Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Grandaughter's mishap

This is just a very quick post to let everyone who enquired about our grandaughter after her accident, that she is full of energy and things seem to be healing well.  It could have been so much worse.  Thank you all for your good wishes, and a very Happy New Year to all of you.  See you in 2011.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas - the good and the bad

We had a good day, the weather allowing us to join up as a family after all the "shall we " or "shan't we" worrying about the depth of the snow.  The three (so far) grandchildren enjoyed each other's company, with the youngest teaching the older two a new game - roll round the floor like me.  Everyone seemed happy with their presents, although I am now in trouble with our daughter for giving her daughter lots of glitter as part of her present.  Their whole house is now well and truly glittered, but it is Christmas, after all.  Youngest grandaughter loved the paper and her cousin's wiggly worm, and did not even notice that her real present got stuck in the snow somewhere.  I cannot wait to play with my set of Aquamarkers and my mega sun tool etc.

The slightly bad was as a result of a dying cooker, which has been playing up for some time and chose this week to really be a pain.  Everyone was very kind and said the dinner was great, but I know it wasn't quite right.  The real test was the failure to produce a decent Victoria Sandwich.  So today (after a lot of research on the wonderful net) we went out to a well known electrical store and ordered a new dual fuel range cooker (beating the rise in VAT).

We also managed to get through the snow to visit our friends as we usually do.  Fortunately, most of the roads were passable with care, and they managed to get to us yesterday to return the visit.  It is a good thing the roads had improved as we had to use the small car since the battery on the Disco was flat yet again.  another job to sort that out properly after the Bank Holidays are over.

The really bad could have been far, far worse.  Our son and his family left us just after lunch and got back home safe and sound.  Then, while drying our grandaughter after her bath, a piece of wood from the ceiling (protecting and hiding the electrics for the lights) fell and hit her right by her eye.  Needless to say, that was a swift trip to A&E for treatment.  She was brilliant, not crying once and allowing the staff to clean out the wound and glue it without any fuss.  She is full of energy and life now, and seems fully recovered, and has so far left the dressing alone.  It could have been so much worse, so we shall just think of the positive.

The snow is now going which is a good.  Lets just hope it goes slowly and allows the land to absorb all the water without flooding.

Friday, 24 December 2010

A very Merry Christmas to everyone

The last card is done, still to write.  One pressie to wrap.  The Royal Icing on the Christmas cake is done (a bit late but I only did the marzipan this morning - it will be fine), the sherry trifle is just waiting for the cream on top tomorrow - half a bottle of brandy has fed the cake so that should be good, and a lot of sherry in the trifle.....never mind we are not driving afterwards.  The potatoes, parsnips and carrots are ready to throw in the roasting tin tomorrow - they are out in the conservatory, a very good extra fridge in this weather. The gravy cake is made and cooling - those that know me will know that this is a lemon meringue pie without the pastry but on a biscuit base instead.  After it has sat for a day, the meringue leaks into the base as a brown gravy like liquid.  Sounds strange but tastes great and there is never any left.

Now it is time for my hard working husband to finish off his Christmas quiz for our friends, then we can settle down with a nice drink and gather ourselves ready for the onslaught.

Hope you all have a great time tomorrow - and remember that this life is not a rehearsal, live it to the full.  Remember those who have gone, but cherish the thought that their lives were good.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Plea to all drivers in bad weather especially.

Please can all of you find out exactly where the correct tow points are on your vehicles, especially in this nasty snowy weather.  Most owners of 4 wheel drive vehicles will be only too glad to give you a tow, but they will be less keen to get down and lie in the snow just to find out where to attach their rope.  We and all the members of the Midland Rover Owners Club carry tow ropes as standard equipment and will help all those we can.

After the experiences of friends who had to travel from Cardiff up to their home in Worcestershire in dire conditions on Monday, if any of you have to travel even just down to the supermarket, follow the advice on the local radio station websites.  Carry spades, plenty of extra warm clothing, food for at least a day, plenty of hot liquids, and make sure your phones are fully charged.  Look after yourselves and stay safe.


This is my new craft room, as far as we can get before the weather improves.  I am back in my own room, with loads of extra space due to the hot water tank and airing cupboard having been removed.  As you can see, my actual desk is fairly clear at the moment, with only the card for our eldest grandaughter in progress.  I am sure the tidiness will change, and there is one more cupboard to come back in once we have finished sorting out the power supplies for my light, heat guns, Silhouette etc.  The computer, printers and other peripherals have their own surge protected supply, and are running now.  My lovely new printer, bought to print thicker card, does just what I wanted.

As you can see, I am heavily into Really Useful boxes - I just need to reprint all the labels and make sure they reflect just what is really in each box.  My stamps , pens and a lot of other bits are still in my temporary room, as are the files with all my peeloffs, but they are waiting for Geoff to be able to get out and get more timber to put up the shelves for those.  The narrow shelf fitment in front of my workspace still need to be fixed to t he wall again.  They are so useful for all sorts of bits and pieces,craft knives, baby Xyron, ink pads, glitters etc.

As things progress, I will post further photos, weather permitting.  I am so grateful to my lovely husband for his help and support and his clever ideas to give me the maximum useful space.

 This is one reason why my craft room had to be at least partly done. The cupboard with all the Christmas decs in was behind a bookcase behind my temprary workspace.  This little illuminated village goes up every year and we always try to find something little to add each year.  The grandchildren love it and a lot of the grown up children too.  Flash photos do not show it to its full advantage.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Fingers crossed....

37 kettles of boiling water and an hour of the hair dryer and we have heat.  Just hoping it lasts.  The Christmas tree is up, only 3 cards left to make, the little Christmas village is set up and illuminated, and we are relaxing for a while with a drink, watching Mamma Mia.  The neighbours are out so the volume is nicely turned up.

Still need to make the marzipan and ice the cake and make some more mince pies, but no-one can get here so there is no rush.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and an even better New Year, with lots of new crafting toys to play with.  Love to all of you.

I hate snow!!!!!!

Our brand new heating boiler has frozen up and will not work.  Geoff needs to get at the pipe outside, but the Discovery is parked in front of it with its brand new battery totally flat.  At the moment he is busy with the hair dryer trying to defrost things.  Why do things always pack up just when you really need them?  It goes so cold so fast in this weather too.  Geoff may be going down to the fuel store to get the fire going to get some heat back into the house,

On a brighter note,I can now use at least half my new craft room.  The rest must wait until after the snow goes as we need more timber to finish things off and put up shelves.  However, the computer is in there and hooked up to all its peripherals.  My new printer is out of its box, installed and working well.  It will print on the thicker card which is why I bought it.  Hopefully, if we have any heat by thenm I can get myself sorted out and get some work done tomorrow.  I still need to make two more cards, and sort out a good crafting present for my eldest grandaughter.  I may be taking the halogen heater up there.

Roll on summer!!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Lights with hats on

This one just made me laugh, with all the so-called solar lights with their little hats on - I guess they are not going to get much solar charging for a while.  They look a little like fairy castles with towers like a French chateau.

It does seem to have stopped snowing at the moment, so maybe we can get out tomorrow to replenish supplies, and even more wood perhaps to finish off the worktops and shelving in my craft room.

Whatever happens to my craftroom before Christmas, I need it to be tidy for Christmas Day as it is the only room we can blackout for our little grandaughter to have her nap, that is if the weather allows us to have Christmas at the proper time rhis year.  Last year, we had our family gathering in March this year.

More white stuff - bother it!

I really wish this new lot of snow had not come today.  It is beautiful but it is messing up my new craft room.  Geoff needs to go to B&Q for more wood but there is no way we can get the car out, and even less chance of getting back as we live at the top of a hill.  He will have to concentrate on just one side of the room until normal conditions return.  He has done so well with it so far, and I cannot wait to just get in there, sit down at my new desk and gloat about all the extra space (that came from removeing the hot water tank and the airing cupboard.  The plasterer came last week, the the painting was done in time for the carpet this week.  The first worktop is now in place and the supports ready for the next one.  Hopefully, by Tuesday (in spite of the weather), I shall be able to get things sorted out in there and start using it.

Every time I look out, the snow is just getting heavier.  So long as it lets us out to get to the butcher's next week for the Christmas meat, that is all I am bothered about.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Anniversary card

This should have been such a simple card to do, but everything went wrong.   Even the photo is not very good.  First, the Silhouette refused to cut properly, chewing rather than cutting.  With Shaz and Doug's help, that was sorted.  I cut the basic shapes, which was the card and the individual hearts (taken from LCM Griffiths' Crystal Dreams disc).  I actually simplified the outlines using the Silhouette Studio software.  I cut the card from the deeper mauve card, and the hearts from the same card and from a very pale mauve/silvery card.  Then I could not decide what to do next, so I took it downstairs and put it up on the cupboard by the TV so every time I looked at the TV, I could see the card.  Eventually, the ideas came.  I put the individual hearts through the Xyron, then sprinkled them with Martha Stewart glitter (I love that stuff), again in two colours, glued each one into place with Pinflair glue.  Then I decided I did not like it as a straightforward DL card, so I added a piece of the silvery card to the back to extend it, went round the outside and the inside edges with two different colours of glittery peeloffs.  The insert was created by manipulating several images in My Craft Studio, as well as the word art feature.  That was matted and layered, another darker mauve heart glued into the centre, and then a line of glitter added to the edges, using the Quickie glue pen.  In the end, the whole card turned out quite well and was well received.

If there are any tips to be seen in this card, it is not to panic when you get stuck.  Just put it where you keep seeing it all the time, and eventually inspiration will strike.  It may take a couple of attempts to get it right, but don't throw anything away.  Give it time.

Get the camera out

This picture may find itself on a card at sometime in the future.  We have been so lucky so far in this area with all the heavy snow going around us, but the rime on the trees, just as the sun was coming up, was so beautiful.  In addition to using the whole picture, I am aiming to use part of it, the interlacing twigs, to create a background paper for other cards.  All I want now is to get some good bird pictures from the birds on our feeders and trees, but they are clever and very camera shy and only seem to arrive when the camera is at the other end of the house.  I think I need to set up the video on a tripod and perhaps collect the odd still from that.  Having seen a woodpecker, very briefly, the other day, I am desperate to get a better view and identify the species.  I am so jealous of everyone else's beautiful robin pictures and others.

Maybe, when I get back into my craft room and I can sit next to the window again, I might get to see the shots I really want.  That moment is coming closer, with the plasterer up there right now, doing the ceiling.  The carpet fitter is booked for next Thursday, then my cupboards can move back.  Geoff is busy designing the layout of worktops and shelving for me, separating the IT stuff from the sticky, glittery stuff.  I cannot wait.

The main urgency to get this done now is that all our Christmas decorations are in the cupboard behind all my craft cupboards, and we want them all up ready for the grandchildren when they come.