Marker Geek Monday #2 at Stamping Bella

The weeks are just flying by aren’t they? I’m a little concerned that it is nearly Easter when my brain seems convinced we’re still in early February, but hey-ho! 😉

One upside of the swift and inevitable passage of time is that it is already time for the second Marker Geek Monday over at Stamping Bella!

Marker Geek Monday - www.markergeek.com

This week I’ve got a set of fun Copic marker combos and a few tips for colouring HAIR! Pop on over to BLOGGABELLA to check it out and be sure to get in touch over there via the comments!

Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support and your response to this new post series over at Stamping Bella. MWAH!

Marker Geek Monday at Stamping Bella

Yes, I am still alive! I have even been colouring and creating over the past couple of months, it has just been behind the scenes stuff that I couldn’t really share at the time, and my motivation for creating outside of that work was practically non-existent.

Our four legged girl Taika is plodding along too. She’s a complicated little thing, so we still need to make some adjustments to her treatment here and there but on the whole she’s doing well. Thank you again to everyone who has sent messages with well wishes, they have all been hugely appreciated.

Marker Geek Monday - www.markergeek.com

The main thing I’m here to tell you today is that I have a fun new feature over on the Stamping Bella blog starting today! We’re calling it Marker Geek Monday and each week I will be sharing some colouring tips, marker combos etc with the aim of inspiring and helping people get the most out of their stamps and colouring supplies! The focus will be on Copic markers, but some other mediums may just sneak in there from time to time so make sure you keep an eye on BLOGGABELLA.

This week’s post is Marker Geek Monday #1: Copic Skin Combos and it includes some general colouring tips for you. Pop on over and check it out (and while you’re there don’t forget to take a look around the blog for some of the inspiration from the other fantastic Bellariffic Babes on the design team).

Have a great week, I promise I’ll be back soon with something colourful to show you!

Finding Myself in a New Year

As I sat like many people yesterday, contemplating 2015 and the imminent arrival of the new year, I realised I hadn’t updated this blog with the latest news. After Taika’s surgery I had intended to take a break from blogging and the pressure of creating, photographing and editing content, but I didn’t intend to leave you hanging! My apologies. If you follow me on Instagram, or were a Facebook friend (more about that in a moment), you will be aware that our little trooper is still going strong!

Taika Update:

Taika came through her surgery well. They found the expected mass on her pancreas and also on a nearby lymph node. The masses were removed successfully. That was a long and painful day as we were not at all sure whether what they would find would be operable, or whether she would even make it through the surgery. The relief when the surgeon called at the end of the day was overwhelming. She came home a few days later and was recovering well. In the weeks that followed it became clear that she is now in fact diabetic, probably because the insulin secreting masses had suppressed her normal pancreatic function for so long. She lost a lot of weight while the best course of action was decided, and reached a low of 9.5kg (her ideal weight is around 12 to 13 kg). I’m pleased to say that now, as we are achieving better blood sugar control, she is putting weight back on and has much more energy. She had a great December.

December 2015 www.markergeek.com

The vets are certain that the cancer will return, they say it is just a case of “when”. So, I’m learning not to dwell on the inevitable, and to enjoy her while she’s here. I will admit that some days that is hard, but I am extremely grateful that we have more time with her, however long that may be.

My December/Christmas

We had a wonderful December and a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas with plenty of fun with family and friends. There wasn’t much colouring, but there was plenty of other fun with LEGO, Star Wars, gaming and more. Here’s a little peek:December 2015

How I’m Feeling About 2015/2016

Overall 2015 was an odd year; a total mixed bag, full of love, joy, sadness, learning, growth, tears and laughter. I get the sense that it was an important year and a turning point for us. I’m hoping that in 2016 we can have a little less of the tears and sadness, but I also know that without them much of the important growth and learning wouldn’t happen. I’m hoping for more positive change this year, however that may come, and the strength to deal with whatever comes our way.

Social Media Changes:

In December 2015 I decided to finally make a small change I had been contemplating for some time. For a while I have struggled with Facebook and the realities of having a large “friends list” filled with a wide circle of people, many of whom I did not know personally. As we move into the new year I wanted to shake the feeling of being encumbered by social media, so in December I made my personal Facebook profile “close friends and family only”. If you missed my post on Facebook announcing this, please know that you were not removed from my friends list out of malice or anything else but a desire to simplify my online existence! You can keep up with all my crafty and other creative pursuits by continuing to follow me here on this blog, over on Instagram and also on my Marker Geek Facebook page. As we move through January I will be steadily returning to creating and sharing.

Happy New Year to you all. I hope this year brings you much joy, laughter and love. Do as much as you can of what makes you happy.

The Reason I’ve Been So Quiet

It seems a little crazy to me that my last blog post was in mid-August. I have been wanting to post an explanation for over a week now, and just haven’t found the energy. Today is the day!

The past few weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster, and sadly I can’t say that it is over yet. You may be aware from posts here and on my Instagram feed in the past year or more that our beautiful dog Taika aka Miss Pig has been unwell. We discovered at the end of 2014 that her symptoms were actually most likely due to a form of pancreatic cancer.

We spent most of this year managing her symptoms well with diet. Unfortunately a few weeks ago some of the more serious symptoms returned, and she had a couple of partial seizures. She went for a CT-Scan two weeks ago, which thankfully showed no evidence of any spread, but also didn’t clearly show any masses in the pancreas (apparently this is fairly common since they can be quite small). We have made the decision to go ahead with surgery, which is happening in just over a week.

Here she is, and as you can see she looks great. Another great example of how outward appearances can be utterly deceptive.

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As you will hopefully understand, my mind hasn’t exactly been on creating and blogging. I’m spending as much time with my girl as possible, and trying not to overload myself with stress. I feel quite guilty and frustrated, because I have so many ideas and plans, but I really need to slow down and re-prioritise right now.

I’m not sure when I will be back to regular blogging, so please bear with me! I will be back, it just depends on how the surgery goes, and what happens following it. I’m hoping to at least do some therapeutic colouring, and will try to post some photos to my Instagram account, so if you would like to keep up with little snippets of what I’m doing, I’d love to see you over there.

If you would like to keep our girl Taika in your thoughts, that would be hugely appreciated. She needs all the positive vibes she can get!