Monday, September 30, 2013

October SOTM Blog Hop - Scandinavian Wishes

Welcome to our Stamp of the Month Blog Hop! We will be featuring October's SOTM, "Scandinavian Wishes", a set of 12 stamps. I think this is one of my favourite stamp sets in this entire Idea Book. There are SO many ways to use it and so many possibilities, both for cards and for scrapbooking! If you have come here from Elizabeth's Blog, you are on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way all around.

This month we have approximately 60 Close To My Heart Consultants sharing their creations using this month's SOTM and other great CTMH products on their blogs. This is simple to do - just click on the link at the end of the post on each blog to move to the next one! Here we go!

A picture of the stamp set is shown here: 


I chose to use Sarita papers to create my card as I very much like holiday cards that use non-traditional colours. I really wanted to do a window card and I used the Artbooking Cartridge to create the window itself. (this is a 5x7 card). The Sarita Textiles form the curtains that hang around the window and that was quite the task... between the top overhang, the sides and the pull-backs, there was a lot of sewing, cutting and gathering but I like the way they turned out in the end. The reindeer image is embossed with Clear Detail Embossing Powder and Glitter. 

Supplies Used: 
Paper: Sarita Paper Pack, Outdoor Denim Cardstock, Gypsy Cardstock, Lagoon Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock
Stamps: Scandinavian Wishes
Inks: Pigment Inks: Gypsy, Lagoon, White Daisy  
Accessories: Artbooking Cartridge, Clear Sparkles, Sarita Textiles, Pinking Shears (not CTMH), Foam Tape, Clear Detail Embossing Powder, Prisma Glitter, Heat Tool


Now "Hop" on over to Vicki's Blog to see her work! Be sure to visit all the Consultants at their blogs to get some great crafting ideas and other fun ideas! Remember, the October SOTM is only available until the last day of October! Click here to see how you can get this stamp set for just $5 this month! 


Enjoy, 
Alyson

Friday, September 27, 2013

Explanation and a Little Surprise at the End

I know people keep blogs for various reasons and I really appreciate my followers. I also know that I have not posted forever and there have been reasons for that. Some of those, I am going to explain now so that people know what is going on with me. 

Before I left for Convention, I knew that I had a very large mass growing somewhere on the left side of my abdomen. It was approximately the size of a small bowling ball and it was causing me a great deal of discomfort, mostly in the form of nausea, but periodic bouts of drop dead pain attacks, which I tried to hide the best I could. I knew I was facing major surgery but I also had to have cancer testing done to see if the mass was cancerous or not. Either way, due to medication I take, major surgery was a huge risk for me and I had an anesthetic consult before I went to Convention. The odds were laid out clearly - I had approx. a 15-20% chance of not surviving this surgery at all. That's pretty tough to hear but I knew I couldn't go on the way things were going. 

Upon arriving home, I moved into a new apartment as my husband and I had split up. I was then a victim of a horrendous domestic assault of which I won't go into details (it was not my husband who did it). I was badly hurt and eventually did go to the police. The individual was charged with and plead guilty to assault, assault with a weapon and breach of parole. He spent about a month in jail and is now on parole and is not to have an contact with me directly or indirectly. I have been going for counseling to deal with the terrible nightmares and guilt that I have about this event. I have never experienced anything like this before and don't expect to ever again. Fortunately, the police were wonderful to deal with although I never want to have to give another statement as long as I live. 

Just a few days after that, I had the MRI tests in Toronto (about 75 minutes south of here). Fortunately, the results came back negative although my surgeon was still very skeptical with the types of symptoms I was experiencing. Our local hospital is undergoing major renovations and being the summer, only about half the operating rooms are available and so my surgery wasn't booked until August 22. The day arrived and I was so nervous. A friend took me there and my mom had come down as well (she's 85). Just moments before the surgery, the anesthetist who had done my consult came out to see me. He sat with me and took my hand in his. So many doctors try to "play God" but not this man. I had had him before when I had my gall bladder removed and I fought to have him for this surgery as well. He told me that God was watching over the two of us and all the staff in the OR. He said the God had equipped him with the knowledge, the tools and the skills to keep me safe and that was his only priority was to keep me safe. We sat there for a few more moments and then he asked if I was ready. Of course the answer was no but he took my hand and led me into the OR. My surgeon is the same way - compassionate, comforting, etc. But this anesthetist also has a terrific sense of humour and right away made me laugh as he began the insertion of the IV (I remembered that sense of humour from the last time...) 

Anyways, after I was out and they got started, there were major complications in that they didn't find what they expected. The mass was definitely there but my surgeon had been under the impression it had been attached to my ovaries and was planning to remove my ovaries and tubes with it. It was apparently attached to my bowel instead. It ended up that there were (in addition to the 2 anesthetists), 7 specialists in my OR that morning, including my surgeon (a gynecologist), another gynecologist, 2 general surgeons, a urologist and 2 others that I can't recall. I guess it was quite a circus in there with lots of people having their say. No cancer was found but the mass was removed and a small piece of my bowel were sent to pathology just to be certain. The surgery itself took the better part of 4 hours and the pain afterwards was incredible. I had to be sedated again until they could get control of that. I was in the hospital for almost a full week and am feeling much better now. I still can't do any lifting or anything like that yet. 

However, through all of this, I have just lost my motivation to create. When I arrived at my apartment, my CTMH bundles were waiting for me and they remained in the boxes for almost 2 months before I even unpacked them. Even now, I am just starting to feel like creating again, so hopefully this continues. I am currently working on my Stamp of the Month Blog Hop piece and I want it to be extra special since I haven't done much for so long. 

So that's, why I have been out of the picture for so long. I apologize to all of you who come to my blog, expecting something and there is nothing there. However, I DO have a little surprise for you if you have read this far. I do have a new roommate. Her name is Mika and she is just 9.5 weeks old now. She is a Maltese/Yorkie cross and she has brought new meaning to my life. Isn't she precious??

 
So, on Oct.1, I WILL have a SOTM post up and I am hoping that more posts will follow as I think I have finally hit the creative mode once again. 

Thanks for reading my story and maybe understanding a little better where I have been all this time. 

Alyson

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Laughing Lola Cards

Finally, I have finished some cards.... it seems to take me forever, but I guess that comes from slowly healing from surgery and not being able to concentrate for long periods of time just yet.

These are cards that I will use for an upcoming workshop. Those of you who are reading this and are interested in the workshop, details are on my Workshop Link at the top of my blog. 

This first card is based on a card made by Pam Korte. The sketch is from our new Make It From The Heart Book but I loved the way she added the flowers to the black cardstock. This is also the only card where the inside is finished as well - the others just have white cardstock inside and can be customized as desired.

The second card is based on a Freshly Made Sketch design but I saw a card by Allisa Chilton using this colour combination and just loved it! Since my customers won't be purchasing the Complements, I had to create the flower using the Laughing Lola WOTG stamp set.
The next card was found on Pinterest. There is simply no better place to go for ideas!! And yes, it does use some non-CTMH products (Nestabilities) as I wasn't able to find the correct dimension rectangles...
The last card was also found on Pinterest. It's a little hard to see the print here but I love the simple elegance of this card.
The list of supplies below includes everything for all 4 cards. 

Products used are Close To My Heart unless otherwise noted: 

Paper: Laughing Lola Paper Pack, White Daisy Cardstock, Black Cardstock, Lagoon Cardstock, Gypsy Cardstock, Whisper Cardstock
Stamps: You Are My Happy, A True Thank You, Happy Birthday (ret.), Laughing Lola WOTG, Hello Tweety, Swirls Around
Inks: Black Pigment Ink, Gypsy Pigment Ink, Hollyhock Pigment Ink, Whisper Pigment Ink, Black, Lagoon, Markers: Gypsy, Copic BG13 (not CTMH)
Accessories: Artiste Cartridge, Art Philosophy Cartridge, Clear Sparkles, Slate Polka Dot Ribbon, Nestabilities (scalloped rectangle, rectangle, label - not CTMH), Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (not CTMH), Corner Rounder

Enjoy, 
Alyson

Friday, September 6, 2013

Video - Artbooking Made Easy

I know I have been absent from my blog... two reasons for that. I recently had major surgery and and am finally feeling like creating once again and second, anything that I have created hasn't been photographed as I have a new camera and I haven't had 30 seconds to figure out how to use it!!

So in the meantime, corporate has released some awesome videos and this is one of them. If you have not yet purchased the Artbooking Cricut Cartridge, this will definitely make you want that cartridge. It is amazing! Enjoy all the things that Carly will show you in this clip. 


Enjoy, 
Alyson



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