My Family & Other Animals

Monday, 31 December 2012

"No More Champagne, The Fireworks Are Through..."

"Here We Are, Me and You
Feeling Lost And Feeling Blue
It's The End Of The Party
And The Morning Seems So Grey
So Unlike Yesterday
Now's The Time For Us To Say...
HAPPY NEW YEAR etc, etc..."
So for the final challenge of 2012/first challenge of 2013 (you decide!) over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew blog the theme is "It's Party Time". Obviously I have decided to go with a Happy New Year themed card (hence the charming ABBA lyrics) but you can of course come up with whatever you think is the most fitting way of depicting this subtle topic. I have used some beautiful brand new stripey Kraft cardstock for my background and gone with the a very zesty pink and chocolate theme. My images are Fourth of July and Frankie Knuckles and I have used Memory Box, Spellbinders and Marianne Dies, flowers are from WOC and the numbers are cut from a sizzix die, cut out four times each and layered up to give them a bit of depth and make them look a little more substantial.
There are some big changes coming over at the Krafty blog as from next week, each team will be losing members with some exciting new talent taking their places but I will give you their details next Sunday.
As for this week, I do have a bit of exciting news. For the first time ever I will be giving away some candy.
The Candy will run from 8 a.m. today (30th Dec 2012) to midnight on the 13th January. The winner (who will be chosen fairly and at random) will receive THREE Kenny K digi's of their choice. I have tried to get one of those Mr. Linky things on my blog today and after three hours of trying I gave up and have come up with a fairly simple method of chosing who can enter. You must add yourself as a Follower of this blog and then just send me your name and email adress to, I will add you to this post and when the time comes I will get someone to chose a number for me. Seems about the easiest way I can do it but I am sure anyone who has ever done this before will be able to come up with a much simpler method!!
So Good Luck, why not have a look at Kenny's latest additions "Heartbreakers", I'm sure you ladies will love them.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome my two new followers, so nice to have you along for the ride - hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy doing it.
Until next time, take care,
Hugs 'n Stuff
Entered Into: ATC's & Cards With Attitude Challenge #30 - Anything Goes/Celebrations
Crafty Catz Challenge #164 - Anything Goes
Inspire Me Friday's Challenge #90 - Anything Goes
QKR Stampede Challenge #20 - Anything Goes
Sparkle and Glitter The Rick St Dennis Challege #7 - New Beginnings
Stampin' For The Weekend Challenge - Happy New Year & Anything Goes!!!!
Stamping With The Dragon Challenge - Anything Goes
Sweet 'n Sassy Digital Challenge #86 - Something New
Totally Papercrafts Challenge #148 - Something New
Wags 'n Whiskers Chalenge #94 - Spmething New
Craft Us Crazy Challenge #34 - Something New or Inspiration Photo
Crafty Ribbons Challenge #36 - New Beginnings
Cute Card Thursday Challenge #250 - Something New!
Little Miss Muffett Challenge #51 - Anything Goes!
Milk Coffee Challenge - New Beginnings
My Heart Pieces Digital Stamp Challenge - Gettin' Girly
Paper Play Challenges 2013 #1 - Celebration
Pixie Dust Studio Challenge - It's All New To Me

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

"So Here It Is..."

Merry Christmas Everyone
Sorry I haven't been here for a while but with no card to add to the Kenny K blog until the New Year (keep you eyes open for some fabby candy coming soon!) I have been doing some Christmas cards for the loved ones.
Jo keeps asking me if I feel 'Christmassy' yet. We went shopping today and bought some last minute gifts and I still have no idea what that means! Things have been so difficult for us this year that it would take a miracle for me to just shake it all off and start feeling gooey inside because Asda manage to put a massive Days to Christmas countdown clock on their oversized tree! Even Jo who normally goes way overboard came up with the idea to not even swap cards this year, although her idea of giving each other a book which we can write in, wrap up and open on Christmas day seemed way better to me. Her reasoning for this was sound though, she said it didn't make sense swapping cards when we say everything we need to say to each other every day of the year anyway.
So this year will pass with us going to friends for Christmas dinner and not even bothering to put a tree, light or decoration up but that doesn't mean that we are not happy, because we are, we just left everything too late this year and so will probably end up going xmas-mental next year.
There has been a big change in my cardmaking though; instead of colouring with my Copics (which I have been doing practically ever since leaving the I ProMarkers team) I have gone back to my Pro/Flexi Markers again and I am loving my results too. All three of the above cards were done with P.M.'s and I particularly love the Tilda card which was done with a small handfull of Flexi Markers.
I am also still working on 8" x 8" cards as I really love the space they provide me with, I don't feel the need to fill every bit of the card up.
The Top card was made with Kenny K's 'Bow', the non-adult version (i.e. she's got her knickers on!!), my usual collection of dies and some really awesome sticky backed silver paper which I bought years ago, forgot all about and used for the first time only to find out I love the stuff. It cuts like a dream through my Cuttlebug and the sticky doesn't come off after a couple of days either. Of course the downside will now be that as I have had the stuff for so long, I am no longer able to recall where I got it in the first place!!
The middle card is made using a 'Make It Crafty' image. I bought the complete set of elves (i couldn't begin to choose which one I liked the most so got them all - way easier in the long run) and I have to let you know just how good M.I.C. are as a company. I ordered some chipboard laser cuts from them and they arrived here in just over a week! To put that into context, I ordered a book from (a company based in Jersey but who do all their packing and posting in the UK) for Jo's Christmas box on 4th November and it still isn't here!!!
The bottom card is my favourite of the three. Nearly everything on this card was used for the first time by me and yet I have had all the elements for it for an absolute age. I love the stamp and it was made more special for me because it was the first Tilda I have coloured for ages, I have been so busy doing cards for other blogs that I kind of put my own crafting needs to one side and it is now nice to just be able to sit down and colour whatever suits me.
Anyhoo everyone, that's about it from me for 2012 but I will be back soon with a Kenny K for the New Year, along with all the news about the changes in the team plus the already mentioned candy.
Have a great Christmas and New Year,
sending out love to each and every one of you,
Hugs 'n Stuff

Sunday, 2 December 2012

"Give Me An Old Fashioned Christmas..."

So before you call me Mean Mr. Grinch, let me state here and now that I love Christmas. I love the food, the excitement, the colours and the whole wonder of it all, I even love the religious side to it and some of my favourite memories have been those spent at Midnight Mass with loved ones all around me. So it is with a heavy heart I have to turn into one of those moaning Minnie's who bang on about it "all starting too early, in fact it gets earlier every year, if we're not careful they will be starting Christmas in July", you know the sort!
I went to work tonight and saw so many houses already looking like B&Q's lighting department threw up on them. I know that times change but I don't always think they change for the better. More and more we become like the 51st state of the USA and decorating our homes so that they look like you have had a nervous breakdown and any semblance of taste you ever had begins to look as though you are seeing the world through Jackson Pollock's glasses is one change I can live without. Like Halloween (a 'holiday' that used to be celebrated in this country by kids playing knock and run and that was it!!), we seem to adopt anything our American cousins do as long as it involves spending loads of cash!! How long will it be before we adopt Thanksgiving?
When I was a kid (not quite a million years ago) the tree went up a couple of weeks before the big day and the only lights anyone had went on said tree, only the folks living in the 'posh' parts of town had extra lights up and even then it was only maybe one window and they were put up in an original corner-to-corner x-design! My Mother and I used to make long streamers made of brightly coloured gummed paper (I can still taste that disgusting spirit gum today!) and every year she would dust off a battered and bruised brown cardboard box which lived in the cupboard under the stairs and she would hang our sorry collection of equally battered and bruised hanging decorations, year after year after year. Now it seems you have to go bigger and bigger every year, spending more and more money that is we were honest, we could all live without spending. We move further and further away from the true meaning of the holiday that all the real joy has been taken out of it for me.
I was lucky during my twenty three years in the Royal Air Force, I only had to work ONE Christmas day and that was because it was the first year after my divorce and I volunteered because I couldn't bear the thought of spending the day alone in the accommodation block. I have some wonderful memories of my son opening his presents and typically spending hours playing with the packaging that most of them came in! As I grew older and I remarried, Christmas became special to me all over again. My wife has the most wonderful, youthful spirit and Christmas is her favourite time of year, her enthusiasm started rubbing off on me and as long as we were together we were both happy. We started out own traditions; we always watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on Christmas eve and the Walt Disney Beauty and the Beast sequel "An Enchanted Christmas" on Christmas morning. We start the day with Bucks Fizz and we try to buy each other thoughtful, meaningful gifts rather than just throw money at each other.
This year, Jo and I are spending the day with friends, so hopefully we will be making some more great memories and in the meantime I will try to get into the spirit of the season, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!! Christmas should be more than just the one day and then it's over but while things are the way they are, I doubt I will ever buy into it again, the way I used to before. 
On to this week's Kenny K Krafty Krew Challenge (#122) and your challenge is to use Frosty Hues.
As you can see from my card, I have used lots of blues and silver and the image Toy Soldier. The dies are from Spellbinders and Memory Box, the tiny black tree is from Craftime and the plastic flowers were bought at a craft fayre. Papers used were all part of one of those stuff as much as you can into a box deals.
There are some big changes coming to the Kenny K Krafty Krew blog as we are losing some design team members at the end of the year and we will be welcoming some brand new talent and starting the year with a great giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled for the first blog entry of 2013.
That's all from me for a few days, so take care of each other,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
P.S. On World AID's Day (which I know was yesterday but that is when I am writing this - not sure which tense I should be using here!!), I would like to say to anyone still suffering or living with HIV, you are in my prayers.

Entered Into: Addicted To Stamps & More Challenge #5 - Markers
Sweet Stampin' Christmas Challenge #1 - Anything Goes
Crafting For All Seasons Challenge #41 - Use Flowers
Crafts and Me Challenge #113 - Anything Goes + Optional Extra
Creative Moments Challenge #5 - Anything Goes
Fab 'n Funky Challenge #150 - Not A Traditiona; Christmas
Freshly Brewed Challenge #125 - Christmas
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge #235 - Christmas Inspired
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge #105 - Anything Goes
Ruby's Rainbow Challenge #43 - Non-Traditiona Christmas Colours