, but I'm sure he will fare better at home where he can nibble what he fancies rather than making a choice from hospital food that is enough to make anyone ill.

I must say thank you to all of you for the emails you have sent in since last Friday's slightly weepy blog entry. So many of you understand what we're going through and you are so kind and thoughtful to let me know that and tell me your stories. I have had such a mad week that I haven't replied to many people, so if I don't get round to it, I know you understand and this is to let you know that I appreciate the support.

I'm also amazed at the number of people who like the new haircut - I've been told it takes ten years off me which is no bad thing, considering my mum, by pure coincidence, also had her hair cut quite similar the same weekend I did (neither of us knew) and her friends tell her it's taken ten years off her. At least we're both looking ten years younger together!

Adrian has arranged for his cousin to take Derrick home on Monday so he can come down with me for the live TV show at Ideal World. The train is a relaxing way to travel, but it's restricting on what I can bring with me. You should feel the weight of the bag I have with me today - wrist breaking stuff! And my plans for Monday's show mean that I want lots of different things with me to show as many techniques as I can.

Shall I let you into today's act of complete stupidity ... I forgot to bring the stamps with me!! How dumb is that? (Don't answer.) Luckily, we have to provide Ideal World with a complete set of samples in advance of any show we film and I think I know why now - for times when the guest forgets to take their own products with them. Doh!

Oh, and for the person who asked about the photo, yes I'm on my own, no I didn't hold a camera at arm's length, and no, I didn't ask anyone else to take the picture. My laptop has a built in webcam on the screen, facing me, so when I switch it on, it's like looking in a mirror. I set up the shot, then press the button and it's like a photo booth and gives me a 3, 2, 1 warning before it takes the shot.

It also has some funky built in special effects such as this Pop Art style picture of Derrick that I took a while ago.

I think the one on the top left probably sums up how he's been feeling a lot of the time lately, but it will be good to get him home again.

Blogging from the Train

Hey this is so cool. Here I am on the East Coast mainline, on my way to Peterborough to film the Peacock show this afternoon. I think I could get used to train travel in this kind of style.

I forgot to mention in the last post that we also have a show on July 23rd on Ideal World and the plan at the moment is to launch our Christmas stamps on that show. In fact, I think we have two shows on that day, 9am and 11am.

However, as you know these things are often subject to change! I'll keep you posted. I'm going to enjoy my complimentary cup of tea now.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

TV Show Information

If you're watching Create and Craft next week, you're likely to see a lot of me as we have the Pick of the Week with the new Peacock Summer Party CD and two stamp sets, Peacock Ladies and Peacock Fan.

These are just a handful of the images from the CD, all available in different page layout formats, as well as greetings and inserts.

We are expecting our own stock in next Tuesday so we will be sending out CDs to blog candy winners and all of you who have pre-ordered the CD already. Please bear with us as there are also trade pre-orders to get out and we won't get through them all in one day. I love my staff to bits, but they're not superhuman - they will get them out to you as soon as they humanly can!

It will be a special price for one week only on Create and Craft, and there was a rumour about free P&P, but don't quote me on that. Remember, for every CD sold, we make a 50p donation to the PSP Association, the awful illness that Adrian's mum suffers from.

Then on Monday 7th July, I have a LIVE show on Ideal World at 2.00pm. Yes, that's not 9.00am as originally published, it's 2.00pm. This is going to be the launch of a long awaited pair of themeplates which coordinate with the Filigree Fusion and Fantasy Floral CDs, the very first two CDs we launched. These CDs have beautiful designs on, but back then I didn't have the same tools at my disposal so these ones don't have the option for you to insert your own text or greetings. They will have a one day special price on the two CDs together.

Here are the stamp designs.

I have absolutely loved working with these and I'm thinking of designating the show as a "Backgrounds Masterclass" as I have found myself doing a lot of background type things with these - direct to paper, brayered resist backgrounds, Glimmer Mists of course, Tinkabella inks, ink-bleed overlay, faux batik - oh the list goes on. Love 'em, love 'em, LERVE THEM!

I'm filming the Peacock CD show tomorrow and for the first time, I'm letting the train take the strain. I may regret the decision on the Friday night train out of London, but I've treated myself to a first class ticket as it's actually still cheaper than our usual routine of driving and staying down the night before.

Right, back to the packing - oh my gosh those samples are gorgeous! You have got to watch just to see these ...

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Retailers' Retreat

I thought you might like to see a picture of our house...

Lovely, isn't it? Yeah, right, I wish! This is Headlam Hall Hotel where I have just spent the last two days running an intense two day event for our Elusive Images retailers. There was a lot of preparation went into the event, but it was all worth it, I think everyone had a fantastic time.

With 8 one and a half our classes in two days, the pace was fast, but we figured they could take it! They got to see all the new stamps I've been working on - Christmas stamps, Bridal Bouquets, Fantasy Floral, Filigree Fusion and a new set which is so new it doesn't even have a name yet. They also got to play with Glimmer Mists, Stampbord and the new Peacock CD. All this stuff will be coming your way, but you might want to check out one of the retailers who came to the event, they will all be keen to show off this new stock to you in their shops very soon.

3 Baker Street
SY23 2BJ

Amethyst Crafts
Unit 25 - The Precinct
Blaydon Shopping Centre
Blaydon on Tyne
Tyne & Wear
NE21 5BT

The Craft Place
1 Bay Court
East Yorkshire
HU17 8XJ

The Art & Craft Centre
15 Bow Street

The Craft Studio
Gramark House
Bowstead Gate
LA12 7PS

Craft Ambrosia Limited
32A Walsworth Road

Craft Centrall LTD
Various locations

Creative Hands
8A Farndale Square
TS10 5HE

Shop 10 Plymouth Pannier Market

Flutterby Crafts
unit 4 & 5 The Barns
Lower Henwick farms
Turnpike Road
RG18 3AP

8 Princess Street

Gallery Textiles
4a Canalside. Metal Ores Industrial Estate
Hanbury Road
Stoke Prior
B60 4JZ

Kitty Crafts
Unit 7 Panmurefield
146 Lawers Drive

Lex Craft
(you'll see her at the stamping shows)

Llindas Greetings Cards and Craft Accessories
Main Street
DN22 0NG

Paddy's Stamping Place
146 Butterstile Lane
M25 9TJ

Paper Paradise
168 Cromwell Road
DN31 2BA

Puffin Craft
36 East Dulwich Road
SE22 9AX

Purple Butterfly Crafts
Daleside Garden Centre
Gladstone Way

The Stamp Pad
72 Chew Valley Road

Stamp to your Arts Content
Unit 1 Valley End Business Centre
Nunn Brook Road
NG17 2HU
69a Main Street
Burton Joyce
NG14 5ED

Stencil Craft
115 Boldmere Road
Sutton Coalfield
B73 5TU

Swanstitch Limited
82-84 High Street
CT14 6EG

White Rose Crafts
The Square
Thornton le Dale
North Yorkshire
YO18 7LF

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Laughing through the tears

On Friday morning Joanna Sheen made me cry.

Yes, you heard right. To explain why, I need to backtrack just a wee bit.

You see, it's been a really tough week for Derrick - he just hasn't been able to keep any food down and the poor guy is exhausted by it all and tired of constantly feeling and being sick. I haven't seen as much of him this week as I feel I should because I've been working hard for our retailer event next week.

Adrian is running around all over the place and he really got quite low this week wondering if his Dad was ever going to get better. We've all settled into this mechanical routine of taking each day as it comes and automatically responding to the inevitable questions with "we're absolutely fine"/"doing great"/"getting on ok"/etc. You know you have to stay positive, keep taking the multi-vitamins, try to get quality rest so you don't get ill yourself, keep on with the day job and be a source of comfort and positivity to the patient; whilst all the time focusing on a pretty important event that needs lots of planning and organising of other people.

I love being busy and many people ask me how I manage to fit so much in. Well most of the time, I draw my energy from the joy I take in life and the creativity that I surround myself with. But going through something stressful like this eventually takes it's toll - cue Hormona. This is not the stroppy Hormona you may have read about last year, but the emotionally fragile version who doesn't actually realise that she's getting a little frayed around the edges until someone goes and does something so bloody nice that she bursts into tears.

And that's just what happened on Friday morning. I was on the phone, taking down a lady's order when the most enormous box arrived, with 'FLOWERS' blazoned over it. I was so surprised I forgot to ask the lady for her credit card details, but luckily she offered them anyway.

I could see Adrian shrugging his shoulders at me and mouthing "not me" so I was completely perplexed. Well when I got off the phone, everyone came over to see who they were from and they were to Adrian and myself from Joanna Sheen and Richard with a very simple, sweet message. I'd been chatting to her just the day before and she had seen right through the mask of okayness and thought I needed cheering up. How sweet is that?!

Now before you all start rushing out and sending me flowers (I only have so many vases), we are both absolutely fine and I'm pleased to report that Derrick was loads better tonight. It's now been over 24 hours since he was sick which is a great sign and he has managed some soup tonight which is nothing short of a miracle.

I had another great example of team support on Friday as well. For one reason or another, we got to the end of Friday only to realise that there was a whole bunch of stamps that needed to be cut out in preparation for our classes on Monday. We realised at about two minutes to five so I could forsee a weekend of cutting rubber ahead of me. But no, my wonderful team of staff who were there at the time, plus two of our designers, ALL volunteered to stay back and get stuck in to get it done.

So I have to say thank you to Val, Vicky, Judith, Lesley, Annette and Lynn who all sat and cut rubber with me on Friday night. A certain amount of hysteria did set in towards the end - well what do you expect when you put a bunch of women in a room full of rubber. You can make up your own jokes I'm sure.

But both these incidents, plus the many times customers ask me on the phone how Derrick is, make me truly grateful for both the practical support, the sweet gestures and kind thoughts that come my way.

Now I just hope Joanna doesn't mind that I've told everyone she made me cry, but as she said herself, in girl-speak, that's the same thing as a smile!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Hey, Guess What - a date change!

Maybe. I think. Or maybe not. I'm really not sure.

You see I have one person at Ideal World telling me that my Peacock CD show will be going out on the 13th July and another saying it's been brought forward to the 6th.

Who knows?!

I tried to blog earlier tonight, but blogger was a bit off colour and simply wouldn't play. So I'll just keep this one short and sweet and show you the amazing necklace Lynn made with the new jewelled flower stamps.

Isn't that gorgeous!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Craft Stamper

You may have heard that Craft Stamper magazine is having a bit of a make-over and launching a new look with the August issue (out early July). Well I am waiting with baited breath to see if they have made a rich, vibrant, classy, inspirational stamping magazine, or whether it will simply look like a clone of all the other magazines out there.

Wearing my Elusive Images hat, I am supporting the magazine a lot with projects, competition prizes and features, but this is an appeal to any of you who read it or who may pick up the new look issue next month. Please, please, PLEASE tell them what you think of it. Good or bad, they need to know.

Magazines in general are struggling to compete with the Internet. Logistically, they have to work a few months ahead, but how do they stay on trend and bring you the latest hot new products and cool techniques when the lightening speed of the Internet means those products and techniques have already spread like wildfire around the cybertubes? It's a tough challenge and I wish them every success with it.

There is sadly only this one British magazine that is focused entirely on stamping and I would hate to see it fold as Simply Stamping did a couple of years ago. We need a magazine that does more than "licky-sticky" projects, something that has challenging projects and inspirational features; projects that carry the warning: "caution, fingers may get ink stained".

So when it does come out, I urge you to seek it out and read it cover to cover. Then contact the editor and tell her honestly what you think of it all. They will want to know what you like, what you dislike and most importantly, what inspired you put the magazine down, go into your craft space and start playing with your rubber stamps!

I'll let you know what I think when it comes out.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Headless Chicken Week

No, it's not a reference to more injured animals, it's how I'm feeling at the moment. I'm teaching our first Christmas workshop tomorrow, so I'm busy finalising the cards for that right now. Then next week we have a big event planned for our retailers at a local hotel - showing off the entire range of Elusive Images products. It's Monday and Tuesday next week and they are each going to be doing 8 classes in two days - lots of prep there for myself and the other tutors.

Then at the end of next week I finally get to film the pre-recorded show with the Peacock CD and on Monday 7th July I'm scheduled to be doing a live show on Ideal World with some brand new stamps which I plan on revealing right here on the blog very soon.

Phew! And in amongst all that, it looks like Derrick will be in hospital for another week or two - he still isn't eating much, still feeling sickly, but his kidney function is much improved to what it was. He says thank you to everyone who has been emailing and asking after him.

I had a visit from the neighbour about the injured cat - he was very grateful to us for taking him down to the vets and he is waiting to hear from the vet what the recommended course of action is. We've not heard anything yet, but he said he'd keep us updated. He brought us a present round to say thank you - a big bag of bacon from his own home reared pigs - that's country life for you!

Anyway, I'm off to finish tomorrow's christmas cards. I'll try and get some pictures during the class tomorrow to show you.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Saturday Fun

Thanks to everyone who has asked about the poor little injured cat. He has had a comfortable night and is breathing without oxygen. The owners have been in touch with the vet, so as they have come forward, the vet can't really discuss much with me as I am not responsible for the cat any more. He has had an X-Ray, but I have no idea what the results are at this stage. I will try to find out from the neighbours what's happening and let you all know.

The black kitten turns out isn't actually a kitten, just a rather small cat who lives with the same family. I have seen it before, but it has enough sense to stay away from the road, so I haven't seen it very often. Adrian said he disappeared pretty quickly when he stopped the car.

There were animals involved in this morning's journey to work, but apart from some nipped ankles, no injuries today.

I could see I would have to wait five minutes or so while these girls got back into their field, so I whipped out the camera, and started taking some photos - you can see me in the wing mirror of my car! I think the farmer thought I was a bit strange, but this is all fodder for my 'Rustic Journey' scrapbook which I will be showing you very soon ...

Talking of scrapbooks, it was our monthly Saturday crop today and I showed our scrappers a little masking technique for making some background pages with Glimmer Mists. Look what they came up with!

In typical fashion, I had a major crafting revelation right at the end of the day after everyone had gone. We had been playing with the Cricut during the day, cutting out shapes to use as masks, then spraying Glimmer Mists over them to create patterns on 12x12 cardstock. The card we were using was a 220gsm smooth card and the Glimmer Mists were behaving as they usually do, creating lovely puddles of colour or light airy misty patches, depending on how far away you are with the bottle.

If you take a close look, you will see the typical patterns that form on ordinary card. Click on the image to zoom in.

I cut a flower out of Bazzill card to go with one of my spritzed backgrounds. I gave the flower a little spritz and wow! Glimmer Mists behave completely differently on Bazzil to normal card!!! It's the Bazzill Destinations range of colours that I was using and the Glimmer Mist just soaked right into it straight away.

Well that was it, Lynn and Lesley spent the next half an hour or more watching me try one colour then another, then another ... The absorbency of the card means that the result is smoother and less blotchy than other card. It soaks in like blotting paper and gives a beautiful airbrushed look.

Ooh, blotting paper! Yep, we had some of that, so I got that out too. I'd put giant bubble wrap into the base of my spray booth (a cut down cardboard box), so the minute I put the blotting paper down, it soaked up the inks off the bubble wrap and made some great patterns. I sprayed over the top of the patterns to soften them and I love the results.

Lesley's mum was here for the crop and she sat patiently while we oohed and ahhed at the results before telling us all we were like kids in a sweet shop. She's absolutely right of course, but what fun it was to just watch ink dry!

Even the scrap paper came out gorgeous.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Do I attract injured animals?!?!?

Well, we've had birds, bats, dogs and now cats .... am I running a papercrafting business or is this Animal Rescue?!

Today's animal story is an ongoing drama and we don't know if the poor thing is going to make it. Adrian left the house five minutes after I did this morning and just a few minutes from our house, saw a cat lying in the road with a small black kitten sniffing at it. The cat had been injured by a car, but was still alive. He managed to find out from the nearby houses that the cat's owners were at work, so he got the cat into the car and called me to alert the vet (which is just round the corner from Graphicus) that he was bringing it in.

The vet got him straight on oxygen, but could immediately see that it was serious. She said he may well have internal injuries that would require expensive and high risk surgery. As we weren't the owners, we couldn't really give permission to go ahead with treatment, but I said I wasn't going to let a cat die because of bureaucracy and agreed to sign a form to say I would pay for any treatment if necessary.

By lunchtime, they said he was breathing easier and was more alert, but still on oxygen. They needed to get him stabilised before they could x-ray him and see what needed done. I rang at the end of the day, but they had closed and the person on the out of hours number was somewhere else and couldn't give me a progress report.

Adrian spoke to the owners tonight and it turns out that he's a barn cat - that is, he doesn't live in the house with the family, he lives out in the barn, but they feed him. I don't know if they are going to be prepared to pay out for expensive risky surgery, but I guess they will have to take advice from the vet on the best course of action. I just hope the little guy pulls round - I just can't understand how anyone who injures an animal (well a domestic animal) can just drive off.

The other patient (Derrick) is doing OK, but looks like he'll be extending his stay in his favourite hotel for at least another week. He's improving on some fronts, but now has a nasty fluid build up around the site of the canula where the drip goes in.

I wonder if he'd mind me sharing the story of the leaky urine bottle .... I really hope he doesn't mind because he had Adrian and I howling with laughter tonight - there were tears streaming down my face.

Have you ever come across a patient you could cheerfully throw out of the window? There's one on every ward - self-obsessed, irritatingly loud, rude to the other patients and obnoxious to the nurses. Well Derrick was moved earlier this week to find a patient like this in the bed next to him - he's gone home now, thank goodness, but not before Derrick accidentally peed in his slippers.

Without going into graphic detail, he was issued with a bottle which unbeknown to Derrick had a small hole in it. By the time Derrick realised that he was inadvertently mimicking the famous Manneken Pis statue in Brussels, it was too late and the damage was done.

When the guy next door got up and put his slippers on, he blamed the cleaners for washing the floor and getting his slippers wet. Derrick was in serious danger of a relapse as he tried to smother his laughter and when he told the nurses, none of them felt particularly like enlightening the man as to why his slippers were wet.

Having heard what he was like, I can't help wonder if the nurses have previous experience of exactly the right place to punch a small hole in a urine bottle ....

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

More Tree Cards

Here are a few more cards featured on the Glimmer with Glenda show. I'd love to take credit for them, but these are all by our talented Design Team member Helen Chilton (you might recognise her name from Craft Stamper too).

She's used rub ons for a lot of the words - must find out where she got the letters she used on the Spring card, I like those.

There is a Summer card too, but I missed it when I took these pictures. I'll have to get it on Thursday. I can't get it tomorrow because I'm having a DAY OFF!! Yes, and what's even more exciting, I'm doing two scrapbooking classes with Lance Anderson from Rusty Pickle, woo hoo!

One class is called "Rustic Journey", which just about sums up my daily trip to work. Today I rescued a small terrier who was wandering about in the road - I drove to every house in the area til I found it's owner (luckily it was the first house I went to), then tonight I managed not to kill this extremely stupid pheasant,

but with my super dooper long lens, I managed to get a photo before he belatedly realised the road was a dangerous place to be.

The second class is called "Me, Me and Did I Mention Me" - hmmm, if that is supposed to involve photos of oneself, it could be an extremely slim volume.

So it's a nice little break and reward for all the hours I've been putting in lately. Lynn is coming along as well as one of our, now how do I phrase this without offending her, oldest customers, Sue. That's oldest in the sense of she's been a customer for the longest time, she's not old herself!! (note to self: when you get to the bottom of the hole, stop digging ...)

Sue has been a customer since the days when the business was run from the Harry Potter cupboard and I think she's delighted that we've moved to Barnard Castle because it's a lot more convenient for her. So it will be nice to be sitting on the same side of the table, having a play.

Thank you to everyone who has been asking about Derrick. He had an endosopy today and they told him he has a severe case of oesophagitis - inflammation of the oesophagus, which is hardly surprising as he is being sick so much. His kidneys are responding well and have improved slightly already, but he is still quite poorly.

He's been moved to a ward full of deaf old men who have the loudest voices I've ever heard. I suspect Derrick's not going to have a peaceful time on that ward, but he is such a nice man that the nurses all love him and if a private room is available I wouldn't be surprised if they move him to it. Within five minutes of being moved this evening, he had nurses coming to see him who had looked after him last time he was in, and we left him looking through the holiday snaps of one of them!

He's fed up, but bearing up well. Thank you Dot for sharing your story, Adrian told him all about it and I think it was reassuring to know that other people have had similar problems.

Well I'm off to work out what to pack to take with me tomorrow. Anyone know where you can get a tote bag big enough to fit a kitchen sink?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Derrick's back in hospital!

What a way to spend Father's Day! Yes, Derrick is back in his favourite hotel, Bishop Auckland General.

Adrian has written about it on his blog, but as an update to what he has written, we visited him tonight and he is actually a lot brighter and perkier than he was this afternoon.

Basically his kidneys aren't coping well with the cocktail of medication that he was sent home with and he has been unable to eat properly for the last week or so, feeling sick all the time and weak. He was put on a diuretic which has contributed to him getting dehydrated, leading to a vicious circle and his poor kidneys just haven't been able to cope.

So he's been on a drip all afternoon and it's amazing what a bag of salty water can do to a chap. He's back on the medical admissions ward where he was in March, and already chatting up the nurses and making co-conspirators of the other patients. They've reduced his meds significantly and they are putting him through a series of tests this coming week, but Adrian and I both feel quite relieved that he is being taken care of. His GP had already identified the kidney problem and changed some of his tablets, but of course in hospital that balancing act can happen much quicker with constant monitoring.

So we're back on the hospital visiting merry go round which is TEDIOUS in the extreme, but it's hopefully a much shorter term prognosis than last time.

Kinda flattened my desire to create though. I've had the evening to myself, but not really felt like playing.

Instead, I've selected a little series of photos of Sesame deciding to leave the house the hard way. They have a perfectly serviceable catflap, but Ses does like to do things his own way.

mmm, nice warm sunshine, I bet I could get up there ...

it looks interesting out there

ooh it's slippy there's nothing for my claws to grip!

ha! I made it

I meant to do that

Hey Sky Cat? Ceiling cat here, could you cover for me while I take a break
(to understand the in-joke, you have to be a icanhascheezburger addict)

Everyone cool in here? Right, I'm going out.

I can handle it, I'm ok.

Jeesh, that's a long way down!

And what does he do once he's outside? Roll in the grass? Smell the flowers? Revel in being outdoors in nature? No, he goes and sits on a table and washes his bum! Charming.

I was Puss-in-Boots' stunt double on Shrek, you know...