Hello NEC!

Well, day one went in a blur, it seemed fairly busy, but nowhere near as busy as I remember from previous shows.  We met some lovely people and had loads of compliments on the stand.  I managed to get some blurry photos on my iPhone, but I don’t have my decent camera with me, so these will have to do.

We have a smaller stand than we usually take at shows (there wasn’t much choice by the time we booked) so we have focused mainly on Elusive Images stamps, with a small selection of other items, including Stampbord, inkpads, paints, albums, glimmer mists and glimmer mist kits.

My demo table is looking quite tidy for me.  I’ve been working with some new cupcake stamps – the gorgeous cupcake cards  you can see there were made by Lynn and are proving to be a big hit.

We had a little Guild get together on the stand at one point, it was great to put some faces to names.

If you are visiting the NEC at all over the next three days, please do come along and say hello, it’s always lovely to meet our customers and blog readers.

I need a creative boost

Hello to everyone we met at Harrogate and thank you so much for respecting my wishes and not mentioning recent events.  It did make it easier to cope.  I’d be lying if I said everything was fine and I wasn’t still grieving, but I know it’s going to take a while for that pain to subside.  It is having an effect on my energy levels – you’ll notice the reduced frequency of blog posts and the lack of actual craft related blog posts too.

I love blogging, I enjoy having a place where I can express myself, but sometimes it feels too public a place to pour out all the private stuff and I admit I have run away from it.  Someone recommended I journal, but my journals all lie untouched.  I don’t want to capture these sensations of loss and grief, I don’t want to create pages that I go back to and remember how I was feeling when I created them.  The time will come when I can start to create pages that are about happy memories, but I don’t feel ready for that yet.

I have managed to do a little crafting – I made the flower on this card a while ago – it’s stamped onto papers from the Graphicus Guild paper pack and one from the Butterfly Bliss CD, then the back has been inked so that when the petals curl up, you see the contrasting colour.

I put an embossed panel onto an aqua square card then made an acetate wrap from a Hambly overlay.  I stuck a scalloped circle on the inside of the acetate and the flower on the outside.  There’s a greeting from Birthday Words hidden behind the scallop.

I am hoping that I will get some crafting time to myself over the Easter weekend.  Long time readers may remember a while back I asked you to put your crafting questions to me?  Well it would really help me to get kick started if we could do “Ask Glenda” again.  I have a lot of crafting know-how inside this woolly head of mine that I would love to share.  If you haven’t left a comment on here before, why not ask me a crafting question, whether it’s a really simple basic question, like what card to stamp on, or something more complex like how to shade with Copic markers.

We are off to the NEC tomorrow for the Hobbycrafts show and I may not have Internet access the whole time I’m away, but keep the questions coming and I will do my best to answer them all in future blog posts.

PS – I have also managed to fit in a little stamp design time – there’s some gorgeous new spring stamps launching at our Birthday Party!

The Temperance Society

It was Nanna’s funeral on Monday and already it feels such a long time ago. Sad to be saying a final goodbye, but it was a simple and sweet service, with a nice tribute from my uncle which included some lines from Desiderata. It finished with Louis Armstrong singing It’s a Wonderful World. My Grandad was a jazz pianist – he would have approved of that.

One of my Nanna’s best friends said that she was a special person, very positive, serene and calm with a wonderful sense of humour and that you never ever heard her raise her voice. It had never occurred to me before, but she’s right, I can’t remember ever hearing Nanna raise her voice or get angry or shout at anyone.

Though funerals are sad, it brought together members of the family who haven’t seen each other for a while and there’s nothing like a big silent bear hug to remind you who your loved ones truly are. Then there’s the little stories that come out, some are family stories you have heard before, some are memories shared amongst others that are new to you.

I found out that Nanna and Grandad got their first mortgage from the Temperance Society and every week a Temperance man would come round to collect the mortgage payment. All the kids were trained to hide any alchohol in the cupboard before they opened the door to him so they wouldn’t get into trouble!

I always remember the story about their first date – Grandad was in the Navy (submarines) and Nanna was in the WRENS. He wore his uniform and she was wearing a white angora sweater. By the end of the date, Grandad was wearing a fair bit of white angora himself – all over his uniform!

I am learning in practice what I always knew in theory – it’s this storehouse of memories that helps to ease the grief and get you through these early difficult days.

Adrian has been a tower of strength throughout this. He lost three grandparents in the space of 18 months when he was in his late teens, so he had a very harsh lesson in coming to terms with grief. He has been just amazing, he seems to know just what to say or do, whether to be practical, whether to give me a hug or whether to make a cup of tea. That in itself is a wonderful thing, but truly remarkable given the week he’s just had with his Dad. We spent a long night at Durham A&E last Tuesday after he fell in the bathroom and concussed himself severely enough to be kept in overnight.

Then about ten minutes before we arrived at the funeral, we had a call from the district nurse who was there to dress his wounds from the last fall. He fell on Sunday night and the nurse took one look at him on Monday morning and called an ambulance. So he’s back in hospital again, but to be honest, at the moment it’s probably the best place for him. There’s no doubt he was sent home too early – he must have had 6 or 7 pretty nasty falls since he got home.

We know that we are just in one of those time periods in our life when family life is difficult. There’s not much we can do about the situation, but we can do something about the way we handle it.

I will be honouring my Nanna’s memory if I can deal with life’s blows with the same serenity, calmness and humour that she managed all her life.