I am sorry but I can no longer send out any templates, poems etc. that I may have previously offered in the past, the files were lost when my last computer crashed and I have chosen not to remake any of them them.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

………. Too Exciting For Words ……..

eurovisionAs you may have realised I, along with three monkeys are mahoooooooosive fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, as is Marc’s partner Rick.  Last year we both tried so hard to get tickets, I even played hookey from work to make sure I was on the ticket hotline as it opened, not once, but twice, to hell with the consequences (my mind was already made up to leave anyway!!!), but tickets sold out within 20 mins, so that was that, we resigned ourselves to the three of us watching it in Worcester together in the Christopher family retreat …… where Marc put so much booze in every single layer of his chocolate trifle, I felt that I could almost sing all the entries in their native tongue!!!
Stockholm Globe ArenaSo back in November I hadn’t given tickets for the 2016 contest much thought, it seemed too early, but imagine how I felt when Rick text me this message ……….
IMG_7613OMG?  Interested? Hmmmm I need to check my diary …………. not!! It seems that Rick joined a fan site that gave him prior warning of the sale ……..
IMG_7615I was so excited I nearly stopped breathing ……. but it was still an anxious wait for both of us as Rick awaited the official confirmation …….
IMG_7617It’s not the final final on the Saturday night, it’s the Jury Final on the Friday night, so it’s minus the voting, but Rick decided that if tried to get final tickets, he would probably not get them and then get locked out of the site, only to have to try all over again and risk not getting any tickets for any show at all!  But this also means that we can still watch the event in Stockholm and be amongst the crowds.
With the tickets bought I set about booking a hotel, I think Rick was a little surprised at my speed of my work, but I reasoned  that everyone else would be doing the same and prices would certainly soar if we cleft it much longer, however, should we find a better deal in the ensuing months then I can canceI   ……
However, I think I may happen to burst before then!!!!!

No Resolutions for 2016 …….. I'll Be Too Busy ...........Just Roll On The Good Times!!

It has taken a year and about four days to keep my one and only resolution of 2015 and that was to sort out all my addresses from my old Lavender address book to a new “romantic” French one given to me by the Lovely Laura’s mum for Christmas last year (2014)!  That’s why I don’t do resolutions!!!
However, Lucy and I decided a little while ago instead of presents etc. we would “do” experiences  through holidays and weekends away.  So Harrogate is already booked for February, neither of us has been there before so it will be quite an adventure.
IMG_6883Before Christmas we went to Liverpool, originally to see Reeves and Mortimer, but unfortunately the event was cancelled because Bob Mortimer had to undergo heart surgery, despite this we had such a fantastic time we decided we really needed to do the touristy thing sometime in the new year, including a bus tour and a ferry ‘cross the Mersey…….. and as I type this another weekend has been booked to see Ross Noble, though I think another longer weekend will also be booked.
IMG_6773Because I am no longer ruled by taking my main break in the school holidays we can now book holidays out of season, when they are considerably cheaper, so hopefully we plan to visit a Greek Island to be decided in May, and perhaps a trip to Spain in late September/early November, selling, buying and moving houses permitted!!
download (1)Then …… what I really, really want to do, along with three very excited monkeys go to the Bridge Cafe in London where the losing team from The Apprentice go to after they have had their mauling in the boardroom with Lord Sir Alan Sugar …… Marc says that it isn’t too far from him, so it has to be done this year!!!!
BUT there’s more ………. not just a plan ……. the next visit is for REAL!!!!!!!!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Fiddle Fart Update

First of all …HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!
…… and a HUGE apology, I am afraid today’post was written right up to my midnight deadline. I got to Evesham, without the pictures I wanted to illustrate a couple of January updates with …… so today, if it isn’t cheating, I thought I would show you some of the lovely handmade cards I received over Christmas, the cards I always keep, because it is always so special when someone actually makes you a card, and also for inspiration.
I am a crafty chicken and very rarely venture away from the style/format I feel comfortable with, but having an example of someone else’s work in my hand to see how they have put it together, their choice of colours, layers, embellishments etc. often helps to inspire me to occasionally veer from my comfort zone, especially when it comes to stamping ……. something I have never really got the hang of!
The reindeer card with jewelled antlers came from Denise, the Lovely Laura’s mum, cut on her Silhouette, a very under used tool of from my own crafty arsenal!  I have to confess that the only time I “use” mine is to switch it on now and again to check that it is still working after it wouldn’t load about a year or so ago and it took me ages after countless e-mails to Silhouette to sort out!  I think the last time I used it properly was for Tom and Laura’s wedding back in August 2012, which is disgraceful!  Marc is always nagging me about just download the free templates every month, even if  I don’t make anything, I promise, I will try harder!
The second card was from my friend Sarah, made I think, by her mum.  It was the wooden heart on this that made me think of trying to do a bit of doodling on some of the blank hearts I have squirrelled away. I might have to be careful of what pens I use as they could bleed into the wood and would obviously have to be fine tipped on work so small.
This card is from “Tilly”, the centre is printed but I think that Christine has added a little translucent micro glitter to some of the leaves, and the owls wings and hat.  The centre was then mat and layered on a very pretty, pale blue candy cane and star paper with punched silver snowflakes in the corners.
The next card is from Krafty Karen who, if I am correct, always sends me a monkey orientated card. There is so much work in this card, the stamped centre, with, that Christmas “must have” translucent micro glitter on the hat and bobble and then perforated holes all round the edges. This has then been mat and layered three times on plain blue and then two styles of square die cuts, with added tickets (stamped) in the one corner and red flat back gems to finish the whole design.  This is the card I would love to do, but my version would look like a dogs breakfast!
Diane’s card also uses another one of my much underused tools, embossing folders, I have quite a few, and was once mad for them, but when I used them they never, ever looked right!  I am thinking about putting some of them for sale, as if I haven’t used them in the past ermmmmmmm, two years at least, what is the chance of me using them this year?
You know me and Kraft card and paper, I just love the whole effect.  This card was from Lynne (and Archie her adopted Monkey) plus the boys and girls of the Burghead Breakfast Club.  I just love it, it’s so simple and soooooo effective ,  I think the lettering may be die cut and the holly and berries possibly punched(?)
IMG_7611And finally, last but not least,  I love, love, love this card, from which I will definitely be pinching elements, as soon as I saw it, it screamed Elizabeth Shaw mint!!!!! So watch this space ......

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Evesham Charity Shop Find

What Evesham lacks in pound shops, it certainly makes up for in charity shops, I am being quite careful with what I buy at the moment in my bid to de-clutter,  but this is my latest find.
IMG_7238I think they are drinking glass charms ….. and I might have let them pass by, except that I am very into my little Christmas bottle decorations and wondered if I could fit them into a simple scene.
IMG_7240They have moveable, wibbly wobbly legs, so I think I may try to hook the 1ins figures onto an invisible thread, fastened somehow to the cork stopper of each bottle, so that they appear to be standing or moving within the bottle …..
IMG_7245I am not sure if I will have the time to come up with something this year ….. but you never know, I have a feeling they will nag at me until I do!!

My First Christmas Card

Doesn’t this just make your heart sing ……..
IMG_7225It was made for me (with a little help from Mum) by Rory, the baby boy who lives next door to Tom and Laura in Evesham, it doesn’t matter how many dies, flat backed gems and all manner of other fiddle fart you have, these are always the best cards ever!!!!!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Craftwork Cards Christmas Candi Pad Card

So ……. this is a card I made using the Craftwork Cards Christmas Candi Pad, I mentioned the other day.  It measures ??? and the blank is hand cut using white linen effect card.
Craftwork Cards Christmas Candi PadI am not sure what I think, using a “kit” is a bit alien to me! My first decision was not to use the Candi that came with the pad (red with gold dots), they didn’t really do  anything for me or the card in its embryo state.
Craftwork Cards Christmas Candi Pad...I started by outlining all the leaves and veins with a black fine liner pen and then used “Glossy Accents” to accentuate and bring a little texture to the darker leaves .  When dry, the sheet was then thinly mat and layered on silver then red card.
IMG_7009I replaced the candi on the larger holly berries with small red buttons and used red flat backed pearls on the smaller ones and it looked …… OK.
IMG_7011I could have left it at that, but then I started to mither about the corners, before opting to cut four triangles of a green/cream gingham paper that matched pretty well ….. and then continued to fiddle fart even more by adding peel off corners and another set of smaller red pearls  and faux stitching.
I know it’s OK, but it’s not my style ……. and after this first attempt, to be honest, the rest of the pad is not for me …… however, I will pass it on to Marc, who knows people who would bite your right hand off for it!!!!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Christmas Tree In A Bottle Revisited

I decided to try and sell the last few remaining Christmas Trees in bottles that I had left over from last year on e-bay …. they all sold, with requests for more, so, although I didn’t intend to make them again, I relented ……
IMG_7102…….. well, a few extra pennies are always welcome … and it used up all the remaining trees and bottles I had, so more, profitable, stash busting.
IMG_7064I originally had to get the trees from Etsy from America (they are by Darice), but I still needed to add a little white paint and translucent micro glitter as they just came green and I also had to change the stands/bottoms for beads as the original fitting was too large to go through the top of the bottle.
IMG_7067They are admittedly very fiddly, hence my reluctance to revisit the project …….
The fiddliest part, for me, unbelievably, was adding the bead and the thread to the top ring …… goodness knows why, but it nearly drove me to distraction!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Wouldn’t Be Christmas …….

Christmas Wouldn’t Be Christmas without embellishing a few Elizabeth Shaw Mints, using my trusty old Stampin Up punches.
IMG_7070I found the cheapest place for the dark chocolate mints this year was Iceland where they were selling two boxes for £4.  Finding the milk chocolate variety is harder but I managed to I find some in Home Bargains for (I think) £2.50 a box.
IMG_7071Making the mints was also an excellent opportunity for a bit more stash busting, as I managed to use up a couple of packs of snowman stickers that I have had for a couple of years, which, I think, came from either  Poundland or Poundworld.  Finding nice Christmas stickers (like Halloween) for this sort of project in discount/poundshops seems to be getting harder and harder, where once upon a time I was spoilt for choice  …… this year I have found only a couple of packs, and to be honest they were pants!!!!!!  As I have always said if you like something, it’s worth considering buying more than you need for one Christmas, because more often than not you will not see them again.
I have decorated both sides of the mints and then popped four mints in a pretzel bag, adding some of the leftover snowflake stickers also from the packs on the outside and finally tying up with a narrow red gingham ribbon.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas Crafting With Iris

It goes without saying that Iris and I have been doing a bit of Christmas crafting! I had some small canvases that really needed to be used …… so I thought that if Iris painted them, they would make a lovely Christmas present for doting Grannies, Granddads, Aunties and Uncles etc……
IMG_6621……. needless to say she was a natural and needed very little encouragement to seek out her inner creative spirit …….
tasting….. which did involve just a tiny bit of tasting!!!
Copy of IMG_6634…….. however, I am not going to talk about the cleaning up, let’s just say, that in the end, a bath was involved and quite a bit of scrubbing!!!!
iris rooWe then, as “collaborative artists” decided, a couple of weeks later, to go for a mixed media, with festive influences approach to said canvases ……. this involved sequins …….
iris roo.……. and …….. an awful lot of experimentation with glue …… followed by yet another bath!!!  Happy Happy Happy Happy Days!!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Fluffy Snowman Baubles

It’s taken me ten months,  but I have finally used all the fluffy baubles I found in Wilkos sale in January this year (reduced from £2.50m to £1.25 for 6)
I originally had 12 baubles (2 boxes), but I was a bit heavy handed with three of them when I glued on the baked Fimo noses, pressing them down a little to hard, resulting in the E6000 glue eating into the polystyrene ball that lay beneath the white fuzz …. I tried, but I couldn’t rescue them, without them turning into something that looked like the Snowmen of Satan, so lesson learned, next time use a lighter touch!!
I have been back to Wilkos this year, in the hope of finding some more but to no avail, as they were a gift for turning into these cute snowmen’s heads with very little effort ……
Original post:-

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Farewell Dear Faithful Friend …..

My faithful old mini X Cut guillotine finally gave up the ghost in the middle of November, we must have been together for at least 15 years. I don’t think it could have cost me more than £6.50 or thereabouts ……. so it owed me nothing.
It took me a while to find a replacement, which turned out to be a little bigger (below) from Amazon, the Tonic Studios 8.5-Inch Guillotine Paper Trimmer, it cost me £19.00, which made me blanch a little, but it cuts like a dream.
IMG_6899Tonic also do a mini 6in version, which probably, with hindsight, is the same size as my old one, however I am not sure if it is readily available in the UK, all the ones I have found so far seem to be in the US, although it has been featured on Create And Craft over here ….. but I am quite happy with what I have got …….for the time being!!!!!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Mini Printers Tray Christmas Decorations Revisited

I was very kindly sent these wooden trays by , which, I believe, used to hold small wooden embellishments, but like so many crafty things, I can sit on something for years before eventually using it/them.
Originally I left the first trays I made, all those years ago in November 2011, grey and just added a faux stitching effect (below), using a white gel pen.
Picture 092……. but this year, for the revisited version,  I decided to spray them in a mat white paint from Wilkos instead.
Also, this time around, I haven’t mat and layered any of the backgrounds or added many small details or doodling round the edges ….. but I think they still work.  In all I made eight trays, all slightly different, finally using all the trays that …. originally sent me.
I covered the back of each tray with a red and white stripy Christmas paper and then mat and layered on white, then silver my handwritten Christmas message/greeting, adding the date - Christmas 2015, These will be given to special people, instead of a Christmas Card as a more lasting momento of this Christmas, which I hope, will come out year after year, unlike the vast majority of cards.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Crafts In Evesham – Forget Me Not Crafts

I am still slowly finding my way round Evesham …… especially when looking for new/different/inspiring craft materials ….. the town has a Home Bargains where it is either famine or feast for me creativity plus a pretty good The Works …… but as of yet (????) not a single poundshop of any description, how will I cope when I eventually move????????
Forget Me Not Crafts EveshamHowever, despite my pledge to be more frugal and cut down on crafting materials, I have found myself mooching and availing myself of some festive papers and embellishments from Forget Me Not Crafts in Bridge Street in the centre of the town.
The shop has a bit of everything, (see link below), from dies, stamps, embellishments, papers and cards, to name just a few. My favourite part is the “Bargain Baskets” section, where I have managed to find lots of “Craft For Christmas” packets containing wooden and resin embellishments from snowmen, to Santas, trees and stockings from only 25p to 65p …… exactly what I needed for my mini printers tray Christmas decorations (above)
Christmas candi pad.Craft Christmas Papermania
I also treated myself to a Craftwork Card Candi Pad which came with  pack of matching Candi, not my normal thing at all, perhaps a little lazy, but I thought I could also add Glossy Accents and different sized flat back gems to the Candi, and I think the designs could, work mat and layered with the Papermania papers (to the side) ….., but as yet,  I haven’t had the time to play, quelle suprise!!!
I just couldn’t resist the pack of Papermania 32 x 12” x 12” Craft Christmas papers, although some of the paper’s are quite festive, there are also quite a few that could be used at anytime of the year, but again, I am afraid it’s a case of actually knuckling down when inspiration strikes and time permits ….. so you may have to wait till next Christmas for any results!!!!
Anyway if you are ever passing through Evesham it’s worth a look …….