Thank you so much for your lovely comments about the robin and other freebies:). I am pleased you like them!

Today, I have to admit I have finally succumbed to the cold that my daughter brought home from work! She very kindly gave it to hubbie, who was generous enough to pass it along to the boys, and they in turn have been good enough to let me have it too! What a lovely kind, sharing family I have! I'm sitting here feeling all bunged up, and wishing I was back in bed, but I am now right in the middle of tax return and accounts preparation (it's the tax return filing deadline here in the UK on 31 January) and I currently have about 65 tax returns to go (and a lot of those need the accounts doing first)....... I reckon I will be busy everyday until the end of January and even then I may not get everything done....:(.

But, I have managed to have a play with Photoshop and I know I will have to get a move on, as the ADSDesigners December collaboration is due for release on Monday and I haven't even started my part yet! I've been playing around with brushes and glitter, and this is what I came up with:

They are just some swirls and pixels with added glitter, but I reckon they definitely have a Christmassy feel to them. Feel free to download them either by clicking on the preview or here. The drop shadows are on the preview only and the background papers are not included in the download.

I was fortunate enough last week to be given four tickets to the Living Crafts at Christmas Exhibition at Blenheim Palace (thank you, Crafts Beautiful magazine!), so spent yesterday attending the Craft Fair and exploring the house and grounds of Blenheim Palace with my parents and daughter.

These are just a few of the two hundred or so photos I took (I am so thankful for digital cameras and memory cards!), much to the disgust of my mother and daughter, since both Dad and I kept stopping ever few minutes to take yet another shot!

As you can see here, the weather was not too good to start off with, as it was very grey looking, cold and windy. Mind you, in Britain in November, could you really expect any less?!!!

This is the courtyard with the main entrance of the Palace:

It was really impressive! And the family still live there!

This was the fountain and I managed to catch the rainbow in the water!

This was a really beautiful place and I am determined to visit again next summer, when it will be warmer (hopefully!) and we can take our youngest son (who will be 12 by then). He would have loved it yesterday.....well, not the Craft Fair, obviously, as I can't think of many 11 year old boys who would enjoy a craft fair, but he would have loved the Palace (provided we walked through it at breakneck speed), the maze, the miniature village, the lakeside walk, and the train, and would only have got mildly frustrated at his mother stopping every few yards to take photos!

Anyhow, the Craft Fair was lovely, although it was all very expensive - kind of what we expected, really, but it would have been nice to have seen more affordable items on sale. There were lots of gorgeous knitted sweaters and jumpers, in unusual designs, but at over £100 for each one, we decided to give them a miss! There were some beautiful paintings and photographs, lots of Christmas crockery, and the food hall was scrumptious!
However, the exhibition did give me lots of ideas for Christmas, and I have made a start with a Christmas robin:

Feel free to download him either by clicking on the preview or here. Personal use only, and the drop shadows are only on the preview.

Well, here (at last!) is the acrylic frame set I mentioned a while ago. I was having a play with acrylic styles and some brushes, and finally managed to find the time to trim them down and save as png files:

They're not brilliant, but they are my first attempt, so please bear that in mind. You can download them by clicking on the preview or here.
I'm off line dancing now, so let me know what you think, and if you have time, pop over to Bootiful Stampz where there is a chance to win a free stamp for your crafting!

Just popping in to let you all know about the one a day giveaway from Bootiful Stampz.

Everyday for the rest of November, Sally from Bootiful Stampz is going to give away One Stamp EVERY DAY!!!! There are conditions of course! You have you to tell people about the One Day Giveaway on your blog and link back to This Bootiful Stampz Blog! You will have until 11/12pm on that day to put your name down, only once per day please but you can enter EVERY DAY!! and of course for EVERY DAY that you do enter, you will have to post on your blog! You could win once/twice or three times who knows! All names that have answered that day and have posted on their blog (links will be checked) will go into a hat and the winner announced the next day! A new post will be made each day and you just add your name to that post!

So of course I'm entering!

Just to let you all know that Crafts Beautiful are having an online party on 29th/30th of November and there are over £3000 worth of prizes to be won including:

  • a Polaroid photo printer;
  • Lakeland hampers;
  • luxury Christmas decorations from All Wrapped Up;
  • bead kits:
  • plier sets;
  • subscriptions to the craft mags craft books;
  • knitting bags packed with goodies;
  • a cuttlebug;
  • craftroom multi-tool plus accessories from Helix;
  • Mr Site website packages;
  • Panduro papercrafting products;
  • a Claire Aristides jewellery day school;

Not only that but there are exclusive downloads that will be available for a limited time only (throughout the weekend, there will be new ones uploaded every couple of hours) including over 75 backing sheets, projects, knitting patterns, motifs, recipes and more!

There are also lots of activities going on within the forum: quizzes, practical challenges abd there's even more prizes and crafty product for FREE to some lucky posters! See here for further details.

Well, I was actually only meaning to let you have some flowers and branches I made using a brilliant Monica Larsen action, but on checking the TOU, I can't give just these away as freebies, they have to be part of something much larger.....

So, I had a play with some patterns and brushes today, messed around with the blend mode and came up with Floral Experiment (for want of a better title):

I made the bird yesterday, as after seeing so many literally flying around the digital scrap book world, I decided to create my own template. And since I rather like this bird, you will probably see a lot more of it in a variety of colours and patterns!
The kit contains:
  • 10 papers (they may look similar, but they are all different)
  • 3 frames
  • 3 buttons
  • 2 note papers
  • 2 birds
  • 2 branches with flowers

I'm afraid it is only for personal use but you can download the papers here and the elements here. Thanks to Monica Larsen and ActionFx for the actions and buttons.

Well, I've been out preparing accounts at client premises for the past two weeks and am likely to be out most of this coming week as well. Unfortunately, because I am out all day, I have to work at night when I get back doing the other things that I would normally have done in the day - letter writing, payroll, and other such exciting stuff!

It has meant that any designing time has been cut right down. I have, however, managed to make some flowers and some acrylic photo frames, so will post some of these later today.

But in the meantime, here's some photos taken on the drive to Sheffield last Saturday. They are mainly of the sunrise (we had to leave early to be there for 9:30 and had some glorious views over the Peak district). some of the photos are a bit dark, but hopefully you can see the amazing sunrise in them.

This one was a squirrel running across the wall in the layby where I pulled over so I could take some photos. I probably drove everyone in the car mad with the number of times I kept stopping...but it is kind of difficult to take a photo whilst driving! The squirrel looks in focus here, but when the photo is the right size, he (or she) is actually a little blurry. I consider that I did a good job in actually managing to get the squirrel in the photo in the first place, blurry or not!

This one here looks particularly barren. There were some lovely views before we got here, but nowhere to stop and park the car while I took a photo, so you'll have to make do with this shot taken from the layby!

We went to Sheffiled to attend Sloshfest Sheffield, which was a remarkable event. It was a three day event, but we could only go on the last day. If you want further details regarding this, take a look at It was an eventful day, with lots going on, and some of it was "strange". Think Lakeland plus some, and you will have an idea of what was going on. You could feel the presence of God there, but it was nothing like the very high Church of England church where I used to go.
Anyhow, see you later on with a freebie, or two!