Sunday, 31 December 2017

Year in review

2017 has been a very kind year to Neil and I, we have been on the receiving end of good fortune several times throughout the year

We have also seen some incredible bands, new and old talents alike

We got up close and personal with Broken Witt Rebels

King King

Bryan Adams, Neil won tickets to for his gig at Eden, along with a stunning meal, and he emailed Bryan's manager to get backstage passes to meet the man himself

Local band Assassins of Silence impressed us twice

We were blown away with perfornaces by the Temperance Movement ( in Plymouth ) and The Cadillac Three ( in Cardiff), two 'new to us' bands that Neil discovered and we both love

We celebrated 25 years of marriage, it was a celebration that Neil managed to make last for several weeks and he made the event truly special

We visited Padstow and Port Isaac 

Throughout the year we enjoyed visits from some special friends

Tony and Carol

We met up with Tim and Ally at Ramblin' Man festival

We loved the festival, Robbie came with us and we are looking forward to it again next year

Kev and Jackie came to Cornwall, we had several days out with them and we had so much fun, they have booked to come again next year and we will be travelling to see them too as Neil is going to be best man at their wedding

We attended the British Summer Time event in Hyde Park for the first time, this was part of our anniversary celebrations and we had an amazing few days in London

Neil got to see one of his Rock heroes Tom Petty before he sadly passed away

The animals have gotten closer and closer
Sox is still the boss, but they are all incredibly protective of each other

We enjoyed loads of beach days, woodland walks and fun times in the park with the dogs

Amy and Robbie both finished uni

AJ started his second year studying ICT at college

Amy is now working and living in Leeds

Rob is home with us, working locally and obviously making all the pets happy

We have had some lovely evenings out with our new friends in Cornwall and have been back up country to visit our old friends and family in Grimsby

Mum and dad have spent a month here in the summer, which was much needed and much appreciated by us, miss them sooooooo much,  and I have recently spent a few days with them

This is, by no means, all we have done this year, just a few highlights that have made 2017 a memorable year

Now, looking ahead to 2018, all I really want is for my friends and family to be happy and healthy

Happy new year to you all, whether you are a friend, family, colleague, blog surfer, acquaintance or just someone who stumbled here by happenchance, I am hoping 2018 is kind to us all

Love, good health and happy times


Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Happy birthday Nicki

Today's card is the last birthday card of the year and it now belongs to my lovely friend Nicki

Nicki was the first person I met and became friends with when I started running my shop, and we have been firm friends since then, so, almost nine years ( which has flown by)

Our friendship started out with a shared love of scrapbooking (crafting is such a wonderful way to bring people together)

Nicki is a beautiful soul and is kind and generous to a fault

 I created this card in a DL size, I used a Prima tag for the main background
The larger flowers are Prima and the small roses are from Wild Orchid crafts, the stamped sentiment is by Stampin' Up, the leaf dies are 'cheap as chips from china' - thanks Jan and Ann xxx,  and all the other die cuts on this card are Nestability dies

Hope you have a lovely day Nicki and get spoiled rotten by Mark and the girls, hopefully see you in the summer - can't wait to give you and the girls squishy hugs xxx

Love and friendship


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Last post

I do believe I have finally uploaded the last of my Christmas cards for 2017

This last batch of four completes the collection

This first one is for my lovely friend Paulien in the Netherlands

This next card I made for one of Neil's ex-work colleagues and his partner

This bright and funky card is for Paulien's daughter Ashley

And finally, last, but by no means least is the cute card for a lovely young lady I met a couple of years ago, she came to help me in the shop as part of a work placement scheme

She's a real sweetheart and was such a help in the last few months of me running the shop, she wouldn't mind me saying that she has not had an easy life and yet she was so cheerful and willing to do all she could to make the shop and classes run smoothly for me

So, thankyou Shelley, I hope you and your beautiful boy Daniel have a wonderful christmas and a much happier 2018

And that's it for christmas crafting this year

I was much more organised than I have ever been before ( the benefits of retirement !) but  I have high hopes of being even more efficient next year. My aim is to complete all the card making and handmade gifts by the end of November ( I know there are several of you rolling your eyes as you read this, you all know me so well, but if I don't set a target there is no hope of me getting finished at all !)

I will be back tomorrow with a birthday card I made for a very special friend

Love and high hopes


Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

These are the fun cards I made for the kids this year

By 'kids' I mean my three young adults, my grown up niece and Amy's partner Ben

None of whom are children and two of them don't strictly belong to me, never the less I call them "my kids"

 Ben's card

Amy's card

Katie's card

Rob's card

AJ's card

They are all a bit fun and a bit silly and I can't take credit for any of the designs this time. 

The snowmen and various reindeer are all over pinterest, so I took several elements from lots of different designs and came up with these five cuties

Hope you are all having a wonderful day

Love and cute christmas kisses


Sunday, 24 December 2017

A little vintage christmas

And we are now on the home run, just a couple more batches of cards to share

I have very much depleted my christmas craft stash this year and have already bought a lovely paper pad in the sales from The Range, with which to make a start on next years cards

On a side note I can't believe how many reductions are already in place. There are lots of bargains to be had in the shops, as, no doubt, the retailers are already preparing for their Easter displays

Again, lots of layering, lots of die cuts, not very mail friendly but, hey ho, that's just the way I roll

I have definitely rekindled my passion for paper and have a few projects planned for the new year.  Who knows, I might even partake in a challenge or two just to keep my momentum and my mojo

I hope whatever you are doing this Christmas Eve, you are doing it with your loved ones, I hope you are warm and well and looking forward to tomorrow

I am sending each and every one of my readers, much love and lots of kind wishes for Christmas and the new year

If you have loved ones that are no longer with us, and you are struggling with the season,  I wish you peace, and the ability to cherish the memories you have

Take good care of yourselves and your loves

I will be back over the next couple of days but I am going to schedule the posts this evening as I am going to limit my online time over the next few days

Merry Christmas

Love and warm wishes


Saturday, 23 December 2017

The dark side of Disney

A little departure from the norm this evening with my card design

This next project was a commission for the guy who did some of our decorating to give to his partner for her birthday

Bart commissioned me to make one a couple of years ago, if your memory is good, you might recall me sharing a Tim Burton style card

His partner loves all the evil queens from the Disney movies and her favourite colour is green - et voila

I created lots of layering on this 8in x 8in card, with the images downloaded from the internet

 I had the sequin waste left over from a previous project and the gorgeous black net along the bottom was a gift from my lovely friend Carol many moons ago

I tied all the colours together with some die-cut foliage and a sprinkling of gems

Bart loved the card and was sure his partner Carla would too

It makes me so happy to know I have contributed a little way in helping someone give a personal and thoughtful card to a loved one

This was just a brief interruption to the avalanche of festive makes, a continuance of christmas crafting will resume tomorrow

Love and, dark disney kisses


Friday, 22 December 2017

Leaning on the lamppost .......

 Tonight I have a mixed bunch of christmas cards, a batch of 5 similar ones, and then two fun ones

First up I have these lamppost designs, decorated with a variety of flower and foliage dies

This next one was made for my postie, I don't generally use toppers, but, I had this little postbox one squirrelled away and it seemed perfect

I didn't have any suitable embellishments for this card and it looked a little bit plain with just the topper and sentiment so I created these little envelopes out of scraps of card, the postage stamps were made from teeny tiny squares of patterned paper

My postie went above and beyond the call of duty a couple of months ago when I passed out at the front door. I was fine, just got up too quickly, blood rushed from my head and I slid down the wall as the poor chap tried to hand me a parcel

Bless him he caught me before I hit the floor and supported me until he could rouse Neil, who was still fast asleep

Poor man was shaking like a leaf when I came to, I couldn't let his kindness go unnoticed

This next one is for my lovely hairdresser Paige, she is an absolute hero as everyone else shies away from trying to turn my stubborn hair blond. My tresses tend to want to go brassy and harsh but Paige works miracles every time I go and I am so grateful for her patience. 

Paige is the very proud owner of a gorgeous little dachshund, so, when this stamp came into the shop in the summer I  knew the perfect person to send it to

I created the tiny christmas hat by hand and the tree is a wooden ornament from The Works

Everything is ready now, all the cards have been posted, I have one little gift to hand deliver tomorrow and the rest are all wrapped and bagged in santa sacks ready for the big day

The food shopping is done, we drove to Truro yesterday, with Robbie, to finish the last minute errands

I treat myself to a couple of pretties to decorate the dining table and we devoured pasties as we enjoyed the lights, market stalls and festivities around us

We finished with a quick wander around Waitrose where I bumped into Lenny Henry ( almost literally - I can't steer those darned trolleys, even the posh ones !) 

I am forever nudging Neil and saying "ooooh doesn't he/she look like - (insert famous person here)" only for Neil to say "that looks nothing like ( said famous person )"

Only this time I was right, and, there was no mistaking who the extremely tall, very well dressed and softly spoken gent was, he had a little trail of star struck shoppers peeking around the aisles at every turn
Me, I had a one track mind - mustn't forget the christmas pud and the Prosecco !

I still have quite a few cards to share, I ended up making quite a few more than the forty I had originally intended, as we received a few unexpected ones this year, lovely little surprises which I wanted to reciprocate

Love and happy holiday wishes


Thursday, 21 December 2017

And Christmas resumes

Good evening

I have another batch of Christmas cards to share with you tonight

I bought a lovely 8" paper pad from the Range last year and these Vintage style papers have been a joy to work with

The Christmas tree stamp is by Stampin' Up and the little wooden reindeer was bought in The Works last year

I seem to have amassed a great deal of DL sized envelopes so tried to use a few up this year

The house die below is an old Spellbinders die, the poinsettias are Marianne, sentiment is Stampin' Up and the trees were made using deckle edged scissors as I didn't have dies small enough for these trees

This next lamppost is a Tim Holtz die, sentiment is once again Stampin' Up

I thought I was almost through sharing all my christmas cards, but checking my camera tonight I still have a fair few to blog. I hope I am not boring everyone with them

I am not sure I will be able to keep this blogging pace up once all the christmas crafts have been shared, but I must admit to having found my crafting mojo lately, so, who knows, maybe next year will be more creative

So, what do you do when you lose your mojo, hit a wall, lack inspiration

Here's 5 ideas to kickstart your creative flow

1. Use the internet for inspiration, join sites that post photos of the crafts you enjoy
I love 

2. Connect with other bloggers, create a reading list on your preferred device of creative bloggers whose style makes you want to reach for your supplies

3. Reorganise your crafting space and supplies. Oftentimes, just reacquainting yourself with your bits and bobs is enough to spur you into action, have your favourite colours and styles to hand and make your crafting space comfortable and easy to use

4. Join a class or club. Sharing ideas with your fellow members and taking a course can help you to think outside your creative box, trying new techniques and sharing them with others is inspiration itself. My favourite part of running my classes when I had the shop was "show and tell", I loved it when class members brought in their makes from home and know they inspired me as well as all the other class members

5. If all else fails GO SHOPPING ! Treat yourself to a new piece of equipment, a magazine or a book of ideas. Something as simple and as inexpensive as a beautiful sheet of patterned paper, some pretty ribbon or a new die is often enough to create a little spark of creativity 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Happy birthday Dawn

A little break from all the christmas crafting this evening

Tonight I have a birthday card to share

This one was created for my lovely friend Dawn

I used a Prima luggage tag as the background, most of the flowers are Prima too with the small roses coming from Wild Orchid Crafts

Stamped sentiment is one of my favourites from Stampin' Up

Hope you have a lovely day Dawn and are spoiled rotten by your family, much love from us all

Love and birthday kisses


Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Hangin' around the christmas tree ...........

As promised here are the five wall - hangings I made for my friends at work

It was my way of saying thankyou for a lovely year of friendship, support and lots of laughs

This first one is for Sue

I chose colours to match her decor at home

Sue adores green, so I thought I would be safe with this one

The poinsettia is a Marianne die

The ovals are Stampin' Up

Ivy punch is Woodware, as is the small daisy

Small flower is Stampin' Up as are both sheets of the green paper ( stripes and trees)

This next one is for Margaret who likes bright fun colours

Punches as before
Little wooden christmas trees are from a couple of years ago and were bought in The Works

This next one was for my neighbours Mary and Colin

I made this silver snowflake hanging for Gillian at work

Most of the snowflakes were die cuts my lovely friend back in Healing gave me - thanks Trish

And finally this last one was for Janice, who mans the till and has endless patience with me when I try to use it

Another Marianne die for the branches, glitter paper and bauble punch from Stampin' Up

And in case anyone is wondering, the actual circles for the hangings are upcycled from old CD's

The CD's are covered in patterned paper ( I use a Pritt Stick to attach the paper ), once the glue is dry, cut around the CD with your craft knife, then repeat for the back

The holes required for threading the twine/ribbon to hang are made using my trusty Cropodile

I will be back tomorrow with another batch of  Christmas cards 

Love and friendship


Monday, 18 December 2017

Batch baking

I like all of the cards that I create to be slightly different, unique

At christmas time when there is a call for many more cards than in any other month of the year,  I find it much easier, and speedier too,  to mass produce

Therefore, I sketch out several designs and then create little groups of those designs, slightly altering the embellishments, the colours or the positioning of the main elements

I call this my batch baked christmas cards 

Here is one of my 'batches' - I made five of this particular

I used a variation of dies from all the main companies

The stunning silver glitter card is from Stampin' Up

As the design only required small pieces of patterned paper, I was able to use many of my scraps up and still get a lovely detailed layered look

I also seem to have amassed lots of die-cut sentiments. I usually prefer to stamp all the greetings,  but, when I looked through them it seemed a shame to just store them away (hoard !) for another year, so I made an extra effort to find homes for them this year

In other news :

It was my last day at 'work' this morning and as Christmas and New Year falls on mondays I won't be back for another three weeks

I will really miss my monday mornings at the the shop, we always have lots to talk about and generally end up in fits of giggles at some point or other

I made all the girls on my shift a little christmas wall hanging this year, so I will be back tomorrow to share photos of those 

Until then

Love and batch baking