Goodbye 2010

In a few hours we wave 'Goodbye' to 2010 and hope that 2011 brings better things. 2010 was a mixed year for me, on the one hand some incredible things happened for me and on the other there were some big struggles, it was a BIG improvement on 2009 though so I'm hoping 2011 will be better again and a positive year for everyone and bring happy things to all.

This year has taught me....

- Not to trust people instinctively - I always trust what people say and yet again this year it's led to a few issues for me, from now on everything will be double confirmed and in writing!

- Not to give too much away - people only know what you tell them, so don't give too much away!

- Weigh up the options properly before taking your steps - the quickest option isn't always the best, sometimes waiting is better!

- Don't let people hold you in the past - keep moving forward!

- Don't be paralysed by fear - whats the worst that can happen?

- Don't always say 'yes' I'm not Superwoman and I hate to let people down

And my new years resolutions are....

- Cut out anyone toxic from my life - Anyone who takes and takes and never gives or makes me feel bad about myself or my choices or makes me sad is GONE - life is too short to hang on to these 'vampire' people that suck the life from me, this will also give me more time to concentrate on all the wonderful people I have in my life or could have in my life!

- Spend more time creating - I've felt this year that I haven't had as much chance to be creative as I would like, this year is going to be my most creative year yet!

- Concentrate on CHANGE - this is my word for the year, there are changes I have been wanting to make for some time and this is the year they happen!

- Enjoy the moment - often when I achieve something I immediately think "but now what?" from now on I will enjoy my achievements and revel in them a little bit instead of beating myself up about the next thing

- Be Brave - Just do it! Whats the worst that can happen?

- Be ME all of the time - Sometimes I find myself conforming to what I think people think I am (if that makes sense) but no more, I'm the only version of 'Me' there is so I have to do a good job of it!

I hope you have a wonderful New Year, 2011 is going to be INCREDIBLE! :o)

Sarah x

Spring Cleaning

It feels so murky outside at the moment with all the piles of dirty slush everywhere and the fog, its really horrible, it makes me want to get all the things at home shipshape and shiny for the New Year. B spent today cleaning the upstairs of the house (I just have to finish organising my studio) and tomorrow we are shopping for some organisational stuff, we desperately need more storage! I think every crafter thinks that the next box / pot or organiser will change their life, I'm hoping the next one will really get me on track :o)

I also need to transfer everything to my new diary and notebook and get my New Year 'To-Do' list ready to go, file away my old paperwork and make sure my accounts are done to the end of the year (thats actually B's job not mine, I'll just tip out a load of old bags and purses so he has all the receipts, LOL) Then I need to start listing my NY resolutions, I think I have all mine ready and I'm really looking forward to making some changes. I noticed on Facebook / Twitter etc.. that lots of people were talking about their "one little word" which I now know is related to the Ali Edwards class over at Big Picture. I think it's a great idea to have something to keep you on track and I'm pretty sure I know what mine will be. I just need to make something pretty with it on to keep on my desk for the whole year....

Speaking of pretty, check out the lovely ring I wore today *sigh*

Sarah x

Christmas - Part 2

Christmas Day was lovely, we woke up to the smell of the turkey and with stockings from Santa waiting round the tree (for all of us this year not just the little ones - yay!) Then Taz and Shaun came over and we started the present exchanging - we don't give all our presents in one go like some people do, we spread them out throughout the day so the excitement lasts longer!

Here is the tree, behind Xena being very intense on Mario Kart Wii! and a little close up....

And both little squishies opening their Santa Stockings.... (See the concentration in their faces!)

And B opening his....

Dinner was scrummy, my BIL actually said he thinks its the best one he ever had! (I made the Beef Shaun, don't forget that!) of course some people can't resist playing with their food, meet Tazzy the red-babybel-nosed reindeer, LOL......

I'm feeling much better today after a 15 hour sleep!! and I've spent the whole day in my new Eskimo PJ's and Christmas slippers, bliss!

My poor little squishies are still ill, I hope they get better soon, it's horrible being ill at Christmas, especially when you have new toys and just want to play!

Sarah x

Home Sweet Home!!

So today we finally arrived home again! It doesn't matter how much of a lovely time you have away there really is nothing like coming home again!

Soooo... about my trip, get yourself a cuppa, it's a long one....

Firstly we had a nine, yes NINE! hour journey to get there (we didn't know if we would actually make it!) most of which was standing on squished trains or icy platforms holding a fat little pooch and all of our luggage - one of my arms is still shaking from the nerve damage I endured that day!! but we finally got there and my BIL very kindly come to pick us up from the station - I have never been more pleased to see him!

We were all ill over Christmas except my dad but we rallied round and still had a fabbo time, none of us were really up for party games but sitting round together opening pressies and stuffing our faces with mummy making us tea with whiskey in it (it's medicinal apparently, and who were we to argue!) was lovely. Most unusual present went to my sister this year who bought her BF a Bungee Jump - "Merry Christmas Dear, jump off a bridge"... nice!

We did have a few trips out, mostly Christmas shopping and food shopping, although I finally got to see my sisters chickens and ducks that they keep, there are even a few wallabies round there! They were super cute, I'm not that keen on birds but I could have been tempted by a wallaby (imagine holding that for 9 hours on the train though!)

Here are a few of the 14 chickens they now have....

and a fresh egg straight from the chickies botty that morning.... (thats my sis holding that BTW, I wasn't risking chicken poop on my gloves!)

Xena with Humbug

Some evil looking Geese....

And my favourite duck....

Thats all for today as I have 50 squillion emails to catch up on! More Christmas piccies tomorrow :o)

Sarah x

Nearly There!

Just a little way to go, Christmas shopping is almost done, me and my mum sneaked into town late last night to beat the crowds which worked like a charm, although my mum just got herself pressies and I employed the "one for me, one for you" rule to get me through it!

We just need one last trip to Tesco this evening and hopefully we will be done, especially as I am now ill! Can you believe it?! With delays and things we were standing around in the cold for 9 hours! My bronchitis is back with a vengeance, I'm taking it a bit easy and hoping to be better for the big day though :o)

Today I went to see the little squishies Chickens and Ducks, its such a lovely place for them, like a little city farm but they are part of it and have their own animals there - I'll post the pics when I get back to my own pooter (I'm on mummys laptop right now)

I'm off now to wrap up warm for one more trip into the snow - eeek! and tomorrow I'm spending the whole day doing art with the squishies, any excuse to get up to my elbows in paint!

Have a wonderful Christmas!!!

Sarah x

Getting Organised!

Today I spent the day tidying up all the loose ends in time for Christmas, the last orders went - a bit of a rush at the end there! Wonderland has sold out AGAIN! (but you can still pre-order for despatch early in the New Year) the last of our Christmas cards were sent, OH dropped off the pressies at his mums and picked up ours :o)

I also spent an unexpected 2 hours (!!) on the phone to my friend who I havent spoken to for too long, it was so nice to catch up and the time just melted away, you don't realise how much you miss someone sometimes.

So with all that done, all that remains is to pack and spring clean and we will be almost ready! I'm sure there are tons of things I've forgotten. I've prepared my 'To Do' list for when I get back, hopefully I will be all refreshed from the break and not manically stressed form travel / snow problems!

Lots of emails to catch up on now, so best I make a start. I will also be posting the challenge this week which will be the last one until the New Year, and will have a special prize :o) so don't forget to check the Challenge Blog on Thursday!

Sarah x

One week to go!!!

So this time next week (weather permitting) I will most likely have opened all my pressies, be stuffed after a lovely turkey dinner and probably playing xbox with my dad or party games with my little squishies - I can't wait!!! Now I just need all the snow to go away to make sure we can get there!! This is the view from the window today....

There is SO much snow! But rain is expected tomorrow so I'm hoping it washes it all away! Today I have spent all day working, frantically trying to get everything finished before we go, so much to do so little time (as ever!) At leaset there is no X-Factor to distract me this week!

Sarah x

All work and no play.....

i've been working frantically for the last few days trying to get everything finished for the Christmas break. i'm praying it doesn't snow too hard or it will mess the trains up and I won't get to the 'rents house next week - that would RUIN my Christmas! :o(

I've finally got hold of a diary and started filling it in, it's quite exciting to see how the beginning of the New Year will take shape! All my Christmas cards are done and either sent or ready to be sent. My mum wraps my pressies for me (and OH wraps my mums) so not got to worry about that! My mum is an awesome wrapper-upper (honest mummy I'm not just saying because I know you will read this or anything!)

I've been taking little "play" breaks with my Promarkers and colouring pencils to keep me going, a little bit of fun stuff in between really helps...

Here is another experiment with Derwent Coloursoft pencils onto their Black Book - it will be a Christmas Tree when I'm finished - I'm just trying to get the 'glow' of the lights right....

There is literally just a few days to get free shipping in my shop now with the code FREESHIP

Please pop over to the Challenge Blog to take part in our latest challenge!

Now I'm off to cheer myself up with Tiger Bread, Lurpak, Chicken and Fudge Cake - probably not all at the exact same time! For some reason today I've been RAGING! For no real reason, a few things didn't go quite to plan this morning and what started as a little irritation grew and grew - silly really! After taking a break for some shopping and a nice lunch I was feeling much brighter though - funny how these weird days can hit you, I blame it on the red hair! LOL.

Sarah x

Christmas Cards

On Sunday I finally got a whole day in my studio to make Christmas Cards, after spending about 3 hours making 10 (all from my Christmas Cheer! CD of course!) I realised I'd have to be quicker though! So I decided to do a little illustration that I could use with my scallop punch and then use on my cards - this should cut back on some of the embellishing / stickle drying time.....

So here is our finished family and friends Christmas card - the one for my clients etc... is slightly different as they obviously won't know who B or Fuzzybutt are! (sorry mum for spoiling the surprise, this is what your Christmas card looks like!)

So tonight I will be finishing off the last of these ready to mail out over the next day or two - must do international first!! Can't believe how quickly this has come around, This is the last work week for me before Christmas!

Today was an up and down kind of a day seemed to go from fantastic news one minute to people being difficult the next minute. I also had to let someone down today as I had been let down by someone else, I really hate to do that and had a little cry after my profuse apologies. Although they were very understanding, it's horrible after someone has been supportive and nice to you to then not be able to do the same back. Makes me so angry that I was taken advantage of and that it has left me in this position. Please think of others when you do things, something that may seem minor to you could ruin someones whole day / week and have a knock on effect on others. *steps off soap box*

I'm currently reading 'The Power' by Rhonda Byrne, its a kind of follow-up to 'The Secret' and encourages you to be positive and give out love and light no matter what, so...... On the plus side I started looking at all the things have lined up and there are some super duper things!! I was actually supposed to be putting them in my 2011 diary before realising I havent got one yet!!!! Emergency diary hunting has started, I'm quite fussy as i have to look at it for a whole year, so if you know of any nice ones or have one in your etsy shop etc...then leave me a linkeroo so I can have a look - ta muchly!

One week exactly now to get free shipping in my shop with the code 'FREESHIP' pop over and grab yourself something bargainous, you deserve it!

Sarah x

p.s. I am currently looking for some mixed media artists / art journalers to work on a project with a brand new product. If you are interested please pop over to the Ink-A-Ball page on Facebook and leave your blog link!

A Little Freebie!

Today the last of the 'Wonderland' CD sold out - a big thank you to everyone that ordered, we literally couldn't pack them up quickly enough - even the DT haven't had theirs yet!! New stock has been ordered and is on its way so you can still order here for delivery by Christmas.

Today I have uploaded lots of Calendar downloads to the shop - these were very popular on the Christmas Cheer! CD so now you can download the Calendars individually from the shop here or you can buy the Christmas Cheer! CD with all of them (plus all of the other stuff!) here (remember there is free shipping on everything until 20th December with the code FREESHIP at checkout!)

The freebie today (as promised!) is a Black and White calendar, you can use as is,print out on coloured or patterned paper or re-colour with your Promarkers, Pencils, Spray Inks etc.... Click the image below to download yours :o)

Have been hard at work today on some fab new products for the New Year (which is scarily close now!) but I'm off to try and reclaim the remote control in time for X-Factor now, it's completely off limits at the weekend when OH has a 2 day sport marathon - I did ask if today we could watch Footballers Wives instead of Football, but apprently it's 'not the same thing'.......

Tomorrow I must making some Christmas Cards, so far I have a grand total of......... one! eeeeeeeekkkkkk!

Also, please pop over the the Challenge Blog for some fab Christmas challenges :o)

Sarah x

p.s. I am currently looking for some mixed media artists / art journalers to work on a project with a brand new product. If you are interested please pop over to the Ink-A-Ball page on Facebook and leave your blog link!

Very Quick Post

Just a very quick post as I'm about to crash and burn again so I'm shifting myself to my sofa office :o) Luckily OH went to the library for me today so I have a stack of books for some research for a new venture, it has to be done sometime so why not now!

I will be blogging a little freebie tomorrow so please pop back!

Sarah x

More Colouring Pencil Fun!

Luckily today I was feeling almost back to normal - thank you to everyone for your well wishes! Which means I got quite a bit done (yay!) and even managed to get some alone time with my Derwent Coloursoft pencils (always good!) these pencils are my new obssession I NEED every colour!!!! Here is my latest doodle....

I must also say a big 'Thank You' to Lisa who helped me catch up today by doing the Challenge Blog for me - pop over and take a look - it's a great challenge from Paula our Guest Designer.

Just a reminder there are lots of special offers over on my website and today I added free shipping on everything with the code 'FREESHIP' until 20th December - think my Christmas Spirit has put me in a super generous mood :o)

Sarah x

A Not So Good Day....

I'm blogging early today because I think I only have an hour of energy left - maximum! I started feeling icky yesterday afternoon and when I woke up this morning I felt like someone had beaten me up with a crowbar, I couldn't even move my legs and everything hurt - yuk! I finally made it from bed to my desk about 11am and have got as much done as I can but now I need to sleep through the pain and hopefully feel better after! I'm not complaining though, this is the first bad day for a few weeks so I've been lucky, lots of positive thinking - I'll be OK tomorrow!

For those of you who placed orders yesterday, don't worry OH takes my stuff to the post office so all orders from yesterday have gone!

I'm moving my 'office' to the sofa now - sketchbook, notebook and some naff TV and I should be set! I have some illustration and writing work to do and can't afford to fall behind, I can nap in between :o)

Sarah x


Last week I made some little bird houses for a swap, so I thought I'd share some pics. I love to do altered art and these were so fun - I have one more left, just need a burst of inspiration! You can pick these up at the Artistic Stamper.

I need more things like this to alter now, have got a giraffe, a book and some little boxes to do next...

Off to bed now, today has been a bit up and down and I'm feeling wiped out, hopefully tomorrow will be better as I have a Christmas Wreath to make among other things!!

Sarah x

p.s. almost forgot, I put some fabby special offers in the shop today with CD's from just £9.99 - for a very limited time only so snap them up while you have the chance! :o)

Colouring Outside the Lines....

Over the weekend I got lots of time to play with the new Derwent goodies, so here are a few initial things to show you...

Firstly, an art journal background with the Aquatone Pencils - these are sticks of pure pigment, unlike anything else I've seen and make great effects, perfect for bright messy art journal pages!

Derwent sent me one of their black paper books - like most illustrators (I'm guessing!) I'm used to drawing on white paper so this has been a challenge to think of some different things to do - I'm working on an illustration at the moment that I'm LOVING but it's not ready to show yet. I had an experiment with the Coloursoft and Metallic pencils on the paper first to get an idea of how they look - a few experimental fireworks....

And finally, a quick sketch with the Coloursoft pencils to test the blending, I love these, they blend like no other pencil I've ever used and yet don't smudge - get them immediately!!!! These could be my favourite of all time! Although I do love those Aquatones......

A few more to try out so I'll report back on those soon!

I've also been doing some new work with my Promarkers - once you start colouring you just can't stop! I'll post some of that in the next few days :o)

And finally..... my little sister Xena, who is only 10 has written a book! isn't she clever? You can get your copy here....

Now I must get on, it feels like someone has shrunk all the days down to about one hour long and there are only 2 weeks until Christmas!!!! I'm sooo excited and yet really really need to get a lot done by then! Luckily I've been having some pretty good days health-wise so I'm getting on OK (touch wood I didn't just jinx myself by saying that!!)

Snow Update - All Gone!! we have none at all now, OH made it to the post office today so if you are waiting for something from me it's now on its way! (that includes the orders of 'Wonderland' up until yesterday - Todays will go tomorrow)

Sarah x

December Guest Designer.....

So a new month brings a new Guest Designer, we wave goodbye to the lovely Jackie, our November Guest Designer and welcome Paula!

I met Paula on Twitter and have admired her work for a long time, she has such a great style, I'm so glad she's come to join us! She will be setting the challenge next week on the Challenge Blog and it's a GOOD one! You can see more of Paula's work here on her blog, pop over and show her some love :o)


"D" (for Derwent) Day!!!

As you can imagine since the day Derwent told me they were sending some stuff to me I have been stalking the postman, couriers and anyone with a large van that happens to drive down my road ( I imagine I'm on the verge of a restraining order from one or two) but today the right one finally came, a man with a van and a box of goodies for ME!!!!!

There are so many different kinds of coloured pencils, something for everyone, rubber stampers, art journallers, crafters, artists, illustrators, honestly I don't even know where to begin!!

I can see these Aquatone pencils becoming my firm favourites, the colours are so vibrant, I've never seen pencils like it! In conjunction with these gorgeous journals I can see I'm in for a busy few days. I will post some work as I try out each kind of pencil - at the moment I'm overwhelmed, I'm just looking at the products, colours, textures, testing them and seeing what they can all do and what the differences are - I'll be sure to share my findings!

Tomorrow I'll be introducing our fabulous December Guest Designer so please pop back!

Sarah x

80's Revival!

As most of you probably know by now I LOVE vintage! my favourite is 40's and 50's but I can get on board with anything pre 90's! So each week I try to do little things, partly to try and kickstart my inspiration and put me in a good mood and partly just to use some of the lovely vintage goodies I've collected over the years. If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed my tweets about headscarves, puffball skirts etc etc... Well today was once again 80's day, mostly because it meant I could wear my gorgeous woolly pom pom legwarmers! It was sooo cold, the perfect time to wear them - it seemed to set off a little trend on Twitter, hello to any of my fellow legwarmer wearing Tweeters who have come to visit :o)

I'm thinking tomorrow will be a 50's / 80's hybrid day with a headscarf and more legwarmers - they do keep you nice and toasty on cold days like today!

Today the first Christmas Journalling prompt went up over on the Christmas Blog - please come and join us and share your work, the things we've seen so far have been gorgeous - I do love some Holiday Season inspiration! I did start some crafting today but my fingers were frozen in no time! I do want to try and get my first Journal page done a bit later though. I'm also working on some projects with the Ink-A-Balls which I'll be sharing soon!

Don't forget tomorrow is a new Challenge over on the Challenge Blog so keep an eye out for it!

Sarah x