Things are changing

I know, two posts in two days…scary! I was looking at my blog and thinking, its time to change things up a bit. I have changed a lot in the last year or so and I think, finally excepted that this is who I am now, my old life pre Rheumatoid and Fibro isn’t coming back so its time to take charge of my life and learn to guide it in the direction I want to go instead of just floating from one health disaster to another with nothing in between. This isn’t an easy process, its going to take baby steps but for the first time in years I have decided I am worth it. worth everything I want.

So in the sprite of change, I am changing things right here. My blog is getting a make-over to fit in with my mental make-over. For a number of years I was writing two blogs, this one and a post apocalyptic book review site. I have decided to quit trying to keep up with both and simply combined it into one. I am working on that now, I will add a page for the book reviews and another for my own book (with sneak peeks for anyone interested) and another one for my creativity, planners, scrapbooking and all the other crafty things I love to do. This is all to come, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will my new look blog be. But hopefully it will be exciting and interesting enough to attract a wide variety of readers.

Now its getting late so I just want to do a quick share, I received this months Planner Kit from Studio Calico today and I was going to make an unboxing video but it was so hot here today and I went to town with my parents (never the smartest move.) and by the time we stopped for lunch (ok it was at my very fav place here in Motueka, called Toad Hall, they have ice chocolates to die for.) ok getting off track. By the time I got home I was so exhausted that I just collapsed and caught up on some Netflix for a bit before daughter got home from her after  school play date. (my daughter is on the spectrum and social situations, well lets just say its hard for her and for her to have a friend is Huge!)

Ok what was I saying, oh Studio Calico…hhhmmm well…like I said yesterday, by the time you convert it from USD to NZD it’s $37 or there abouts, that’s a lot of money to spend on something less than inspiring…but you be the judge. I took some photos.


photo 1: it comes in the brown heavy duty cardboard envelope, packed neatly into a sweet wee zip up case.


photo 2: this is everything that is in the envelope


photo 3: there are four packs of stickers in glassine bags, each set has two pages which isn’t to bad but they are all velum stickers and won’t fit into my Happy Planner without cutting down. they are good quality stickers though.


photo 4: this is the pen which is cute but I have seen them at the $2 shop.


photo 5: there is this wee dashboard which I love, its to small for my HP but I will use it somehow cos its adorable! it has a Shakespeare quote that reads, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” so fitting for me right now.


Photo 6: 1 roll of Washi tape, it has pale blue banners on it and I can see me getting a lot of use out of it. A bag with 15 diecuts, very cute, I particularly like the coffee cup one. I can definitely use these. Finally two pads of round post it type notes, kind of cute and you can never have to many post it notes right?

What are your thoughts on the kit, would you buy it? I think the thing I have loved most about it is I get happy mail each month lol. Love to hear your views.

Its finally starting to cool off here so I think I will head to bed, I have a new book to read and shock, horror, its not a zombie book, its a sci fi romance lol. No chick lit for this girl. Good night all xxx


Yes I am still around. I have just been uber busy studying and writing that I kept forgetting to make time to blog. well now I have finished studying, yah me, a diploma in Applied Writing completed. I was going to go on and do an advanced diploma and I did start it but I got seriously sick and couldn’t complete it. I did think about going back next year but decided I had studied enough and really just wanted to get stuck in and get some writing done. Its slow going since I am constantly fighting with my health, but my novel is starting to take shape. I can’t see me finishing it this year or if I will ever be able to find a publisher but if all else fails I will publish it myself or put it up on just to release it out to the world and maybe get some readers.


that isn’t why I am blogging today. Today I want to share my new passion, PLANNERS… while studying I found the necessity of carefully planning your time and while trying to find a way to do this that was…, I discovered this whole subculture of of creative planner people out there and, well, its just so addictive. I spent hours online finding planner pages and stickers to print, went on Etsy and brought a few more printable stickers and set up a ring binder as my planner. that worked ok. I signed up for Studio Calico’s monthly planner kits which is kind of expensive at about $36 nzd including post, isn’t to bad, it has a lot of stickers and other bits like stamps and pens, each kit is different but I don’t think its worth the money. I will do an unbox when the November kit arrives, its due any day. Chances are I will cancel it this month. There are a lot of subscription boxes for planners out there so will see if I can find one that’s cheaper. I did play with the idea of starting my own planner subscription, let me know in the comments if that was something you might be interested in.

HelloLife-1This morning our lovely courier dropped off something I have been waiting for, for what seems like months. I ordered a Happy Planner from Blitsy 3 weeks ago. After watching numerous YouTube videos and doing so much research, I decided that the Happy Planner from Me and My Big Ideas would be the right one for me. It allows plenty of room for creativity and for keeping track of the essentials, in my case my fav tv shows, daily word count, keeping track of how much I have written and health tracker as well as appointments, school stuff…well you get the idea.

I am into anything that allows me to express myself creatively and is functional at the same time. I sort of went off scrapbooking while I was studying and while its still one of my favorite creative outlets I don’t spend nearly as much time on it as I use to. I needed another outlet and something I could use all this crafty stuff I have all over the place. 

I did try to find a Happy Planner here in New Zealand, I would rather support our local businesses, but they were hard to find and the ones I did find where so expensive. I brought this one for about $38 nzd including post compared to $59 before post from one of the NZ online scrapbook stores I looked at.

I didn’t buy any of the numerous accessories available but now wished I had because some of them look so cool. Blitsy has a big Black Friday Cyber Sleep Over party/sale going on this Friday, (Saturday our time) so I might see what specials they have.

anyway that’s it from me ladies and gents. please feel free to make a comment and share your thoughts. Would love to hear from any kiwi planner junkies so drop me a line.

Stolen Questions

I just saw this on Michelle Whorwood’s blog and thought I would steal it. I finished my course last week and at a bit of a lose on what to do with my time lol. I have a lot to get done before Christmas but nothing that is going to take much time with the exception of Christmas shopping and a few things I want to make for Katie and two of my great nieces.

Making : invitations for Katie’s birthday party and pencil rolls for the girls for Christmas

Cooking : Nothing if I can avoid it

Drinking : Tea
Reading:  Into the Fire – Lindsey Fairleigh
Wanting: To be health, or just feel less pain would do
Looking:  forward to Christmas
Playing: Candy Crush Saga
Deciding:  what to get everyone for Christmas

Wishing: I could win lotto
Enjoying: The sun
Waiting: For inspiration to hit so I can finish the first chapter
Wondering: What my final marks for the course are
Loving: the last few weeks of school…enjoy it while I can
Considering: what I am going to write next
Buying: a new skirt for Katie to wear to the Marae on Friday
Watching: South of Hell

Hoping: I have saved enough money to get Katie a tablet for Christmas
Marvelling: How tall Katie has got this year
Cringing: yesterday’s Doctor Who episode, not one of the best
Needing: So many things
Questioning: Where my writing is going next
Smelling: me…must be shower time
Wearing: Jeans and t-shirt
Noticing: how messy my desk is…again

Admiring: the new school photo that arrived on Friday
Sorting: a mental Christmas list
Getting: sore fingers
Disliking: sore fingers
Opening: my mind
Feeling: oddly enough, sore
Snacking: anything sweet

as you might be able to tell, I’ve been in a bit of pain lately, well a lot of pain really. but it really isn’t anything new. one of the joys of having two chronic illnesses is that pain is a fact of life. Last week I was out for the count with pneumonia which worried me as it can be lethal for someone like me on immune suppression medication, but antibiotics and rest kept it from doing to much damage. I am pretty much recovered, still get tired easily but again, just the joys of these wonderful illnesses I have. I try to give life a positive spin most of the time but there are days when i can do it and have to succumb and let them have their wicked way with me so to speak. I don’t often talk about how my life has changed since I first got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 9 years ago. I use to be kind of an outgoing person, not a social butterfly but I enjoyed being involved in things but since getting sick, making plans is not always a great idea. I loved working and meeting people through work but now I can’t even get a job, who wants to hire someone that can’t be reliable, who has to have time off all time because she is in to much pain to get out of bed?

I miss the old me, the fun loving, give anything a go me. Now I have to consider everything I do carefully. If I am very active one day I pay for it the next. Even little things like going to the beach, less than a five minute drive away, can cause more damage than its worth sometimes.

People without rheumatoid or fibromyalgia like to tell me that I can’t let them rule my life. that’s alright for them to say, they don’t know what its like when even a five minute walk on the beach can leave you in pain and exhausted. Hell there a days when I have to have a rest after a shower. that is the biggest thing people don’t understand, why I have to plan what I am going to do with the limited amount of energy that I have.

I saw on TV the other day men doing a walk in Auckland in woman’s shoes to raise awareness for abuse. I would love for someone to walk in a chronic pain suffers shoes to raise awareness. Try walking around a mall with a walking stick or (like I do) an elbow crutch and see what happens. People are rude, impatient and often down right nasty to disabled people. I have been knocked into, pushed to the side (physically not emotionally) told to move and even tripped up. You would think groups of teenagers would be the worst offenders of that sort of abuse but its more often adults and not just men, I have had woman shove me out of the way when I was clothes shopping more than once. Its hard balancing a handbag, walking stick and any shopping, its harder still when people are shoving past you or pushing you around. And don’t even get me started on those horrible little kid size shopping trollies, every been rammed with one of them by someone’s wee darling? I got knocked over with one driven by a sweet little devil of a boy and his mother stood there and laughed, well right up until I told her (after struggling to my feet with no assistance from her at all) that I would be sending her the doctor and physio bills, that stopped the laughter. I would love to see those things banned, their dangerous.

I think its about time someone started raising awareness about chronic illnesses. How hard it is to be sick in a society that only values healthy active people.  we don’t ask to be sick and we don’t have a choice about staying that way either. We don’t get a lot in the way of government help. If you get drunk and have a car accident then ACC comes to the party and gives you everything you need but if you end up with a chronic illness well to bad, you have very little in the way of support, monetary or mentally.

Ok that’s my Monday moan. You probably stopped reading ages ago but there are things I need to get off my chest sometimes so live with it lol.

hope your having a wonderful day…don’t forget its December the first tomorrow…the silly season is upon us once more.


V xxx

2 layouts

I haven’t been around much lately, in truth I have been really busy. Scrapbooking will be taking a backseat for now as I am working my way through an applied writing certificate and hope to go on to a diploma next year. This is all new and exciting for me, its been years since I did any study so finding it a little hard going but fun too. I have always wanted to be a writer, since I was a wee kid, but never thought I would be able too. Now I can feel it within my reach and its so exciting.

So it will be bye bye to scrapbooking for a while though I can’t see me giving it up all together, its my de-stress tool but I wont be doing nearly as much as I have in the past. And in saying that I have two layouts to share today. The first for Artfull Crafts June/July challenge and is taken from this sketch


I kept this one very simple, using Rosie’s Studio shimmer cardstock as the background and also to cut out the rockets using my Silhouette, one of which I inked using Mustard Seed distress inks and then embossed using clear embossing powder. I added some Scotch washi tape along the side, an old brad that’s been in my stash forever, a chipboard pinwheel, also used distress ink and clear embossing powder. the photos were backed using some old Echo Park paper and the title was cut using my silhouette. to finish off I added 3 wee Studio Calico veneer birds at the bottom along with some wee enamel dots.

This second one is for Scrap Our Stash and is from this sketch


I used Heidi Swapp paper, some tags from my stash, wood veneer, glitter book cover I picked up at Kmart, a 6×4 cut out from my silhouette backed by some scrap paper. a 2×3 card, a badge, some wire and a variety of alphas from my stash.

I just love this photo, my wee dd is not so wee any more, heading into the sulky preteens. somewhere between childhood and teenager. Its all about the pout these days. And the awesome mood swings lol.

anyway must dash, I have study to do.


V xxx

Busy May Fly

Ok maybe not a mayfly but I have been busy the last few weeks. Between making my son a album/sketchbook for his birthday next month (watch for photos of that soon) and helping look after Dad who has a badly damaged knee and is stuck in a wheelchair while waiting to get a knee reconstruction (men make the worst patients!) Not to mention being laid up myself with various RA and Fibro issues, it has been a busy few weeks but I have still managed to get a few layouts done for this months challenges.

I have three to share today, 2 for Artfull Crafts and  1 for D’lish Scraps. I played with allsorts of techniques for these, for the first, using the D’lish Scrap mood board I kept it pretty simple, lots of clean lines and simple embellishments. I just went with the softer colours of the mood board and tried my best to make it my own.


I felt it was more important to tell the story of this photo of my Dad and my Daughter, this is all about one of their wee traditions. I used Rosie’s Studios shimmer cardstock in cream, Amy Tangerine Stitched paper, plain black cardstock, one handmade flower with a Kaisercraft Sparklet in the middle, some Prima flowers, mulberry roses, Studio Calico wood veener coloured with distress ink, Freckled Fawn veener and some flatback pearls to finish it off.

This next one was done using the sketch at Artfull Crafts and using two of the very few photos I have of Katie playing sport. Unfortunately she inherited my talent for sports off all kinds, another words non existent. But she did manage a full game of Netball on her first try last year which is more than I ever managed. In fact I think my coach’s words where along the lines of “Vicky please put down that ball and go sit down before you hurt someone else” lol. When I asked Katie if she wanted to play this year she just laughed at me. Oh well, we can’t all be good at everything and she is so talented in so many other ways.

This is the sketch.


And this is my take on it


I used the Kaisercraft Game On collection I won from Artfull Crafts last year. I cut the netball one into bits to use as the layers and used the soccer one as the background. I also used some of the netball stickers from the same collection, a feather cut from corrugated cardboard to much her top, 2 Heidi Swapp resist stars with Spun Sugar distress ink on it. I took the Netball title sticker from the sheet and coloured it silver sharpie and covered the netballer and netball stickers with Rock Candy Distress Crackle paint. I really love the quote that was with the stickers “whether you think you can or can’t, your right- Henry Ford” so true.

and now my final layout, which I just finished using the sketchabilities sketch for this fortnight and Artfull Crafts colour palate for this month.

And this is my mashup of the two featuring my wee princess, granddaughter Lily


I started with paper from Maggie Holmes, added some Stampin Up water colour pencils I just got, and LOVE, in yellow and dark pink. Add in a script stamp from Couture Creations in gold and black.Then I cut out some doodle circles with my silhouette and used ink in pink and yellow, clear and gold embossing powders to change the colour a bit. then layered on gold Craft Smith cardstock cut to make a banner, a scrap yellow paper from my scrap paper bin, 2 tags and a ticket from my stash, a gold stripped polaroid frame from Rosie’s Studio and some diecuts from Rosie’s Studio. The title was done using wood veneer words by Rosie’s Studio that I coloured with ink and clear embossing powder, a bling word from Kaisercraft and a diecut from Rosie’s Studio. To finish off I used twine, 2 Prima wood veneer pieces, and some resin pieces from my stash (I have far too many of these things but they are just to cute to leave on the shelf)

And that’s me for now. I have just over a month before I start my course so I will be making the most of it while I can because I can’t see me getting much time to scrap or anything else once I start. So wish me luck with these challenge entries and I will post some photos of the book I am working on for my son as soon as I finish the covers, the outsides are done but I haven’t touched the inside yet.

take care one and all


V xxx

2 challenge layouts

I have 3 layouts to share today. One for Scrap Our Stash and another for Sketchibilites. I did two using this sketch for SOS but only one is going to be entered since I didnt use the colour scheme in the other.  


This is one was made using Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic pp, American Craft POW glitter paper, Heidi Swapp pp, a doily, canvas which was sprayed with Heidi Swapp gold spray, Sassafras Lass felties, washi tape, gold twine, KaiserCraft bling word, Amy Tan thickers, a Silhouette  diecut ice-cream, a lace bow, a chipboard butterfly, various stickers, a journal card, a pin and a few bits of bling. I made a folder out of the Heidi Swapp pp so I could use the 2 photos, my wee great niece Mia and Katie sharing an ice cream, just too cute to miss.

The word this month is STAMP, I think I have it covered, S – Stencil, spray and Sassafras, T- Thickers, Tape, A-Arrow, M-Mist, Mia, P- Pin, Pink. yip got it covered lol.


This is the other one I did using the sketch. This one was just for fun and because I have a serious lack of layouts featuring my eldest son.


I had fun grunge this all up and trying different techniques.

The next challenge layout is for Sketchabilities using this sketch


I just finished this about half an hour ago. I used Amy Tangerine’s Stitched pp, some Studio Calico pp, Rosie’s Studio polaroid frame, diecut and wood veneer, washi tape, Freckled Fawn wood veneer bird which I covered with gold Gelato, Kaisercraft wood veneer, some Franchiville glitter alpha stickers, a few heart punchies and a few bits of bling. I added water to some distress ink and using a medical syringe I put drops over the page to add a bit of interest and break up the white paper.

So that’s my out put this week. I am enjoying scrapbooking while I can, I have until July then I start my Applied Writing and I can hardly wait, its something I have always wanted to do.

Now I am off to have some lunch. Having a bit of down day today so going to tidy up my mess and just take some me time.


V xxx