At the centre of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want ~ Lao Tzu

Wednesday, May 29

WOYWW 208 - Fourth Anniversary!!

And here it is - the big WOYWW4 Artist's Trading Card swap!

As you can see, I've made 8 ATCs - I was hoping to make 10, but to be honest, I'm thrilled I've managed to return to this dinky art-form - it's one of my favourites :)

These are the first ATCs I've made since the stroke, which proves my left hand is getting more dexterous - yay!!

This means I've got at least 7 extra cards to swap - I may make the remaining two - clearly I have more than enough supplies!!

So if you'd like to swap, just send a note to claire.sauer[at] with your snail mail and I'll get one in the post asap.

I should mention - there is one ATC with a vintage, discreet nude image, so if you'd rather not have that one, please let me know :)

Can't wait to see all your crafty desk goodness over at The Stamping Ground - it's going to be a great anniversary bash, I'm sure!

Till next week xxx

PS You may have noticed some new buttons on the right sidebar...

I've just started a 6-week course with Janet Conner - a favourite author - so I'm not sure how much crafting I'll get done in the coming weeks... but my hope is to drop by WOYWW as often as possible :) 

Saturday, May 25

Focus on Life - Week 21

Where do the days go??? Surely, it's only a couple of days since the last Focus on Life???

This week's prompt was Reminisce, as Sally asked,

This week capture what takes you back to moments past
and reminisce a little.

And I knew immediately what photo to take.

Nothing takes me back to my childhood quicker than catching a glimpse of these on my bookshelf...

Chicken Licken is the first book I clearly remember reading all by myself...

I adored Cinderella and learned to tell time with a watch, which came with a figurine of Cinderella in a sky-blue ball dress...

But Snow White and Rose Red and Rumpelstiltskin were my two absolute favourites and I remember knowing all the words, which meant I knew if the person reading to me skipped a page :)

These eight little books have travelled continents with me, been read to and by my children, and maybe one day, will be read by my grandchildren!

I can't wait to see which images evoke special memories for others listed over at Sally's Studio Sublime...

Wednesday, May 22

WOYWW 207 - Two kinds of mess...

I didn't make it last week - on the Tuesday I had to go Sheffield for my annual check-up and it just exhausts me - a 3-hour round trip, with a full hour intensive appointment in-between...

So I'm determined to make up for it this week :)

This is my desk yesterday morning - the first kind of mess...

... the dumping-ground kind :(

But here's my desk later that afternoon, the best kind...

... creative mess :)

I'm finally getting on with my ATCs ready for next week's fourth anniversary swap... and I'm proud to report, three are already made and drying. Hooray for me!!

And I'll leave you with pics of my late-birthday lilies - they smell divine *sigh*

Can't wait to see what you've been creating this week - more ATCs, I'm guessing...

... so I'm hopping over to Julia's Stamping Ground to find out!

Till next week xxx

Saturday, May 18

Focus on Life - Week 20

How the weeks fly by... week 20 already!!

Sally's prompt this week was Looking Up - all about changing perspective by lifting our eyes!!

Now, we have very little worth looking at on our ceilings at home(!), so I was thrilled when Thursday morning was bright and sunny (the weather in the UK has been cold and wet and damp and grey for sooooo long!), and I could venture out on my scooter...

Grantham, like many UK market towns has a rich history, and some wonderful architecture, most of it well-preserved above street-level.

A 16th-century building, which now houses an acupuncturist on one side and a café on the other...

Some Victorian houses, next to a rather grand Edwardian creation, which now have charity shops and a night-club on their premises...

... a close-up on the night-club - I just love that honeyed stonework against the blue sky (could be in Oxford!!).

And this splendid art-deco building is now a recruitment agency! I wonder if it were ever a cinema... it has that old glamour vibe - but only if you look up!!!

And, to finish off, a neighbour's cherry tree, which overhangs the pathway, provided a pretty picture as I rode underneath it on the way home (I couldn't resist the boost feature on Picasa for this one!)

Thankfully, I made it home before the clouds rolled in again, and it started to rain again *sigh*

I can't wait to see the wonderfully inventive, looking-up photos you've posted over at Sally's Studio Sublime, each week is a rich mine of inspiration!

Till next week xxx

Saturday, May 11

Focus on Life - Week 19

Sally's prompt this week was HOPE, with a Note to Self:
Put the self-doubt and worry on the shelf for this week and
capture what represents hope in my life.

And truly, there is nothing that 'represents hope in my life' more than these two beautiful young people...

... our kids!

It took seven years to get Samuel (after 3 miscarriages and 1 stillbirth - a daughter, Connie), but once the doctors figured out the problem, we were good to go, and Esther arrived two years later :)

Every day, they bring joy, laughter and wonderful insights into our lives...

Sam will be 18 in September, and next year after A levels, hopes to go to uni, though he's still not 100% sure to read what... He is tall, like his Dad, at well over 6ft.

Esther will be 16 in December, and has her sights set on being a child psychologist.

No one knows what the future may bring, but with young people like our two and their friends taking their places in the world, to me it looks very hope-full :)

I wonder how many other family pictures there'll be in this week's gathering over at Sally's Studio Sublime... Pop over to find out!

Till next week xx

Wednesday, May 8

WOYWW 205 - Nothing creative going on...

... 'cos very important forms need filling in!

Nick and I have spent the last few days filling in my disability benefit form (over 25 pages) - he has to write it for me as I can't write small, or neatly, enough. The level of detail they require is crazy and I have no confidence that those reading all we write will know or understand...

ATOS, the private contractors the Government hired, do not have a good track record - some newspapers putting the number as low as 63% success rate, meaning 37% of eligible claimants were denied benefits, until they appealed, and then they were reinstated. This has cost taxpayers needless millions of ££££s, and untold stress and worry for those concerned!

*deep breath*

In the pic, is my Blue Badge application for disabled parking (only 15 pages!), as it expires next month - where did 3 years go from the last time we did this??

Mind you, where did 6 years go?

Tomorrow will be the 6th anniversary of the stroke striking... not that it's one to celebrate...

But, I am here, at home, with my family, having re-learnt a number of important skills like washing and dressing and speaking... and, of course, using the computer, so I can blog with lovely peeps from all around the globe, which is cause to celebrate :)

And now, I'm going to visit all the fun desks listed over at The Stamping Ground - bound to be loads more interesting than form-filling!!!

Till next week xxx

Saturday, May 4

Focus on Life - Week 18

This week's prompt was 'Abstract', of all the curious prompts...

Thankfully Sally's explanation did the trick - once again!
Apparently, it's all about:

The use of a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.

My first thought was to just have fun with the various Picasa tools and manipulate an image, but then I was given these for my birthday on Sunday

And I quickly realized, all I needed to do was open my eyes, and get r-e-a-l-l-y close...

I have not done anything at all with these shots beside point 'n' shoot :)

How's that for form, line and colour??

Now I'm whizzing over to Sally's Studio Sublime to see all the other wacky, abstract photos - can't wait :)

Till next week xxx

Wednesday, May 1

WOYWW 204 - Post-birthday exhaustion...

... so not much going on in the desk department...

... but lots in the birthday card and flower departments :)

We had a lovely family birthday lunch on Sunday...

(Me, Esther, Dad, Jon (my brother), Sam)
On Monday, I got my long-awaited botox injections to relax the muscles in my right arm, so everything's still rather tender...
... but I'm hoping by next week to have thank you cards and ATCs to show you!
In the meantime, check out all the exciting desks gathered at Ms Julia's Stamping Ground.
Til next week xxx
PS Thank you so much for all the lovely comments last week - I've never had so many!
I guess that's the perk of the no.1 spot :)
PPS Here's some more flower pics of a simply gorgeous bunch of tulips from a dear friend glowing in the early evening light.