Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Been away, will catch up soon.

Here's the sun coming up at Flamborough Head at 6am Sat morning.

And yes...we were still up from the night before..!!

Enjoy xx

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ooh ooh ooooh..so much to tell...!!

Life is manic here at Reaveley Towers as you may well imagine, Days turn into nights into days into nights and before you know it a week has passed and deadlines have moved amongst us. Luckily I seem to be hitting the deadlines at the moment, so Our Ben is a happy bunny, but Blogging has had to take a back seat and I haven't a clue when I last twittered.!! Mind you am I the only one who struggles with a limited amount of characters to play with..? I am a chatterbox, why use one word when I can use half a dozen, and I believe in the freedom of speech.!! (My excuse and I'm staying with it).

Preview went brilliantly...all projects present and correct including a couple of sell outs..just love it when that happens.!! By the way those of you who were too late to book on the canvas class, I have sneaked in an extra date , keep your eyes peeled for the weekend as we are waiting for the waiting list to come back to us with first dibs..! ALL other classes are now online for you to peruse at your leisure.

All my new stamp sets are complete and hopefully being rubberised as we speak. Think this is the most ME collection I have done and I am bursting with excitement to share with you all, and trying to contain myself is killing me, even though I am under threat of death by peel off if I let the cat out of the bag...!! I am however, a sample making machine as I get ready for the whirlwind that is CHA Summer in the windy city of Chicago. All the new stamps and samples will be on display at the Ranger and Stampers Anonymous Booths. But I have no doubt I will have disobeyed orders and given you loads of sneaky peeks before then...just saying...that's all..!!

I am in the midst of finishing off class samples for the store I am teaching in whilst over there. And I have to say this is not just a store, this is not just a store that has fabulous classes. this is not just a store that has THE bestest reputation, this is not just a store where the classroom is to die for, this is not just a store where the owner is sooo lovely that I will want to move in and live there for ever. Nooooo this is a Marks and Spencer store.!! (OK not really but you know what I mean..)
Will give full details in the next day or two but for the moment lets just say that when I get off the plane I will be flinging my arms wide apart, cocking my head to the sky and singing....OK screeching in a high pitched wail

"Good Morning Baltimore..!!"

And no I am not kidding, let's just hope I spare them the spectacle of my now famous River dancing moves..!!!

Now I need you to get over to this gorgeous ladies blog..the lovely Ellen Vargo, for whom I owe a mahoosive apology to for being sooooo late in posting this. She has fallen in love with my Dylusions stamps and posted a project a day on her blog for a whole frikkin week.!!  Flipping heck ..how cool is that..?? I tell you my flabber was well and truly ghasted when I found out...Projects..yes real live projects with pictures and instructions. HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE HERE, HERE and HERE. Truly amazing and as Our Ben pointed out, something I am obviously incapable of doing, lmao. I would argue my case but I would just fail miserably so I am staying shtum.!! Silence can't be misquoted and all that malarky, lol.

Not only is she a complete Goddess in the blogging, samples and project sharing department, she has also offered to be my slave...sorry..personal assistant whilst I am there.!!! Yayyyyyyyy. I will obviously pay, in wine gums, Yorkshire mixture and the odd Curly Wurly.  Fear ye not...!!!

Next exciting bit of news, is our very own, that bubbly bundle of bubbliciousness Kate Crane, has released not one but two...that's right TWO DVDs about Art Journaling. And how fabby they are too.  And soooo professional she is in them ( obviously ignored everything I taught her, lmao).  Here's some sneaks of them for you, but you need to get over to her blog to be in with a chance to win your own copy

Here is the first one

And the second..

I do believe you can buy them both together as well in a box set...Ooh that'll be mine then.... I'll probably need two copies of each, one for here and one for at home, lol. Well I never get to be on her workshops, they are either sold out or I am in America. Bad timing on my part methinks somewhat....

Another piece of extremely fabtastically exciting news is this...I tell you the list just rolls on and on, doesn't it..??

Do you recognise the style...???

Yes it's the one and only...gorgeous gorgeous good friend of mine...


She has collaborated with Stampington to release a line of rubber cling mounted stamps in her own imitable style. They are not quite ready for release yet, and fear not we will be stocking them on our shelves as soon as they are. Our Ben is already waiting in the starting blocks, with order in hand.  Not that I think they will stay on the shelves for very long at all. we all want a little bit of The Goddess's magic to add that certain artistic flair to our work.  I personally will be harassing her verbally everyday until she cracks and sends me her one and only copy of them... You can run Dina but you can't hide.!!! lmao.

Massive congratulations to you girlie, your first ever designer line.  Can you believe that..?? Some one so talented has only just been snapped up for a signature line of her own. Well done Stampington for recognising such talent.

My faves are

but I will be making them all mine, of course.

Will leave you with some of my work now, not sure I want to after all the fabby stuff I have already shown you, but here goes....

Ah ha...3/4 of an hour later I can't find the camera lead, so obviously saved by the bell....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reincarnation of self.......

Just lately I have been receiving lots of comments about my "new" style of dressing. It has come as a shock to lots of you, but not half as much as a shock as it has to me, lol. I have always been happy with the way I've dressed, quirky, individual, always in mostly black.!  I have always dressed for me and for my shape. I wore black because I like black and it always went with my red hair. Tim could never understand it and once said, "I always expect you to wear lots of colour, because inside your head you are a rainbow".!! But contrary to what a lot of people may think, I don't like to stand out, I am happy for the attention to be on my work rather than me.

This has always worked well for me over the years, and having spent most of my life on the slim, slimmer and veritably skinny side, with the occasional weight gain through pregnancy and illness, clothing has never been an issue. I know what works and stick to it. But what happens when suddenly everything is turned upside down.? Owning up to my Bulimia is enabling me to finally come to terms with it after 41yrs. I am by no means "cured" and don't expect I ever will be, but I can understand and I can cope. As a consequence of this my weight has increased and increased and increased.!! I am by no means obese but to someone who is used to being a 10/12 a 16/18 is very frightening.

I have never had womanly curves and never wanted them. The straight up and down look suited me just fine, and although the rest of my family including cousins and aunties were all generously curvy, it never struck me as odd that I wasn't. It was just the way I was, as usual, different to all the rest.
Now, all of a sudden I have all these womanly lumps and bumps appearing all over, which take me by surprise. I have to angle myself differently whilst going through doors for fear of bumping it with my boobs, and I still get stuck on Maisie's slide cos I forget my ass isn't a cool size 10 anymore. At one point this weight gain would have horrified me and possibly tipped me over the edge, but I had reached the point where my desire to conquer my bulimia was more important than my desire to be skinny. Therefore I was prepared for a temporary weight adjustment.

The idea being, it is more important to be healthy than thin...right.!! I know a lot of people have the notion that bulimia is just a silly fad and isn't life threatening, but they would be wrong on both counts. It is an illness that grips your very soul, that controls your every thought, that gives you untold medical and health problems, encourages you to be unsociable and due to its very nature of making you feel ashamed, keeps it a very deep underground secret. It is an illness that is worn on the inside of your heart away from others opinions, buried deep under the dark clothing. It is an illness that controls you from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to sleep.

But it controls me no more, I made the decision to let it out into the open, and on good days I control it, but for the most part we work through it together.

I had thought that after this last two years the weight would start to come off again as my body stabilised and I would soon be back to my "normal" "natural" body type. But that doesn't seem to be happening and was driving me mad, to the point I was becoming obsessive again. All you could hear me say was " I just want to be normal again".!!  It was only when Mr Babe of Deliciousness said " But what if that was never really "normal" for you, maybe it's just what you thought was normal"?

That sent me off on a long journey of thinking. What if all these years my body shape hadn't come from being "naturally skinny", from rogue skinny genes, and had in fact been a consequence of my eating disorder.? What if this is what I was meant to have looked like all along.? Eeeeeek then the panic set in, and it has taken a massive amount of resolve to accept it, and for the most part I am. I now have it n my head, I come from a curvy family, I had a curvy mother, I am supposed to be curvy.
I am slowly coming to accept that having boobs and a bum, hips and thighs can be fun.After years of straight up and down, I now go in an out in the strangest (to me) of places.

Which is all well, but my style of dress for the last umpteen years no longer works. So after a lot of thinking, moaning, crying gnashing of teeth, it became a case of "put up or shut up". So out it all went and a new me was planned. I have always loved the fashions of the 50's, the clothes my Mum grew up in. She looked cracking in all her figure hugging outfits, having all the curves to do them justice. So I started scouring the second hand shops to see what I could find, and slowly slowly it is starting to come together. First a 50's shift dress in a dark colour, a little cardi, a fuller shape skirt, a cropped jumper, a flower for my hair, a scarf for my neck.......and then a flowery dress, a lilac shift, a turquoise top... I am gradually finding a style that suits. Everything is altered to give me that individual Dyan quirk that I need, and I am amazing myself more and more.

 I am starting to quite like the feminine look and enjoying the compliments. The rainbow inside my head appears to be qute liking it on the outside as well, lol. I still have many moments of panic and hysteria, when the battle between healthy and skinny plays out in my head, but for the most part I am embracing my womanly figure and gradually relaxing into it.

My only regret is that my Mum never got to see the "real" me, although I suppose she knew it was there all along.!!

Maybe my new style is in some way a homage to her as well, after years of trying to distance myself as much as possible, maybe I am now acknowledging and accepting where my roots really lie.

Curves of all shapes and sizes...I salute you...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The best customers in the world...

Wow what a fabby day. It was our workshop preview and taster day. We had a massive 60 people attending the classes, taught by Sandy Poppins, Kate Crane and myself. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera or my phone, so heres some pinched photos from my class.

Thanks to the gorgeous Bezzie Su and the Almighty all round Goddess Ali. xxx

The workshop bookings came thick and fast with a couple of sell outs. The classes wll be released online Mon evening for you.

We had quite a few people travelling the length of the country to attend. Here I am with the lovely Karen, who I met at Stitches trade show, and bowled me over with her infectious giddy enthusiasm.

Just showing off my latest vintage find...this gorgeous dress chubby case. And yes that is a frock I;m wearing..I've gone all 50's girly..!! More on that in a later post, lol.

A journal page from my ledger.

Enjoy xx

Quote of the Century

"You are an extraordinary woman.

How can you expect anything ordinary to happen to you"

Louisa May Alcott