I've moved house!

As a result of some security issues with my self-hosted Wordpress blog and choosing to concentrate on being the blogger rather than the webmaster, chief of security, head software updater (and accounts payable when it all went horribly wrong and someone else had to jump in and fix it...), I imported all of my previous content here and will be blogging on this new platform going forward.

There will be a period of adjustment, starting with me re-uploading all of the images in posts that didn't transfer over plus some instances of broken links, but I will be endeavouring to update incorrect links as I find/am made aware of them (feel free to let me know if/when you find any!) 

Despite the challenges involved in moving over, already I'm feeling less pressure in terms of having to wear all the hats and I'm looking forward to spending a whole lot more time here, loving what I do and sharing what I love.

Thanks for joining me ;-) 

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For the {love} of ribbons...

Just last night I finished cutting up some ribbons for a recent ribbon share that I ran, and with them all bundled up and looking pretty, a photo opportunity presented itself that I found difficult to pass up...

How YOU doin'....?!

Ooooooh, pretty...

That's what I'm talkin' about....

Ribbon shares are a fabulous way to get yourself an array of styles and colours to play with, without the need to shell out for entire rolls of each.

This last share was just for the three varieties pictured, but I'm happy to run shares for any/all of the ribbons in the current catalogue, simply visit my Ribbon Share Page to check out the details on the various share opportunities available and soon you too could be taking staged and gratuitous ribbon photos... ;-)

'Twas the day after Christmas...

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the blog,at the sight of a new post, the crowd were agog. Though "crowd" is most likely too hopeful a noun, since new posts around here are considerably down from five posts in one day, believe it or not, (on 6 August, '07 for you disbelieving lot!) to a single post (if you're lucky) every month or two, which I resolve to improve, I can assure you.

Next year, you see, the littler of my girls, (the one with the brown eyes and gentle dark curls) is heading to 'big school' - she'll go every day, which leaves mummy here with some more time to play. And of course I will miss her - of that there's no doubt, but I figure it's time to sort this 'business' out.

This 'business' that I started almost six years ago, not realising back then quite how fast it would grow. And therefore not doing it as 'properly' as I might, had I foreseen the potential for it to take flight. But soon with more time and opportunity to, I look forward to starting it somewhat anew.

And I hope you will join me, both here and for real, as I stamp and create with revitalised zeal. For 'to love what I do and share what I love" is something I know that I'll never tire of. Huge thanks for your support of me, whether it be, as someone already related to me, or a person I've met on this stampin' adventure, so many of whom since became friends, I would venture.

So on this Boxing Day, I hope that it's been even better a Christmas than you had foreseen. And here, from my family, best wishes to you, and all our very best for a great New Year too!

 

Absence makes the heart grow....

...irritated?!

I must apologise for my extended absence from here.  Although I could almost justifiably claim that the Easter Hat in all its glory and over-the-top-ness had sapped my energy reserves for a whole month leaving me entirely unable to bash out even one blog post, I confess that that wasn't the case.

What was the case, was that I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with 'stuff'  and my coping mechanism when I feel that way is to withdraw from a lot of the peripheral things that claim my attention.  Blogging being one of them.  If you follow my Facebook page, you'll have noticed me pop up over there from time to time, being that a Facebook update requires not much more than a lone sentence - something I felt was much more doable than whole cluster of sentences and accompanying pictures that make up a blog post.

I am still feeling a bit of a case of the "blahs" to be honest, but in the same way I would deal with one of my children when they are feeling less than co-operative and the toy room is a pig-sty, I have given myself a stern-ish talking to and set the timer for 15 minutes.  I love the productivity tool of setting a timer with the premise that "you can do anything for 15 minutes", the idea being that once the 15 minutes is over, you will be knee-deep in whatever task you had been putting off and happy to continue.

And so I write this short explanatory post in the midst of editing photos from the recent Melbourne Stampin' Up! convention.  My timer went off quite some time ago now, and I am still quite merrily cropping, brightening and saving.  My plan is that the pics and a bit of a convention write up will be up here shortly for your reading and viewing pleasure.  If indeed there are any of  "you" left ;-)

Back soon...

Helpless

I had planned that my first blog post of 2011 might be something about my New Year's resolutions - stamping ones and otherwise - and perhaps a bit about school holidays and what we've been up to.

Instead, rather than blogging about anything at all, I have been transfixed by the images of the devastation in Queensland, where three quarters of the state has been ravaged by extreme flooding in the past few days.

Sitting on the other side of the country, I am filled with feelings of helplessness at being so far away, mixed at the same time with almost guilty thankfulness at the very same thing.  When it all gets too much, I have the luxury of being able to walk away or switch it off.

I'm concerned for the many friends in the area - lots of them fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators - as well as some dear friends of ours who just before Christmas packed up their lives in Perth and headed across the Nullabor to start a new chapter of their lives in Brisbane.  They arrived at their new house two days before the floods hit the city, but thankfully they're in a suburb that has not been directly affected.  A small mercy at least.

There are simply not enough words to describe the overwhelming images that are being flashed around the world and the stories that have emerged of people being swept away by raging waters.

The worst part is, that it's still all happening and the clean up - the gargantuan, expensive task of the clean up - can not even begin until the water goes away.

No doubt you will be aware of ways in which you can donate to the appeal that has been set up to assist in the aftermath of these horrific events, and chances are you have already done so.  I know I have.

Because it can't hurt to spread the word, -->HERE<-- is the website for the Queensland Premier's Appeal, where there is information on how you can help.

I have been trying to think of other ways that I can possibly contribute more to those who so desperately need it, and have decided that I will sell off my retired stamp sets - a job that has been put off for far too long already - and contribute the proceeds to the appeal.

There are a lot of stamp sets to be photographed and uploaded, and I will be getting that organised as soon as possible, so watch this space for how you can get yourself some hard-to-come-by retired sets and help out the flood victims at the same time.

Helping Hudson - a "wheely" great cause

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Meet Hudson.

Hudson is 2 ½ but unlike most children his age, he has had a tough little life.  Doctors realised he had an incomplete brain before he was born and as a newborn he was discovered to be legally blind.  Hudson has also recently been diagnosed with both Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy.

His mobility has been hindered severely by his disabilities, however his family and friends wish nothing more than to give him the chance to get moving on his own.

Hudson needs a special Wheelchair/Walker, called a Kid Walker. This device will help get him mobile, allow him to play with his brother and sister, interact with other children his own age and give him independence in his day to day life.

Hudson's story has touched so many people and for the past several months, a special crew of Stampin' Up! demonstrators has been working really hard, securing support,  organising tutorials and gathering donations to get a fantastic event underway...

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There is a HUGE online stamping event taking place, which you can find by clicking on the above banner.  There will be three weeks of stamping fun for you to join in– visit as often as you can, there will always be lots more to see, do and learn.

When you head on over to the blog you’ll find out all about Hudson, his family and his cause,  but more importantly, you can find out how you can help Hudson in his quest for greater mobility, at the same time as helping yourself learn how to make some great new paper craft projects.

How?

By purchasing bundles of tutorials kindly donated by Stampin’ Up! demonstrators the world over.

Each bundle has 10 fun-filled tutorials for just AU$10! And there are six themes to choose from - Bags & Boxes, Christmas, Kids’ Birthdays, Projects for Men & Boys, Punch Art & Scrapbooking.

There’s even a FREE bonus bundle if you buy four or more!

All proceeds go directly to help Hudson.

The Helping Hudson Crew will also be posting some awesome challenges throughout the three weeks.

For a small donation you can join in and be in the running for some FANTASTIC Stampin’ Up! prize packs, kindly donated by Stampin’ Up! Australia (Australian participants only)

Also keep your eyes peeled for challenges over at Just Add Ink and Stamp A Memory too.

For my small contribution, I wrote up a tutorial for the little bags that I made  as invitations for my big girl's birthday recently.

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This has been included in the Bags and Boxes category.

Personally, I plan on buying all of the bundles!  At $10 for ten tutorials, they're an absolute steal and what a great cause they're going to.  As a mum of two precious ones who have never been really challenged as far as their health is concerned, my heart goes out to Hudson and his family - it truly amazes me what some families are dealt and how they are able to be such a positive inspiration to us all.

If you'd love to help too, then be sure to head on over to the Helping Hudson blog and snap yourself up some fantastic tutorials.

If you love to help even more, then check out the Spread the Word section of the blog to see how you can help gather as much support as possible for this most worthy of causes.

Last day of the Deal!

I just realised that until now, I have completely neglected to advise what this week's deal is....and it ends TONIGHT!

Item Page Description Regular Price Sale Price
109113 149 Square Ice Rhinestone brads $19.95 $11.97
109111 149 Circle Ice Rhinestone brads $19.95 $11.97
109112 149 Square Fire Rhinestone brads $19.95 $11.97
111848 150 Bashful Blue 1" double-stitched grosgrain ribbon $19.95 $10.97
109050 151 Certainly Celery 5/8" grosgrain ribbon $14.95 $8.97

If you feel the need to stock up on some bling or gorgeous ribbon, it's a great time to do so!

I'll be placing my final deal order in the next couple of hours, so if you want to get in on the deal, contact me asap!

Mailing list drama!

Just a quick note to say that I have had a moment of disquiet with my mailing list just now and it seems as though a number of names have been deleted. If you have signed up to my mailing list from my sidebar in the last month or so, please do so again as I think you may have been accidentally deleted!

Thanks!

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Merry Christmas to all...

I am, as we speak, up to my armpits on my loungeroom floor with wrapping paper, sticky tape and Christmas tags, but I wanted to pop in super quickly to wish you all the very merriest of Christmases!

I have so much to share here including my Christmas cards, teacher gifts, some birthday cards for the number of December birthdays in my family plus rather a variety of other stuff and once the hustle and bustle of the season has settled down a bit I will be busting to come back and show it all to you.

In the meantime, thank you for your visits, your comments and your support of my li'l stampin'blog this past year.

Have a wonderful Christmas, how ever you will be celebrating and I'll see you all back here soon!

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Sweet Sunday Sketch #45 and a spoiled surprise...

Nothing like leaving things until the last minute, although as it's my standard MO with pretty much everything, anything else would be out of character ;-)

Although in this case unfortunately, it means revealing a surprise that I haven't yet managed to get into the post, as I'm pretty sure that the person it will eventually grace the mailbox of checks in here several times daily...

You may recall that I offered a little prize for the first person to correctly guess the multitude of stamp sets that I took greeting stamps from to create the anniversary card for my handsome man.

Well this is the prize that I made for them.

The Sweet Sunday Sketch that I based this project on finishes in about an hour 25 minutes from now, so I will be brief with the banter (is that cheering I hear?!), and get right to the point...

Here's the sketch:

sweet-sunday-45

And here's my version of it:

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Instead of a card, I covered the front of a notebook with the sketch and am rather happy with the result.

Notice the sparkly brad?  I didn't have any coloured brads that would work with the colour scheme that I chose, so I plonked a mini glue dot on the top of a silver brad and dipped it into Pink Fine Supernova Glitter.

See...?

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As well as being a sneak peek for the intended recipient, it's also a sneak peek of a couple of new products that will be arriving with the Summer Mini catalogue on December 1.

They're not super obvious, but they're there....!

So check your mailbox some time next week SJ and you'll find this, along with some other goodies that I'll pop in so you do get somewhat of a surprise ;-)

Or better yet, pop over for a coffee and I can hand it to you in person!

Cass, if you're reading, I also have a little something for you but will post it here after you have received it  :)

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"Sweet Sunday Notebook" Stamps: Defining Alphabet, Baroque Paper: Pink Passion, Kiwi Kiss, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Walk in the Park DSP Ink: Kiwi Kiss, Versamark Accessories: Scallop Edge Punch, Paper Piercer (Crafter's Tool Kit), 3/4" Circle Punch, 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Circle Scissors Plus, Silver Brad, Pink Fine Supernova Glitter, Mini Glue Dots

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A public service announcement of sorts...

Many of you will no doubt remember the jaw-droppingly amazing cake that I had made for my bestie's baby shower.

Here it is again...

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The creator of this sugary masterpiece - Julie - now has her very own website - Queen of Cakes - where you can see a vast gallery of her talents.

Prepare to be amazed friends.   Seriously amazed....

Then prepare to make a list of all of your upcoming celebratory occasions so you too can indulge in a truly wonderful cake that tastes every bit as good as it looks!

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Trying out a new blog look....

Thought it was time for a bit of a freshen up.  It's quite a new direction but I kinda like it!

Thoughts..?  Opinions....?

I am already envisaging some fun stuff for my little digital self up there...  A HUGE thanks to Gabbie at dotcomdesign for her swift creation of the 2-dimensional me!

Quick let me know what you think so I can decide whether or not to revert to the old one....!

A slight break in stampin' transmission...

...perhaps you've noticed.

So there I was, all scheduled up and sorted and thinking that I was onto something with the scheduling of posts.  And I was!  It was very satisfying to sit and sort out a fortnight worth of blog posts in one session and know that they would dutifully show up at the exact moment I had arranged them to.

The plan was to do the same thing every week or fortnight and I was very excited about the prospect of being organised about something for once!

Then some nameless, faceless and conscious-less nasty bugger somewhere out there in cyber space hacked into my blog files, planted some unwanted code into several of them, thereby breaking my blog and freaking me out in the process.

I managed to fix the blog itself, but my team forum and gallery appear unable to be resurrected, so I have spent a goodly chunk of the past couple of weeks sorting out a new online team area and diligently watching my blog files for signs of unauthorised entry!

So anyway, the reason for this post is two-fold:

  • to let you know (if you haven't all given up on me entirely by now!) that I hope to resume regular stampin' programming and scheduled blog posts again very soon - I have a few exciting things to share!
  • and also to say that if you have a Wordpress.org blog, be super vigilant for any changes in your blog files and make sure that your security is nice and tight!  I have installed a plug-in called File Monitor that emails me if there are any changes in my files and so far, so good.  You can find it in the plug-in database at wordpress.org if you're interested

Thanks for your ongoing patience :)

Super-duper stampin' sale!

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I have been having a mammoth clear out of my stampin' space and have decided that I am ready to let go of some of my retired stamp sets and accessories, which means this is YOUR chance to grab some hard to come by stampin' stuff!

I have joined forces with some of the girls in my team, so there will be a great amount of stuff to choose from!

When: THIS SUNDAY June 28th 2009

Where: Shenton Storage - 39 Lemnos Street Shenton Park

Time: 11am to 2.30pm

It will be a cash and carry affair - no credit card facilities will be available on the day and unfortunately we won't be able to accept cheques.

In addition to the great stuff on sale, there will also be gifts with purchase, but these will be limited in number so get there early to avoid disappointment!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

My team day swaps!

So I mentioned yesterday that one of the things we do at our team days is swaps, which are a GREAT way to get new ideas, bulk up your stock of display cards as a demonstrator and share the kinds of things you like to make yourself. My most recent team day swap has a fun story attached to it as it turns out :)  Well I think it's a great story....keep reading to see if you agree!

The theme for our team day swap (the day itself was the 31st of January) was Valentine's Day, or just plain love/friendship for those not inclined to celebrate the day itself.  The inspiration for my own swap card came from my stamping and blogging idol Kristina, who does wonderfully simple but beautiful work and when I grow up, I want to be JUST like her!  You can see the card in question on her blog here.

And this is my almost exact copy, save for the colours and one small element...!

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(I must insert an apology here for the picture quality, or lack thereof.  I only took one picture and after I had swapped all my swaps - not having kept one for myself - I realised how terribly blurry it was - sorry!!)

Aaaaaanyway, the story that I mentioned earlier....  I got to team day, busted out my swaps and when I got to swapping with Tracey, she burst into giggles!  Not sure immediately how to take this (I thought my swap was passable at least..!) I was very relieved (followed quickly by OVERJOYED!!) when she explained why.....

You see the cards that Kristina had made were put in her Etsy shop for sale.  Well Tracey saw that particular blog post of Kristina's as well, headed over to the shop and bought a set of cards, with the intention of giving one to me!  How cool is that!  Even cooler, she actually DID, and lookie here....

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This living, breathing, real, live Kristina Werner original is IN MY HOUSE!  And I've touched it with my own hands....  SNIFFED it even!  How sweet is Trace?!  Thank you my friend :)

"Kristina Inspired Swap Card" Stamps: Forever in My Heart (retiring soon!!) Paper: Very Vanilla, Groovy Guava (retiring soon!!), Ginger Blossom DSP (in Summer mini and only available for another few days!!) Inks: Groovy Guava (you know what I'm going to say here!), Ruby Red Accessories: Crystal Effects, Scallop Border Punch, Crafter's Tool Kit, Stampin' Dimensionals

My two favourite backgrounds...

I am finding it difficult to believe that the Linen background stamp appears on The List.  It is my number one favourite background stamp and I have lost count of the number of times I have had customers run their fingers across a card where it appears, expecting to feel a texture.  I LOVE this stamp! I also love Floral - the exquisite detail of the flowers and how it looks for all the world like a patterned paper when you stamp it *sigh*  All I can say is that there had better be some jolly impressive backgrounds in the new catalogue (that incidentally will be available in 29 sleeps....)

Here is a card that I set as one of the projects at our most recent team day that happens to use both of these lovely backgrounds.  It also uses the Botanical Blooms - the very recent Sale-a-bration set that I also loved.

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You can see the lovely linen texture a bit better here...

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The technique used here is faux tearing, which is a great way to get a torn look without having to rip away at your precious cardstock!  It was my first foray into this technique, but it most definitely won't be my last... dependent of course on those fabulous new background stamps I am oh-so-hopeful for in ooooh, around 675.5 hours from now :)

"Faux Tearing Team Day Card" Stamps: Linen, Floral, Botanical Blooms, Basic Phrases Paper: Mellow Moss, Naturals Ivory, Always Artichoke, Rose Red Ink: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke, Rose Red Accessories: 1-1/4" Square Punch, Scallop Square Punch, Vanilla Grosgrain Ribbon, Stampin' Sponges

My Christmas Card

Well Christmas might be over and done with but since I still have a good number of items in my un-posted archive (and this is one of them!) I thought I would share my Christmas card design!  Well one of them anyway.  This is the design that I made in bulk but I had a number of other one offs that I sent out too :)

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The design is based on this one by my all time favourite papercrafting blogger Kristina Werner.

I started out just with the combination on the far right, then I ran out of those particular papers from the Dashing range of Designer Series Paper, so I tweaked it a little and made some more (far left) in a slightly different combo.  Then I cranked out a few more in the Holiday Harmony range of DSP from the recently retired Spring Mini catalogue and although I really love the brightness of the Dashing papers, I think the design works equally well with the more traditional combination of colours.

Which do you prefer...?

"Christmas Card '08" Stamps: Occasional Greetings Papers: Kraft, Naturals Ivory, Purely Pomegranate, Dashing and Holiday Harmony DSP Ink: Real Red, Always Artichoke, Old Olive Accessories: Wide Grosgrain Ribbon - Real Red & Old Olive, Purely Pomegranate Double Stitched Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Spotlight on Nanny!

Here are a couple of cards that are from the un-posted archive of "have been meaning to share for ages"!  There are a few things stashed away in there currently :) These ones are by none other than my talented and lovely mum aka Nanny.  She scored the Level 2 hostess set In the Spotlight when I did a workshop for her a few months back and put it straight to work with these beauties!  Then she's hardly done a THING with it since 'cause it came to live in my stampin' room for a bit....

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I am actually the proud owner of this card 'cause she sent it to me and it's been on my mantlepiece ever since!

"Spotlight Thank You" Stamps: In the Spotlight, Itty Bitty Backgrounds Paper: Mellow Moss, Rose Red, Whisper White Ink: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Always Artichoke, Pretty in Pink, Versamark Accessories: Mat Pack and Paper Piercer, Olive Organdy Ribbon (retired), Double Rectangle Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Then she brought over this one shortly afterward for show and tell so I snapped a pic quickly so I could share it too!

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"Spotlight Wish Big" Stamps: In the Spotlight, Short and Sweet Paper: Kraft, Cameo Coral, Garden Green, Very Vanilla Ink: Cameo Coral, Garden Green, Versamark Accessories: Scallop Circle Punch, 1" Circle Punch, Small Oval Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals, 2-way Glue Pen, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter * Pssst...Nanny! I'm kinda guessing at these colours as I don't have the actual card, so correct me if I've got 'em wrong huh?!

A New Year and a few other new things...

I'm back :)  Not that I ever mentioned I was going anywhere but I was rather in need of a break.  So I took one.  That's the beauty of this job, that you can tweak your timetable to suit your life, although manners should possibly have dictated that I might have mentioned it first... If I could take a moment away from the topic of stamping (to add to the many other moments I have taken up until now!) I want to expand a little bit on the process of simplifying that I mentioned in my previous post.  I made a brief reference to needing to simplify on a number of levels and this was based on feeling that I was dropping my bundle a little...or a lot.  I was overcome pretty much constantly by feelings of being overwhelmed that I found difficult to shake and that, up until that point in time I figured were just "the way I operated".

Following the overwhelmed-ness would be the "snap out of it!" self talk where I would mentally beat myself up for not being able to cope with my lot - a lot that is no more, and in fact probably much less than, the lot of many others.  I just seemed to have lost my coping mechanisms somewhere along the line.  The tiniest things would turn my world upside down and my way of dealing with it would be to take it out on the people I loved the most :(  And the most tiring part was keeping it all together on the outside when I didn't feel at all "together" on the inside.

Everything sort of dropped into place when I went to see about figuring out what the hell was wrong with my immune system as I spent the entire year catching pretty much whatever was going around - from laryngitis to pneumonia and more than my fair share of doses of the common cold.  Considering that I can mostly get through a year with barely a sniffle, it was a bit out of the ordinary to say the least.  But what started out as what I thought would be an investigation into my physical self ended up with treatment for an anxiety disorder that I never knew was there.  Again, I figured the thoughts and feelings that were so much part of my every day were "just me".  The relief of knowing that it didn't have to be like that was immediate, and following was a series of sessions that, although hard going at times, have helped ENORMOUSLY in the process of changing how I think and respond to situations.

Phew.  If you made it this far, then thanks for listening.  Originally I didn't plan on sharing this whole process here since the very vast majority of you would visit for stamping inspiration rather than amateur psychology.  But then I thought that perhaps there are others of you like me.  Getting through each day by the seat of your pants and then wondering why you're so TIRED all the time.  So I wanted to share.  And encourage :)  And say that if what you have read here sounds like you then maybe you might want to talk to somebody about it.

I also wanted to share some of my favourite resources that I have found recently in case anybody else can find some value in them:

Simple Mom - my new ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE blog.  I couldn't even tell you what it's about as there is SO much on there and I haven't even got thr0ugh all the content, but what I have read, I have related to is SO many ways.  Go read it.  It's GOOD!

Small Notebook - A lovely blog about living simply.  I couldn't even tell you how I found it but I stumbled across it recently, as these things tend to happen when you most need them to, and now I check in all the time

Change your Thinking (Sarah Edelman PhD)- this one's a book rather than a blog or website but it delves into the topic of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and is a great resource (thanks for the lend Aunty Mair :))

I have still been creating during this whole break, so I have a few things to share.  I had a bit of crunching and grinding to do in the background of my blog though, but that is pretty much sorted now (you may have noticed some strange goings on in the past day or so if you popped in!) so I am looking forward to getting some stampin' inspiration to you soon.

Thanks for listening!

Simplifying......

So I have been having a clear out of a few things recently....  I had a bit of a self-discovery period starting a couple of months back and have decided that simplifying on a number of levels - physically, mentally and emotionally - was called for.  The result of this decision is ongoing and so far very positive, and mostly not relevant to stamping or my blog, aside from the fact that some of the physical clearing out involves a number of my retired and therefore unused stamp sets! So people, if you're looking to bulk up your stamp collection, I have a heap of great used but still in great condition stamp sets currently listed on e-bay and due to finish in 6 days or so.  Go check 'em out here and grab yourself some bargains :)

I will be back asap with some pictures of the craft fair that I did on the weekend with some of my team....