Monday, 15 February 2021

Notes on Shaz

My friend and WOYWWer Shaz Silverwolf died last weekend, defeated by cancer. It may be a cliche, but she fought a long and brave battle; did you ever hear her complain? No,nor me. Her devoted and loving husband told Jan that she slipped away in her sleep and he was grateful to the hospital staff who kept her pain free and allowed him to be with her. Those of us that loved her will be forever grateful for that.

I met Shaz online, in 2010. I was intimidated, to be honest. Her blog was full of interest, and her projects where amazing. But they weren’t the sort of stuff I was doing. Shaz was using brands and products I hadn’t even heard of and making wonderful cards. If you’ve ever visited her desk for WOYWW, you will know about her passion for the research and development....she would plunge in and try everything and anything and report on her blog about usefulness, value, and best ideas. She never failed to share her craft knowledge. Or her stuff. I can still see Doug lugging in the boxes of dies they brought to WOYWW crops so that we could all use them. And we did. I’ve spent some time going back through her blog over the last few days. It is an incredible resource for any paper crafter, I recommend you browse at leisure. 

                                         
If you met Shaz, you will hear her voice as you read her posts. I love the bits where she’s honest about the longevity or value of a product, reminds me that Shaz was a woman who could only tell truth, and was rightfully unapologetic about it, whether it  was a craft product, a hotel room without air con or the cake you’ve just offered her. There was no malice, it was just how it was. It’s a skill isn’t it, to be frank and open about everything, and leave no one smarting. She once told me that she thought it was hilarious that someone had described her as ‘a bit marmite’. Love her or hate her. I can hear her laughing and see her shoulders going up and down ; I really think she thought the funny part was that anyone should even bother to have an opinion about her; it never occurred to her to be self important or big headed. 

Lifted from her blog. I don’t think Shaz ever had a naff picture taken!
 I think a lot of people would have had an opinion about Shaz. And had it changed when they met her. I did. She didn’t look like any other ordinary middle aged woman. She dressed in all black and had beautiful long red blue and purple hair. A fan of the heaviest of metal music and a woman who informed herself. Shaz knew who she was and was perfectly happy in her skin; I don’t know if she even noticed the surprise her appearance caused on meeting for the first time. She was certainly too polite to say so, and probably that’s a good thing because I’m pretty confident that I know what she’d have had to say about people judging books by their covers! 

Shaz had Doug her hublet, grown up children, and between them a large, close and loving family. Doug and she drove miles in pursuit of fun and friendship, WOYWW crops were visited no matter how far from Redditch, even in early planning stages when I wasn’t convinced that anyone would come, I remember that Jan assured me that we could count on Shaz and Doug being there. And they always were. Their travels were made of the sort of adventures you get when you take the road less travelled - see a brown sign and think, oooh let’s detour and go see this or that. As long as they were together, they were having a good time.

No memory of Shaz and her blog can avoid the label she quickly earned from fellow Deskers- Chief Enabler. She was terrific at it, not least because as I’ve mentioned, she didn’t just photograph her new stuff, she told us where to get it at best price, how best to utilise it and sometimes, even how to store it. Possibly her greatest achievement in this department would be the purchase by LLJ of the Tim Holtz deckle edge trimmer. I think she was a bit pleased about that! However, there is another side to this enabling coin. Doug. Doug was her enabler. There are countless posts recalling a trip to a shop or craft show where having made some sensible choices, Doug would pile up her basket, particularly with more stamps, it seems. Reasons such as ‘I like it’, ‘I’m pretty sure you’ll want it when we’ve left’ and ‘why not’ seem to be Doug’s stock responses to what I can only imagine would be quite feeble protestation from Shaz. And why not. A partner who understands your ‘thing’ is wonderful, but a partner who contributes and supports you in doing your ‘thing’ is even more wonderful huh. 

My favourite ‘and finally’ from her WOYWW posts. As head of R&D, this could have been true!

My life is the richer for having known Shaz, my blogging improved after reading hers. I stopped fretting about whether I fitted in and just went with my crafting style. I’ve bought some stuff that I probably wouldn’t have: Distress oxides, and ironically, the aforementioned deckle edge trimmer. I’ve rejoiced in her friendship.  I’ve had giggly phone conversations regarding tech stuff that I just couldn’t understand, and wasn’t judged. I’ve had some beautiful cards. I’ve had hugs that made me feel like family. Of all the things I have to say, could say or have said, this one thing is constant - I will miss her.




33 comments:

Helen said...

What a beautiful tribute to Shaz! I sat and tried to create something in Shaz's memory at the weekend and failed. I thought about putting finger to keyboard, and failed again. Shaz was a beautiful, wonderful person inside and out, and so is Doug. They truly were a match made in heaven.

Lunch Lady Jan said...

What a completely brilliant tribute to our wonderful friend Shaz, you really have a way with the right words. I laughed out loud at the Deckle edged trimmer, a feat indeed 😊
And gosh, I shall miss her too.
Hugs LLJ xxxx

Kathryn Frantz said...

Such an eloquent tribute of a treasured friend!

Kathryn

Hublet said...

XXX

Robyn said...

thank you for this lovely memorial. I will miss her friendship every day, and feel her with me often as I pick up a pen.
(I need to go cry now)

Sue said...

Julia, A lovely post about a lovely woman. She will be missed. Sue

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

A wonderful loving tribute dear Julia, I thank you.. you made her live again before me.. and yes I’m crying a little as I type... just love that photo you lifted it’s a beautiful image.
So Shaz.
The little nuances of a personality as vibrant as Shaz’s are hard to capture but you’ve done it beautifully, dear Queen of WOYWW.
You’ve been very much on my heart too, Julia, sending you loads of love and hugs and prayers from Downunder. Thank you for all you do you are so appreciated, just as dear wonderful Shaz always will be. So very grateful to have known her.
Thanks s very much for Sharing, God bless and keep you safe, and all those you love,
Prayer hugs Shaz in Oz.x

{Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
{Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

Annie said...

Such a beautiful tribute to a very special friend....yes I'm very proud to have called her that too. She had a way of making friends with so many...and so did Doug of course. He is so much part of our gang too and really hope he will remain so and join us on our get togethers [when we can have them].
Thanks for writing this Julia. We will all miss her sooooo much.
Hugs,
Annie x

Sarah Brennan said...

Such a beautiful tribute to Shaz. You have nailed her personality, generosity and strength. She will be greatly missed and I am so glad that Doug is keeping her blog up for everyone to continue enjoying. Hugs. xx

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

Thank You so much for this wonderful post. It was written perfectly and such a tribute to a wonderful person She was always so willingly to offer assistance with Anything. And as a couple it was fun to read about the adventures. MY deepest sympathy to Doug and her family It was great to have communications across the sea with her. And Julia you've made that all possible for so many of us. Again Thank You.

Di said...

Dear Julia, what a beautiful tribute to Shaz. She will indeed be missed,and will always be very much loved by so many people. A very special lady and you summed her up perfectly.

Hugs

Di x

Lisa-Jane said...

Feeling all the feels - pleasure at having known her, and such sadness that she's gone. You've captured her so wonderfully. xx

Crafting With Jack said...

A lovely tribute to Shaz, I never had the privilege of meeting her, like the others in the group that I have yet to meet and yet I felt I did know her a little and am saddened by her loss x

BJ said...

Such a beautiful tribute to a lovely lady.
I'll wear my pink/purple hair in her memory.
BJ

Sue Jones said...

Lovely lovely Words Julia xxx. I didn't meet her IRL but have read her blog for a few years and really liked her straight talking - I guess when you get to a certain age, its so nice to just be honest. My heart breaks for Doug.
Sending you Love xxxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Nobody could have said it better than this Julia! Our lovely friend is with us no more but oh such lovely memories! This a sad occasion but I think we can guess what Shaz would be telling us! Hugs, Chrisx

Anne said...

Julia, a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. I just don't have the words to express my thoughts and feelings. She will be missed so much by so many. I too hope Doug will stay part of the gang. He tried to help me with the technology. I always was in awe of Shaz's work but she always commented so kindly on mine. R.I.P. dear Shaz, hugs to Doug. I feel so sad foryou and your family. X

Heather M said...

Such a lovely tribute Julia. Although I have resisted the deckle edge trimmer, I have bought quite a lot of the other items our chief enabler tested. I do remember Doug and Shaz carrying in the boxes of dies at the crops. Shaz was a genuine, generous woman, and I was pleased I was able to meet her a few times. She will most definitely be missed, hugs Heather xx

Chana Malkah said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful person! I am a newcomer to WOYWW but my first visit to her blog was so interesting. I remember thinking how awesome it must be to be that "free" as a human being. I thought I was living an unapologetic life but after reading her blogs and your words, I have a few more shackles to break.

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend! My heart goes out to you, her family, and her WOYWW friends!

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

A beautiful tribute indeed Julia, I sadly never met Shaz although we frequented the same music haunts our paths never crossed, i'm so glad to have known her via WoywW.. She will be greatly missed. Healing hugs to Doug and the family xx

Spyder said...

Lovely, lovely words for a lovely Lady. I didn't meet her but knew her through WOYWW over the years and so glad I did and was surprised she remembered me after being away for so long. She was always so helpful. Sending love to every one at this sad time.
((Lyn))xxxx

Darnell said...

That was a beautiful tribute to all that Shaz was, Julia. She would have loved your words and the two quotes you included. That photo of her is one of my favorites! It shows not only how comfortable she was with herself, but how her easy smile was always on her face. And, of course, the hair!! I'm pretty sure you'll feel it grazing your arm at your next crop. Lots of love, Darnell

Susan Renshaw said...

What lovely words! Shaz will be sincerely missed by all the deskers.
My thoughts are with Doug...

Lynn Holland said...

I’ve popped in before I go to my desk. I didn’t ever meet Shaz but I felt She was a friend through the comments we left on each other’s blogs and the things she sent me in the post.
Your words are just right Julia and I’m sending my love to you and to Doug
Lynn xxx

Lynn Holland said...

I’ve popped in before I go to my desk. I didn’t ever meet Shaz but I felt She was a friend through the comments we left on each other’s blogs and the things she sent me in the post.
Your words are just right Julia and I’m sending my love to you and to Doug
Lynn xxx

Diana Taylor said...

Beautiful words and a lovely tribute.
Sending love and hugs,
Diana xx

Lillianb said...

Thank you for the tribute to Shaz, I have never met Shaz but she always left lovely comments and through your words feel I knew her, I have always known what a lovely lady she was and I will miss seeing her blog every week. I will miss her ,

Sending love,

Lilian B # 14

Zsuzsa Karoly-Smith said...

Such a beautiful tribute, Julia. I didn't know Shaz that well but I'm so glad that I met her during the last real-life crop - and now reading this, I feel I know her a little bit better. I will miss her too - her blog is a wonderful legacy she leaves behind for everyone to benefit from and remember her by. xx

creativeseconds.com said...

How wonderful to have shared this friendship together ~ Blessings and love, Karen

Lillianb said...

Thank you for your visit and lovely comment,

This is a lovely tribute to Shaz, I never got to meet her but feel I knew her from her blog and the comment she left on my blog,

Take care and stay safe,

Lilian b #14

Ali Wade Designs said...

Beautiful words. Thank you for putting them on our screens. She left this world on my 50th Birthday, and I am glad I had some chocolate brownies with candles on them. We will all miss her fantastic crafty makes. Ali x

StampinCarol said...

Though I never met Shaz we did chat once and I learned a lot about some things. It just breaks my heart to here she passed. My prayers for Doug and her family and friends. Thanks for a wonderful tribute.

Dorlene Durham said...

Beautiful tribute! Cancer is so horrible and takes the best of us.