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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Thank you...

...for all the Cyber-hugs.

Yesterday was a pretty awful day - the whole office seemed to be 'down'. Even the weather came out in sympathy with heavy rain & thunder storms.

Unfortunately, that was only the start. One down, ten more to go.

I've been looking after another team, as well as my own, since October and the 3 remaining members of that team have finally been offered jobs elsewhere so will also be leaving at the end of the month.

So next week involves my 7 remaining leavers and the 3 off to pastures new.

Sooooooooooooo much change.

Now to paste a brave face on and head off to the office for another round of meetings and wondering how I'm going to get everything done.............................................................................

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Today is a day...

... I haven't been looking forward to.

So here's some bits I've been doing to try and take my mind off things.

This is a work in progress that you have already had a peek at...
...I am gradually adding more coloured areas to the page.

This one is completed...
...I just wanted to play around with some colours & shading on the flowers and despite the rubbish photo (the curve of the page caught the light from the window on the left) I am pretty pleased with the way the colours worked on each of the different types of bloom.

Today is not going to be a good day as the first of my leavers departs. Although I will miss all of those being made redundant, this is the one who will leave the biggest hole and will be the hardest to replace - in fact, I don't think it would ever be possible to replace this individual.

I have sorted a gift & card and made sure there is a substantial supply of tissues. Not a day I'm looking forward to...........................................................



Monday, 18 May 2015

No shading involved...

...just playing around with colours.

This page is just a bit of soothing "me" time...
...the colours have been restricted to Milled Lavender, Victorian Velvet and Dusty Concord. These smaller designs are wonderful for picking up & putting down as & when the mood takes me. I haven't yet decided how much white I intend to leave on this but I'll show you when I think enough is enough.

I've only just started on this one and so far I've used Abandoned Coral and Mermaid Lagoon...
...I might use this as a sampler of the new 2015 colours being added to the Distress range. As some of the colours are quite bright I might have another play with Picket Fence but we'll see how it goes.

Spent some time in the garden cutting back the shrubbery that has enveloped the shed (should have taken a photo before I started - not sure if I've got one somewhere from a couple of weeks ago). It is surprising how much space the shrubs extended out into. Glad I made a good start on this as the weather for the next few days isn't supposed to be too great. Hopefully, with it being Bank Holiday next weekend I'll be able to get some more done.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend................................................................................

Sunday, 17 May 2015

You knew I wouldn't resist...

...didn't you!

There I was telling you all that I now had a plentiful collection of "Grown-up" colouring books and that I wouldn't be buying any more...then this happened...
 ...I saw some finished pages from the "Enchanted Forest" on another blog and loved the designs that I saw. However, when I went looking on the web for more info about this book I was shocked to see what was being charged on that well-known shopping site that begins with an 'A' - prices ranged from £19.99 to £54...yes you are reading that correctly...£54!!! I was very disappointed but honestly, who pays £54 for a colouring book?

Friday I went with a colleague to purchase the gift cards/vouchers for the leaving gifts of my folk and we passed Foyle's bookshop. There in the window was the book so we had a quick look inside. They had quite a selection of colouring books and a good stock of each title. The printed price on the back of this book is £9.95 so one fell into my basket, was duly paid for and now resides with my other books.

On the way back to the office we passed WHS and they had a newly stocked display also including this book so the prices on the shopping site can't be a reflection of limited availability - there are plenty of them out there.
In addition to the book above, the local newsagent is also stocking some books with the magazines and this one was only £2.99...
...it is labelled "No:1" but there is no indication as to the frequency of this publication.

I am still having a play with colours...
 ...still using my Distress Markers...
 ...the main flower colour is the new "Abandoned Coral"...
...and I also had a bit of a play with some shading and also "white-washing". I haven't really used the "Picket Fence" pen before in my colouring and I'm glad I've had a play because it has shown me that I need to be a bit more careful when it comes to the outlines.

"Picket Fence" is a white-wash that can be used over any of the other colours but still leaves the base colour visible but whitened - this goes for the outlines too. So if you want your outlines to remain 'crisp' you either need to try to keep within the lines (not that easy as the 'white' doesn't really show until is dries) or go back over the lines with a liner pen.

The sun is shining at the moment but it looks a bit breezy out there so I don't think I'll be sitting outside colouring but I might have to get out in the garden and cut back some of the shrubs as the sun and rain we have had over recent weeks seems to have made them sprout uncontrollably.

Enjoy your Sunday, whatever you are intending to do.................................................

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Time is ticking away...

...and I just can't get my mojo to play ball.

In January of this year the lowest grade members of my team received news that they were 'surplus' and were offered voluntary redundancy.

By the end of February it was known that all 8 had reluctantly accepted the package.

On Tuesday 19 May, I will say goodbye to the first of them.

It has been a very stressful time but credit to them all, they have come in and continued to deliver the very high standard of performance that they always have...something that has made me feel very proud but also very sad.

For weeks now I have been trying to make cards for each of them but every time I sit down to do so, Mr Mojo takes a hike...I think he knows that this is something that I really do not want to be doing.

I've known most of these folk for over ten years and we have been through changes in management structures, the death of a colleague, serious health issues - happy & sad times - and the thing that I can always rely on is their dependability and willingness to support each other.

This is going to leave a very big hole that the remaining team members are going to have to adjust to.

So by the end of this month, my original team will be considerably smaller but they have merged the remains of another team with mine. This means new faces and getting to know peoples quirks so that we can work towards forming the 'Team' feel that has always existed here.

Those leaving can never be replaced as they are all individuals with their own personalities/skills/quirks and we will miss them terribly.

Now I really must try and pin down Mr Mojo and get these cards sorted.........................................

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

More colouring...

...and playing with contrasts.

Where there are double pages of designs facing each other in the colouring books, I have been having some fun trying out different colour combos and different contrasts.

This page used mainly blues, greens and a touch of beige...
 ...I love the vivid tone of the new Mermaid Lagoon Distress Marker. In complete contrast...
 ...the facing page (which in this case is a mirror image) has been coloured using yellows and oranges - very different. The great thing about having the pages side-by-side is that you can compare the different colour combos.

This one is a work in progress...
...I have used pinks on the upper flower and mauves on the lower one. On this occasion, I actually went back to some shading & blending and was very pleased with the result.

So far, I have only used Distress Markers in these colouring books but in response to a question raised on an earlier post I tried some alcohol pens.

If you are wanting to colour the designs that are printed on both sides of the pages, alcohol pens are not really suitable as they do bleed through a bit - even the water-based pens will bleed through if you make the paper too wet. However, if you are not bothered about being able to use both sides of each page you can use the alcohol pens without any problem - although I would suggest that you place a piece of paper under the page to act as a bit of protection from staining another page.

If the thought of spoiling or having to choose which side you want to colour bothers you - don't worry - there are actually quite a few books available that have images only printed on one side of each page - I would still suggest some paper as protection though if you are going to use alcohol pens.

So go on...have a play and just 'chill' for a while................................................................

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Finally managed...

...to get some slightly better photos.

The sun was shining Sunday morning so I dashed outside to grab a few photos before heading off to Mum's.

This is the view from the front path...
...and shows the hanging baskets on the front more clearly. A bit of a zoom in...
 ...and you can see they are well planted and blooming well. This one...
...is by the side of the front door and I was able to get a higher angle on the shot. I just love the lavender shade of the baskets and how it shows off the mauves of the flowers so well.

I'm being very good with the watering and even remembered to purchase some plant food - so fingers crossed they should provide a good show for quite some time..................................................