Sunday, 22 January 2012

Chinese New Year of the Dragon

Hi Everyone,

January 23rd 2012 sees the start of the Chinese New Year, this year being the Year of the Black Water Dragon.

It sounds like it could be an interesting and packed year. A lot of what I have read about this Year of the Dragon suggests it is a very auspicious year. If you would like to learn more you can find some links at Debbie McDougall's,  a fellow Reiki-Master/Teacher's site in her latest January Newsletter Extra.

After the year we have just had I'm hoping that 2012 is indeed going to be a fabulous, much more positive year! I'm certainly not in the "It's the end of the world" camp.

This was a fun page to do. It was created with Serif Craft Artist. I used AmarieVeanne - Dragon images brushes; The Dragon kanji came from Squidoo; the Chinese Happy New Year symbols came from Judy Meibusch

I made the background myself using the plasma fill in Craft Artist (I use the full Craft Artist Professional version), and Paint.NET effects. I also made my own CA effects for the dragons and kanji.

I'll leave you wishing you all Gong Xi Fa Ca! which is the traditional Chinese New Year greeting meaning “wishing you prosperity” in Mandarin.


Friday, 20 January 2012

My friends have been busy with more freebies...

Hi Everyone,

There was me saying just the other day to some people that I've done so well this winter by not getting a cold, and the very next day I go down with a throat lurgy!

I thought I was doing well and had got rid of it after 48 hours, but a few days later it came back and bit me again, so now I have a very tiny voice and the cough makes me sound like a dog barking. Free Basic Smileys

Still, I have had some fun things to do to take my mind off it all. Two of my digicrafting friends have been busy on their second freebie kits.

Sandie's is a beautiful one for all those interested in their family heritage, who would like to plot their family trees and decorate their family history pages.  You can get her freebie Family Tree Mini Kit from her blog.

Created with Serif Craft Artist using Sandie's Family Tree Kit

It has some lovely embellishments (28) and papers (8) in it. It was great fun to use.

I was delighted to find a small photo album a few days ago that had been put "safely" away many months ago. Heaven only knows why I put it in the drawer I found it in - I have been looking for it for ages because it has some very special photos of particular importance to me.

As is often the case in this sort of thing it was a happy happenstance that it came to light. Earlier in the week I had been watching recordings of the delightfully enthusiastic Sheena Douglass on Create and Craft demonstrating the Luminarte Twinkling H2Os. She had a cracking good idea for storage, utilizing old CDs and the spindle they come on.

I have quite a few of these pots from a number of years ago, which I haven't used much. Seeing how Sheena used them I have been motivated into hunting them out and giving them another go to make up decorative papers that hopefully I can scan in and use as backgrounds.

I knew I had some old CDs salted away that I could use to glue them to. Rifling through the second drawer I found them. While searching through the first drawer I thought they were in, I found my photo book. Yay! Thanks Sheena!

So now I shall find some time over the weekend to scan these photos in, and I'm thinking that Sandie's kit will be a nice one to use to make them into pages.

Krystal has released her new Steampunk Freebie Kit just this evening.  It has 18 papers and 105 elements - she did say it was going to be smaller this time around.

 Tempus fugit -  Created  with Serif Craft Artist using Krystal's Steampunk Kit
This is another gorgeous kit to play with if you like steampunk. It's not a genre that I have played with much, although I do have a few kits knocking about. I'm really quite pleased with how this page has turned out. I think there will be more in the offing.

I have another freebie kit of my own to post in the very near future. It is set up for Craft Artist at the moment but I need to convert it to jpg and png so it can be used in other design programmes.

So watch this space......



Thursday, 5 January 2012

Smokey, Leaving Footprints in Your Hearts

Hi Everyone,

In the run-up to Christmas we were a bit concerned about the health of our Senior Cat, Pyewacket. He went off his food, not even interested in trying to persuade us at least 2 hours before meal-times that it was dinnertime, and was quite lethargic.

Was a visit to the vet required, or was I being too worried, with shades of our Selene in the background? He was eating grass, and his symptoms did look a lot like those described for hair-ball, to which he is prone.

He kept perking up so we decided to leave it and hope we wouldn't need an emergency visit during the holidays. The right decision, because a couple of days later, after decent doses of hairball remedy, he was as right as rain, and back to demanding food with vocal threats way before dinnertime.

Unhappily, a very good friend of mine was not so fortunate and on New Year's Eve they lost their little Smokey to FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Things have been more than a little stressful anyway the last few months, and now this to end the year.

Having lost our Selene Mama Cat to lymphoma of the bowel wall back in May after nearly 2 years from diagnosis, we know how hard it is to come to terms with the loss of a beloved little feline companion, and the pain it brings having to take them for that final visit to the vet. 

I have made this page for my friend, in the hopes that it helps a little, to know that others know just how it feels, that she is not alone and that at some point all will be re-united.

In the meantime, Smokey lives on in their hearts and their memories. 

So Betty, I am wishing and hoping that from now on things start to get better, and that as the days lengthen and brighten so too will your lives.

Page created in Craft Artist. Photos Bridge - CCby2.0 walkinguphills and Rainbow - CCbySA H Barrison.



Sunday, 1 January 2012

Sandie's New Freebie Kit - her first!

Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year everyone!

Well, here we are, the morning after the night before, or in my case the early evening after the night before. We were invited around to the neighbours to welcome in the New Year. We didn't get back in until 4.30 am and I have to confess to still feeling the after-effects of the partying - Amarula on the rocks is far more potent than you might think. Free Basic Smileys

I really don't know how so many people can "party it up" quite so frequently. I don't often over-imbibe - usually a G&T or a glass of wine with my meal, more than that and I tend to fall sleep - but a very good night was had by one and all, and I can remember everything, so that's all right.

On Friday, one of my Scrapping Pals, Sandie, who lives very locally to me so we've met a few times now, sent me a sneak preview of her first freebie kit that she had made.

It is a Valentine kit, and it is so nice to know that she was inspired to make this her first outing because Valentine was her father's middle name. I had a little play with it and found it a lovely kit. Her father would have been very proud of her.

Today, Sandie has posted her kit on her blog, so if you want to go and snag it you can get it as a Craft Artist download, or a zip file for other programmes.

Despite being in a slightly delicate state I still managed to make up another page with the live download, which seems to have grown a little. There are some lovely elements and papers.

Now I think it's time to wrap up for today. The eye is also still playing up a little, well, that's my excuse and there are a few things on the TV that look good for later.