Thursday 31 December 2015

First of many thank you cards !

Good New Years Eve Ladies,

Thank you seemed the perfect sentiment for my card today for today I want to say a whole bunch of thank you's!
Firstly I want to say the biggest, most heartfelt THANK YOU....
to each and every one of you that have been in and supported my blog throughout 2015 and thank you to those that just peep in every day too, I hope you find the courage to step in and join in the fun, you won't regret it, just ask some of the ladies that joined us recently.
Without all of you there would be no blog, its you lovely ladies and your heart warming comments that drive me to want to create a blog post every day.

Thanks to all of you that have sent in cards to share and crafts for Mixed Craft Saturday, you have inspired so many with your creations.

I would also like to thank you all for your wonderful support during the 'low moments' of the year, I don't think I need to say any more than that, you all know what I am referring to, your kind words and reassurance prevented me from giving up!

Now onto happier topics, the high point of the year had to be our Retreat in October, we were all looking forward to meeting each other so much and I have to say what a wonderful weekend it was, you were all just as lovely as you appear on the blog, it was a wonderful experience, I felt like I was in shock for moist of it, I can only describe it as I was watching myself taking it all in, given that I had never spent a night without Paul in many years and in recent years suffering from huge fear and anxiety when leaving the house I was surprised how much I enjoyed the weekend.  I have to say a huge thank you to all of you that came along to Sue and Pat for supporting me throughout the weekend, poor Sue who had to out up with me through the night too, although we did have a giggle or two!!  My thanks also to Hazel for finding the venue and organising the raffle, which would not have been possible without all of the amazing prizes that were very generously donated by our Norah, thank you so much my lovely!

Now onto 2016, I am excited to be venturing into the new year with all of you,
I did ask the other day but I don't think I read too many suggestion's for new features, do we continue any of the old ones?
The other thing we need to get sorted is whether or not you want another retreat?  If so did we decide on what month would work better and where is the other big decision?!
You can reply below or send me an email if you like.

One last thing is that I want to wish each and every one of you, the very happiest New Year filled with good health, wealth and lots and lots of happiness!

Love and hugs


Wednesday 30 December 2015

Something a little different for me!

Good Morning Ladies,

Just a quickie today!
I fancied making something a little different while I was playing with designs for Christmas cards.
I love kraft card so that's where the inspiration came from (and the inside of an Amazon box)
I wanted that corrugated card feel so I rummaged about in my craft room and found my card 'Ribbler'
you turn the handle on the hand held machine, it draws the Kraft card (in this case) through, giving it that corrugated look. I went round the edge with a white pen, leaving dashes to look like faux stitching, I then added some gilding wax to highlight the detail of the card, I used Cosmic Shimmer Pearl Moon wax for this,
I then matted it onto some red car and then onto a craft card base, the embellishents were some red flower Stamens (anna Marie ) and a few die cuts, Obsession Impression Fir die, Creative Expression Trailing Ivy die, some lace ribbon adhered to the centre of the card, a little silver ribbon for sparkle, a die cut star for the sentiment and that's about it, I kind of liked it as it was a little rustic and something different for a change.
I hope you like it too.

I went to bed praying that everyone stays safe in the path of Storm Frank, I hardly dare open my eyes this morning to check, there were a few branches down in the cafe garden and I had to sweep a load of leaves from the door!  Everything set up for you today, sit down, relax and chat.

Love and hugs
Sandra xxxxxx

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Michele's thank you card

Good Morning Ladies,
Hopefully this post will make it on time and the cafe will have its doors open to welcome you all at 6.00am
as usual.  If there are any lovely crafters standing outside the cafe 'peeking' in please feel free to come on in and join the most amazingly friendly bunch of ladies, we have so much fun and laughter, but also the best love and support you could wish for!

Today's card has been brilliantly designed by our Michele, the bonus of the card is that Michele found the die in one of the bags of stash that she received from her friend that was giving up crafting.  Michele made the card for friend (you know the one)!
I love all the different designs of teacups on this what I believe is a Dreamweaver die. I love how you have used the die Michele, we sometimes forget to use the old 'DL' size card, it fits this die perfectly.
Thank you for sharing your card with us Michele, I am sure your friend loved it! xxx

A day of rest in our house today, Paul's parents are leaving this morning, we will then have a lazy day as Paul is working tonight.
I hope you all have a lovely day,
Love and hugs

Monday 28 December 2015

Janet's Stunning Stepper Card

Good Monday Morning Ladies,

Everything will be on its head for a few days, no 'Man' Card Monday, or Mixed Craft Saturday for a week or two.
As the New Year is upon us it seems a good time to ask you all if there is anything you would like added to the blog, new features, new ideas?? shall we finish Mixed Craft Saturdays (as we seem to have exhausted most peoples hand made stocks)??
You are all the most important part of this blog so I want to keep you all excited about calling in each day, so just let me know your thoughts, I am sure anything is possible!
Santa bought Paul a pop up photograph studio, that has a tripod for the camera etc so that it will be easier for me to take pics too when Paul isn't here..
I would like to continue with the Step by Step Tutorial idea that I did a couple of last month, so any suggestions for ideas for that would be fantastic.
I would also like to ask your thoughts on doing another Retreat, I would love to meet those of you that were unable to make the last one as well as meeting up with those that did make the last one again, for me it was the most amazing experience, despite being my biggest hurdle to overcome EVER!!!!
The hard thing this time will be picking a venue area that makes it easy for everyone to attend !!
Let me know your thoughts and whether you are interested or not.

Now onto Janet's gorgeous card,  do love a 'Steppper' Card, they give something to look at that'd different visually, a little more interesting that a standard card, they make you think out of the box regarding decoration too.
Janet seems to have added some sparkle to her card base, it may well be Cosmic Shimmer 'Diamond Sprinkles' or something similar, it's enough to give a bit of sparkle without being over the top.
I love the effect of using the Creative Expressions 'Santorini' die from their 'Greek Island' collection sideways, making it the perfect size and shape for the main 'body' of the stepper card.
Janet has then used the inner sections of the same die set for the smaller 'steps',  using the (CE) 'Happy Birthday' cut, cleverly (and very neatly) in half was also a genius idea, I love the 'Cameo' style centre to the die and the little embellishments on the other 2 sections too, all in all a beautiful card Janet, thank you so much for allowing me to share it with everyone xxx

That's all for today folks, we have Paul's parents staying with us for a couple of days, Paul's brother Darren and his children called in yesterday afternoon for a surprise visit, which was lovely
I am still battling this blooming Labyrinthitis, I seem to have a 'good'ish day and then a bad, trouble is with having visitors I feel that I can't take the medication as it knocks you out and that seems very rude, fingers crossed it will be over very soon.

Please send me your photos as soon as possible for cards, crafts etc, I do like to have them for 'back ups' for times like this when I can't see straight enough to make a card! thank you my lovelies!

Have a fabulous Bank Holiday Monday Ladies,
Love and Hugs

Sunday 27 December 2015

My Card for Sue

Good Morning Ladies,

Busy day here again today as Paul's parents are arriving for a couple of days, we don't get to see them too much as their house in Brixham, Devon, is on three stories, so sadly it is inaccessible for me, meaning that we don't get to and stay at theirs and despite being in their late seventies they have an incredibly active and very sociable life down there, so always have something on at weekends, doing their bit for the various Associations that they belong to, British Legion, Paras Veterans, etc, they are always going somewhere, I have to chuckle when they said back in October that they were escorting a bus load of War Veterans and Pensionrs to Arnhem in the Netherlands, to pay their respects, they are both nearing 80 years old, but don't class themselves as 'pensioners' or 'old folk' !!!
It will be lovely to hear what they have been up to.

Today's card is the one I made for Sue, similar to Pats in design, but different in Colour and design, pretty much the same materials as yesterday, apart from the Poinsettia's , both Classic and Filigree both from Creative Expressions, the Christmas Tree is by Inkyliscious, (I love it), I used silky Crush ribbon, with the addition of a little navy and silver ribbon to tie in with the card!
I hope you like it!

Have a fabulous Day,
Love and Hugs

Saturday 26 December 2015

My Christmas card to Pat

 Good Boxing Day Morning Ladies,

I hope that you all had an absolutely fabulous Christmas day and that the fun continues today!
We are having a very quiet day today, recovering from the whirlwind that was Christmas day.
I am pretty sure that everyone went to bed happy, bless them!
Today I am hoping to sneak a little go with my new Platinum Machine, do you think that they will miss me for an hour??
Although we do have to have a bit of a tidy round as Paul's parents are coming to stay for a couple of days, I love them coming but boy I end up exhausted, it seems as though you are forever in the kitchen, preparing meals or cleaning up after one meal and getting the next one ready, or doing tea and cake!
We do have a tradition at Christmas, my Mum always buys me a Jigsaw puzzle, this years is all butterflies, we usually start it on Boxing day and try to finish by New Years (mainly because I am sick of seeing it by then)!!
Today I thought I would show you the Christmas card that I made for Pat, I ordered the Tattered Lace Book Dies with my C & C birthday bonus voucher, I can see its going to be very useful, it cuts really well too, I haven't used Tattered lace dies really, I was put off by the fact that they don't emboss, but they still give a good finish on the edges.  This die reminded me of the old Glitter Girls 'Bookatrix board'  that was really popular about 5 years ago, for those that don't remember it was an embossing board in the shape of a book, you embossed the lines into your card and then cut them out, for me that was the part that let it down, my cutting was never that great and there wasn't a straight line on the board, so you can imagine the outcome, interestingly you never, ever saw the Glitter Girls emboss and cut out one book in all the shows i watched, they had them precut on sticky sheets ready to layer up and go, so what does that tell you?!
Anyway I went for traditional Christmas colours for Pats card, using Spellbinders Poinsettia dies and the Justrite stamps that match them, Creative Expressions Trailing Ivy die, Seasons Greetings die and Classic Bow die, I wrapped it in tissue paper and made a box to fit it, which I decorated in similar style.
I do hope you like the idea, Pat seemed to like it :)

It was so lovely of so many of you to pop into the cafe, even on Christmas Day, I was really overwhelmed reading your beautiful messages, I have laid on a Boxing day buffet for you all today, its all about 'grazing' on boxing day in our house, so I thought I would rustle up a bit extra for you all as well, so tuck in!

Sheila, it was so lovely to see you in the Cafe yesterday, I promise that this will be the very worst Christmas day you will have, they are still going to be hard but none so much as this first one, we are all here for you day and night, I bet hearing Nikki was like a tonic to you, putting a smile on your face, how lovely of your friend to bring you a lovely Christmas dinner, the best part is, you had no washing up!! Sending you warm hugs my lovely, I hope that today is a little brighter for you xxxxx

Thoughts and Prayers to Barbara, Peter, Val and family, I can't imagine how hard it must be, you are an amazing lady Barbara, sending you the biggest hugs xxxx

Brenda Littlelamb, I was so thrilled to see you in yesterday, you need to slow down my lovely, maybe somebody else's turn to run around after you! please take care xxxx
Margaret B, good to hear from you yesterday too, you have never been out of my thoughts with this terrible weather on your doorstep, sending warm hugs to you too xxx

Brenda L, I do hope that lovely John is feeling ok, I am guessing he was putting a brave face on yesterday, hoping he can take it easy today, hugs to you both.

Now I hope that all the rest of you have a relaxing day today,
love and hugs

Friday 25 December 2015

I would like to wish each and every one of my wonderful
Cotswold Crafter Cafe Family
A very Merry Christmas 
May the peace and joy
that Christmas brings....
Always be with you 
your families

I would like to thank all of you for 
your wonderful friendship and support,
this time last year I never would have dreamt
that so many of you would join me on my blog,
You have made my year, given me the encouragement
to blog every day, you will never know how much of a 
difference you have made to my life.
Thank you so very much,
I am looking forward to another year of crafting
with all of you here in the cafe.
Love and hugs

Thursday 24 December 2015

Happy Christmas Eve, Maria's festive Decor

 Good Christmas Eve Ladies,

Not so good this end though, been struggling with my ears and hearing for a couple of weeks, its been a real pain, every time it's quiet all I can here is what sounds like a swarm of bees in my head or it sounds like there is a lot of talking in the next room (which there isn't), anyway it has reduced my hearing too, I have been using the steroid nasal spray I was given earlier this year as it feels like my ears are blocked, today while Paul and I were shopping I looked up a something Paul was showing me and it must have triggered something as I had the worst dizzy spell and nausea, it just wouldn't stop, I managed to get an out of hours emergency appointment and I have apparently got Labyrinthitis, which I could do without as we still have loads to do, its a miserable thing to have, she prescribed more Nasal Spray, Pseudoephedrine , (sudafed) and some Cinnarizine for the dizzyness and nausea, I think that if I took that lot I would sleep through Christmas, so I took some of the sudafed when I went to bed last night, lets hope that it will decongest me enough to get me through today.  I usally cook my Turkey and boil them roast my big ham on Christmas Eve, along with lots of baking, so I don't have time to be unwell.
Paul and I did venture to get some food shopping yesterday, well what a mistake, Aldi's had completely sold out of all their milk, eggs, anything festive, cream,salad of any description and won't be restocking until after boxing day, Morrissons were pretty much the same, all we wanted was some salad, Five counties Cheese and La Roule, but all three including our new Asda had completely sold out, now crackers either, on Tuesday the Biscuits for cheese were piled ceiling high, but not now!! You would think that the shops were closed for a week when you see what people were buying, Morrissons and Asda are both open on Boxing day (which I happen to think is ridiculous)!  I hope your last minute bits were easier to purchase!
Pat had pretty much the same experience in Sainsburys yesterday too!

How amazing is Maria's huge Santa?? just look at the detail on him, his fabulous Christmas 'Reindeer' jumper, his fantastic Furry boots, that look so warm, down to the detail in his face and his lantern and sack of goodies, it is a fabulous work of art, It looks very expensive, I love him!!
In the next photo you have Maria's cute little tree, I didn't know you could get baubles that small! I love those cute little figurines too, thank you so much for allowing us to peak into your decorated home Maria xxx

I am off to dose myself up and try to get some baking done, the girls are very excited though, so I can harness some of their energy and rope them in to helping me, they love baking!
I will stop by later,
Love and Hugs

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Maureen's Christmas Tree and Special Guest!! & another Christmas card

Maureen's Christmas Tree and Special Visitor 

Silent Night card.

Good Morning Ladies,

I am delighted to share with you today our Maureen's Gorgeous Christmas tree, beautifully decorated with a lovely selection of baubles and keepsakes.  I notice that Maureen also has a very special visitor, I am guessing he had to sit down to go through the list of reasons that Maureen was on the 'naughty list'! hahaha
Not really, I am sure you are at the very top of the 'Nice list' !  I love how you have the perfect Winter scene going on outside your conservatory windows too, with a light dusting of snow!  Thank you for sharing your perfect Christmas scene with us Maureen xxxx

My card has been made using an Impression Obsession Die simply cut from a piece of white card, matted onto Navy card, I then created snow with a Stampin Up snow stamp, and Silent Night stamp too, I used a quickie glue pen to add sparkle upon the snow drops and along the top of the snow bank and on the roofs of the houses too, simple yet effective I believe!  I hope you like it too.

Sending special hugs to Barbara, also to Sheila and Brenda xxxx
Gentle hugs to those of you that are feeling poorly too xxxx

Love and Hugs

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Anne's tree and Beautiful Grandaughter

Good Morning Ladies,

First thing I want to do is to pass a message to my friend Ang  (who we were lucky enough to camp next to while on holiday in Spain)...... I hope you are both well, could you please send me your address? I would love to get in touch, I hope Trevor is well too, We are also going to Farnborough on the saturday, so we can plan to meet up.  Please feel free to join in the conversations on here, there are the most fun bunch of ladies ever. xxx

Today's tree has been wonderfully decorated by Anne, the gorgeous young lady next to the tree is Anne's Grandaughter Abi, who is off to her first dance, Abi, you look stunning my lovely, I do hope you had fun! xx
Anne's tree has a lot of baubles, some of them are old but packed with memories of Christmas's past,
I have to say Anne your tree looks beautiful, we have some very, very old baubles that belong to Paul's Nana, they are very fragile and made of really thin glass!
I am hoping that I have got the last few cards written and sent in the post! I will be glad to stow the Christmas dies and stamps until next year!  We are going to start making them every month next year!

I have another busy and funpacked day today, so will check in when I can,
I hope you all have an amazing day!
love and hugs

Monday 21 December 2015

Michele's amazing 'Man' Christmas card

Good Morning Ladies,

I will keep today's post brief as I am physically and emotionally drained after a long day travelling
and visiting family, we had fun too, but it was tinged with sadness as expected.

Today's amazing card has been made by our Michele, I love what you have done with this card Michele, I have the ones that you sent me but wasn't sure what to do with them so this card is so
inspiring.  I am not sure whether you have used decorative papers or added all of the embellishments
yourself, either way its a fantastic design. I can't wait to hear how you made it.
Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

I hope you all have a lovely day,
Love and hugs

Sunday 20 December 2015

Milly May's First Christmas &

Good Sunday Morning ladies,

We are off to Colchester today to visit my Mum and family, both to drop off Christmas presents and to pay our respects, these things seem so much harder this time of year, the funeral won't be until after Christmas now though.  It's going to be a very long day, we always go with my Mum to 'Carols on the Quay' which is held every year and my Mum's chest swells with pride when she turns up with her whole family, 14 of us in total, so its worth it for that alone! xx

I feel so privileged to be able to share with you Milly-Mays first Christmas, my hasn't she grow!
I have to say she is as beautiful as ever though, she looks totally entranced by that Carousel,  I think that at that age their first experience is the lights, sounds and smells of Christmas, then comes that age when you are so excited for them to open their gifts but they open one and play with the box for the rest of the day! The magic 'believing in Santa' years seem to pass way too quickly, I really miss the excitement of Christmas eve, the lengths we used to go to from chewing the ends of carrots to make it look like the reindeers had been in and making footprints with the soot from the fireplace with Paul's wellies, we even had a set sleigh bells that we used to shake after they had been in bed a few hours 'just in case they might hear'!! Now they just present you with a list (after you nagging them for it for weeks), but I still love their excitement on Christmas morning, Becca mostly stays at Josh's now but she can't bare to miss the Christmas morning excitement so she is getting up early to be here for six am so that she can wake the girls up like she always has! (I was very touched)!!

Well I must get on, I have a long journey ahead today, car to pack, we are travelling in Matt's car today which will be a change, although it is a big Ford Ranger thing and it doesn't seem to be built for comfort, perfect for carting his sheep about though!
Have a wonderful Sunday ladies,
Love and Hugs

Saturday 19 December 2015

Mixed Craft Saturday x

Patricia's  Christmas Boxes

Janet's baubles

Janet's Cross Stitch 

Good Saturday Morning Ladies,

Well just think this time next week it will be mostly over, there will just be bags of torn paper, half eaten turkey, overstuffed bellies and lots of board games to content with!! 

Paul and I had a very organised shopping trip, we made a long list, writing the names of the shops in order, I even remembered my pad and pen. So we worked through the list and ticked things off as we went, it really worked too.  
My first stop was Hobbycraft, I sadly have to report that I had to return my Big Shot Plus, after two embossing folders ( A4 ) were snapped and a few bent dies I had had enough, those folders cost appox £10 each, thats a lot of money to waste. I called Hobbycraft (online) customer services and explained the situation, I asked if I could return it to A store, rather than waiting for it to be collected, looked at and then either replaced or repaired, so off to Swindon we went and I have to say that Swindon Hobbycraft were absolutely amazing, the young lady on the till join and the store manager joined forces to help me, she said I just had to go and get a new one, well I drove myself crazy trying to decide what to do and in the end I decided to change to a Platinum, (spellbinders) machine, they were fine with my decision and set about sorting it out on the till/computer, it wasn't very straight forward but the lady and the manager chap soon sorted it out, I then paid the difference and that was it, its on its way!  My decision was mostly made by the fact that you can use your Grand Calibur plates and I know that they don't bend so my dies will be safe, the reviews that I managed read were all pretty good, I have watched it being used on a good few shows on TV and it seems to work really well, so fingers crossed this one will be fine !!!

Today's crafts are...................................................................................................................
A selection of fabulous decorative boxes by our Patricia, I love the selection of colours you have used,
all could be used for Men too, which is fantastic, so much easier than wrapping bottles etc. and knowing you Patricia there will be a matching gift tags too.
Thank you Patricia for sharing your Selection of boxes xxxx

Next we have Janet's beautiful baubles, perfectly decorated with flowers, leaves and of course lots and lots of sequins and little pearls, they look very similar to the Pinflair sort of bauble, in fact their first ever products were ornaments decorated with pretty pins and sequins. Its surprising how different the baubles look with a colour change.
They are fantastic Janet, they will quickly become a family heirloom, thank you xxxx

Janet, your Cross Stitch picture is absolutely beautiful, it must have taken your ages, what a labour of love it is. Janet has created this beautiful work of art for her dear friends Bernadette and Francoise who live in Brittany, they will be so blown away by your beautiful gift Janet, I can't imagine receiving something that has taken so many hours to complete, I would feel very special.
Thank you Janet for sharing your beautiful work with all of us xxxx

I am absolutely exhausted ladies so I am going to finish up here, I will call in throughout the day, to read your posts that will undoubtedly make me smile and laugh. Thank you for taking the time,

Love and hugs
Sandra xxxx

Friday 18 December 2015

Festive Friday

Good Friday Morning Ladies,

Well yesterday was just 'one of those days' !!
I awoke to my Mum ringing to tell me that my Auntie had had a heart attack and died last night, she was obviously upset, so a round of phone calls followed as Mum finds it hard to hear over the phone, we then had the doctors with Soph, all was well there, just exhaustion so she wanted to go back to school as it was their form party, so we dropped her off there, came bag tried to grab some lunch between phone calls, then the lady from down the road called in for a couple of hours!!! We were desperate to get some online shopping done, did a few bits, then it was a rush for tea as the girls had football, just clearing away and sending them off and I finally got to see Pat, who came for a die cutting session, it was therapy for both of us to unload our day on each other.
The Girls needed some help preparing their secret santa gifts for tomorrow, so I did that, then had a shower and finally crawled into bed, please let today be a little more relaxed!!

Today's card is my first 'little card', I stamped the Creative Expressions Florentine Background die and embossed with Silver Shine Embossing powder.  I then used a little poinsettia die of Pats, I am not sure of the make, but it is a pretty, dainty little die, I die cut it in red and green and put them together, I placed in the top and bottom corner of the stamped image, placing them upon some die cut (CE) Trailing Ivy's.  I then die cut the smallest of the Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments and stamped my sentiment on that and embossed it with silver, placed a little silver bow on top and voila!!!!
I hope you like it, well one of you in particular!

I hope that you all have a fun and productive day ahead,
Love and Hugs

Thursday 17 December 2015

Anne's Jolly snowmen

Good Morning Ladies,

I promise that today's post won't be as long as yesterdays, I think I was still on a 'high' from my sugar rush pudding at yesterdays lunch, together with being on a high after reading so any comments xx

Today's gorgeously cute Christmas card has been designed and created by Anne, I love this cute Christmas card, you have covered a wide age range with this card, the cute snowmen teamed with the beautiful poinsettias and snowflakes, make this card a perfect family card. The frame you have created using Creative Expressions 'Tuscany' die from their 'Italian' range of dies and the Noble square make the perfect background for you focal image, the trees and the snow fall background complete a lovely Christmassy scene.
Thank you so much for sharing your card with us Anne, I feel very privileged to be able to showcase your gorgeous cards on my blog xxxx

I finally got the first batch of Christmas cards in the post yesterday, the second batch will be sent off tomorrow.  I will feel very relieved to get at least the important cards on their way!!

Our plans have been scuppered today as we are having to take Sophie to the doctor, I think that she is
so exhausted that a simple cold has really gotten her down, I think that the pressure of the exams last week together with a very long term are the cause. Our GP's close early for Christmas as the camp winds down for the holidays, so after then we have to use out of hours emergency appointments, so I think its best to get her seen by our regular doctor and hopefully getting her on the mend before Christmas.
I hope that all of you have a productive day,
love and hugs

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Another Pretty Tree & Janet's Peace on earth

Michele's Christmas Tree

 Janet's Peace on Earth Card

Good Wednesday Morning Ladies,

Two treats for your eyes today, Our Michele's Christmas Tree and a lovely festive card from Janet.

Michele your tree is very tastefully decorated, I love your gold and red theme, we have gold and burgundy, although I would gladly have a change but Mr Grinch says there is plenty of life left in the baubles we have got, maybe I should stop wrapping them up so well each year!  
Now my biggest decision this year is.....tinsel or not to tinsel (that is the question)???, at the moment the tree is sat naked apart from its adornment of freshly promarkered lights, I look like smoked 50 cigarettes last night with my stained gold/yellow thumb and forefinger! I cannot move forward until we have made this decision, we do usually have tinsel to make the tree look fuller, but as you can see from Michele's tree it looks quite stylish without, I get a bit OCD when it comes to hanging me baubles too, getting the colour triangle right, trying to make it look 'balanced', but I am not sure why as I will go into the girls room and the tree that they have (our old artificial one that is still looking fab 10 years on) and they have the multi-coloured lights, flashing away and they have just thrown every decoration that is in the box at it, which mainly consists of all of their 'makes' from nursery and through school, there is everything from hand stitched stockings and stars to loo roll snowmen, made from the loo roll holder and balls of loo roll scrunched into balls and stuck on, there are also Salt dough stars that have slightly distorted in shape with the heat of the loft, but I just look at that tree and it fills me with pride and joy and happiness, I love it but I just don't think I could sit and look at the chaos 24/7.
Michele thank you so much for letting us glimpse into your home, your tree is perfection itself, I really appreciate you taking the time to photograph it and send it in xxxx

On to Janet's Classy Silver and White card, I really do think that just having the two colours, both quite neutral gives that really classy 'High End' look, Janet has used Sue's (CE) Three Wise Men Mini Striplet die to die cut some white card, that had been embossed with dots, she had then popped some Silver Holographic Mirri card behind the die cut, the sparkle from the holographic card really does capture the 'follow the star' theme. I hadn't really noticed the 'Peace on Earth' die from Sue's range before but I really love it and at the moment I think that that is the one think that every single person would have at the top of their wish list, so I think I may well be popping that one in my basket for next year!  I did buy the 'Peace' die last year but have found that its design is quite hard to work with and I haven't found much inspiration online either.  
Janet I love your card, it ticks so many boxes and it is perfect for popping in the post too, thank you so much for sharing it with us xxxx

Our lunch out yesterday was lovely, its nice for us to relax and just be able to sit and talk without the distraction of crafting, we had a lovely dinner, good honest pub food, I went retro and had Scampi and chips, I haven't had that for years, all I needed was prawn cocktail and Black forest gateau to finish the theme, but as Pat mentioned yesterday we had the most delicious, calorific pudding ever, it came it what can only be described as a vase, on the top was Mint Choc ice cream that had been mixed with every Mint chocolate bar that exists, Aero (whole squares), matchmakers, after eight and something else too (I can't remember), it was topped with Cream, and as we had told the land lady that we were sharing the dessert she had the chef put three flakes and three wafers on top, which was a lovely gesture, oh ladies it was heaven, I am not really a pudding kind of gal, I would prefer a starter normally, but when I read this on the menu and its alternative which was Choc/orange ice cream with orange matchmakers, Terry's Chocolate orange, maltesers (too name but a few) of the orangey treats, I was sold and spent most of the time eating my main course thinking about the dessert and whether my two chums would be up for a three way split, needless to say they took very little persuading!
We were then all but chucked out of the pub as the were wanting to close, it was about 3pm mind you and we had been sat since 12.30!  we went back to Pat's for a cuppa and continued chatting away while Pat had her 'hooves' trimmed by the (now what did she say was her title???) FCP!! My first thought was    the place you went for condoms and contraceptive advice when you were newly married, but that was FPC, (Family Planning Clinic)!! Foot Care Professional, that was her title, I personally think that Chiropodist was a perfectly good title and like Maureen Lipman used to say about having an 'ology', I thought anything with an 'ist' on the end sounded professional, I dread to think what they call gynaecologist now.... VCP ??? I suppose it could also be FCP, feel free to add your own idea's! 
The lady did make us laugh though as she said that she normally has to sit there thinking of things to talk about but she had enjoyed listening to us and joining in, she said the time had flown! 

Proud Mummy and Daddy night tonight as we have Lucy's 'Orchestral Miscellany' at school, I am really looking forward to it as their Orchestra is just amazing, they sound truly out of this world, their tutor is a bit of a tyrant but boy does he bring the best out in them, he knows it mind, you can tell when he comes out in his tail coat with his baton in hand, strutting like a peacock, (I had better read that again, I don't want spell checker getting that lot wrong )!   I can't help myself, seeing my children perform in any thing makes me burst with pride and makes my eyes leak, just a little!
Our Soph is totally out of performance of any kind, I think that the stress of these exams combined with a cold and just being tired as its the end of term have taken their toll on her and she is really under the weather, hot, tired, she slept from when she got in tonight, so I think the end of term can't come to soon for her, only another 2 1/2 days to go! 

I just want to thank you all for popping in and out so much yesterday, I was so taken aback from the number of comments, loved hearing about Thomas and Zoe's school performances, oh and Norah's delivery man, Wit woo!!  Norah, I think we will all be chipping in to send you daily deliveries, mind you you can't blame the chap, despite what has been 'put' in your head, you are a truly beautiful lady inside and out xxx
Thank you once again ladies it was like the old days,
I do hope your schedules start to ease a little as the school term ends, I don't think there is much else happening for a week or two is there???!

Love and Hugs

ps. sorry for the War and Peace post today, I think I may have been affected by mint chocolate! xx

Tuesday 15 December 2015

One Christmas card 2 ways!

 Good Morning Ladies,

Sheila, it warmed my heart to see you pop in yesterday, I totally understand how you are feeling this first Christmas will be the worst I promise you, although the pain is will still be there for years to come  it does get easier to bare. Sending you the biggest hug xxx
Thanks for all of you that make the time to pop in, I know how busy you all are.
Our tree is up, you will laugh when I tell you that I sat for more than an hour tonight with a 'Gold' Promarker colouring all 1500 bulbs (mini led's) because we bought them not realising that they were a 'Blue white' light that almost burns your eyes, so a little gold promarker tones them down!!

Today's cards were both made with the same dies, Creative Expressions Snowflake Background die to cut some White card, I then covered a piece of Periwinkle card with some double sided sticky sheet and added some iced snow, for sparkle, I then mounted the White Background die on some double sided foam tape for dimension, I added some Cosmic shimmer glue to make sure that the foam tape stuck to the Iced Snow!
I die cut some Classic Poinsettia die (CE) in Periwinkle Card and the Filigree Poinsettia Die cut in White, I added some Iced snow to these too, layered them up and placed the top one simply on the edge of the Oval aperture, adding the sentiment on the smallest of the Pierced Flag dies (CE),
the lower card, I mounted the Poinsettia onto some white seam binding ribbon tied into a bow.
I added some AB crystals to the centres of the snowflakes and poinsettias for sparkle.
I hope you like them.

Sue, Pat and I are off out for our Christmas lunch today, doesn't seem 5 minutes since last years, No firing elastic bands at unsuspecting men this time Sue!

I hope to see you in the cafe today,
Love and Hugs

Monday 14 December 2015

Man Christmas Card Monday

Good Monday Morning Ladies,

Now I thought that this would make a good 'Man' Christmas Card, not too much in the way ribbons and pearls, I kept it quite minimalist, with the dazzle of the glitter card nothing else was needed, I think I will add a little sparkle for his eye though.

I have used all Spellbinder dies on this card, the Reindeer and the beautiful border die are from the Frosty Forms Die Set, the frame around the die has been created by the Spellbinders Captivating Squares Die set.  The Embossing folder that I used it the Creative Expressions Frosty Swirls A4 Embossing Folder.

I hope you like the card, I hope that this is the start of a lovely week for all of you!

Love and Hugs

Sunday 13 December 2015

Festive Treat Sunday !!

Myra's Beautiful Christmas Tree

Good Sunday Morning Ladies,

A special Sunday treat for you this week, I am so thrilled that Myra sent me in this photograph of her
exquisitely decorated tree!
Myra I absolutely love how you have decorated your tree, it is so classy, those beautiful flowers that look like lillies are so pretty, not something I would have ever considered putting on my tree but they look perfect, and match so well with the exquisite bow that you have topped your tree with.  I love those little Tassel decorations too, your beautiful beaded snowflakes reflect the light and sparkle prettily!
Thank you so very much Myra, it was so kind of you to share your tree with us, it feels like we have popped round for coffee and a mince pie with you ! and what a pleasure it was xxx

We are going to be getting festive in our house today too, I will be baking some more mince pies in the morning, Paul will have to go and buy a bigger pot to plant the tree in as the little old chap that we get our tree from only had 3ft or 8ft trees left, naturally I wanted a big one!  I can't wait to get it in and decorated, although we made need to buy some more lights!  I did get some more Christmas cards made yesterday, while watching Sue, I was so pleased that they read my email out, its such a shame they won't let Sue send her cards out at the end of the show, but I do like the fact that she gets much more time to demonstrate!
I hope that you all get time to pop in today, 
love and hugs

Saturday 12 December 2015

 Myra's Tealight Snowlady

Myra's illuminated Snowlady

Michele's Wesley & Bradley

 Karen's daughter's 2nd Birthday cake

 Good Saturday Morning Ladies,

The end of another week is upon us, I said to Paul yesterday that it didn't seem a couple of months since I was going for physio, (where the funny physiotherapist was obsessed with me having a boob job), well that was exactly a year ago, I just can't believe how fast this year has whizzed by!!

Now, we have an amazing array of crafts for you again this week!
Just look how cute Myra's little invention is!!! I think she looks like a 'Snowlady' with the pretty little snowflake on her hat and her little pink cheeks!
Myra created her by adding some gemstones to a battery operated tealight, some pink promarker blush on her cheeks and (now this shows Myra's genius mind) her hat has been created by cutting a finger from a glove, the little pearl snowflake giving the finishing touch, she is so cute Myra and for a only a few pounds you could have a whole snow family!  You could add a little bit of magnetic sheet on the back and stick them all over the house! Thank you so much for sharing xxxx

Next we have Wesley the Westie and Bradley the Scottie dog, these two little cuties were made for Michele by her friend (you know which one), they both came with name tags and cardboard carry cases.  I love the the little knitted Tartan Coat, such incredible detail.
Thank you so much Michele for sharing these gorgeous little pups with all of us xxxx

Just look what we have next, another of Karen's amazing cakes, this incredibly detailed cake's theme is
Goldilocks and the 'two' bears, as it was Karen's daughters second birthday, hence 2 not 3! I can't imagine how long it took to draw on all the detail in the bed covers, the lines of flowers on the one are all perfect with the gap between all exactly the same width, the little bears look like they have real texture too, you really do have a amazing skill here Karen, just think of the money that you could have made over the years, I tell you something else too with all of your cakes, they haven't really dated!
I do hope you have some more cakes to share with us Karen, it has been such a pleasure sharing your talent, thank you very much for sending me the photos xxxx

Fingers crossed we are going to collect our Christmas tree today, we will then decorate it tomorrow,
we managed to get some shopping done over the past couple of days, so slowly we are getting there!
I am sat typing this watching a documentary about The Bay City Rollers, it seems like only yesterday that the Tartan craze hit the Country, Norah, Patricia and Hazel where you fans, did you wear trousers half way up your legs with Tartan inserts and matching scarves????
It is hilarious looking back at the fashion and the craziness of Roller Mania!!!

I hope you all have a lovely day ladies
Love and Hugs

Friday 11 December 2015

Festive Friday

 Good Morning Craft Friends,

I hope that the weather has not got any worse for our friends in the North of the Country, I know more rain has been forecast for the weekend, I pray that it isn't enough to cause more problems, it is so upsetting to see the misery it is causing. We have donated today the money we were sent for Christmas from family, its quite easy you can send a text to 70070 with the message 'FLUD15' and the amount you wish to donate for example 'FLUD15£20' or whatever amount you wish.  You can also donate by visiting ''  .

Today's Christmas card is one of mine, it goes against the grain for me to create cards that are flat, my cards are usually made up of many layers, so I had to stop myself from getting carried away, I used some White Glitter Card and die cut it using Spellbinders Snowflakes View die set, I layered it using a pretty blue Frosted Shimmer card that I bought in a pack from Anna Marie Designs card stand at Ally Pally, it has some really pretty colours in. I used Spellbinders labels 8 largest die to cut the second Blue layer, this is the same basic label shape as the Snowflake die I have used, I finished with the next size down in the Snowflakes View set and then added the Creative Expressions 'Merry Christmas' Sentiment Die cut out of the Frosted Blue Shimmer card, I finished with some Blue pearls and some Aurora Borealis gems on the sentiment for some added sparkle.
I hope that the amount sparkle and shimmer makes up for the lack of dimension!!  But we have to consider these things when it comes to postage!

Well you can feel the relief in our house as the girls have finished their exams for now, thank goodness,
so I am hoping for a much more relaxed weekend, we may even get the decorations out, hopefully Paul and I will go and get a tree later today.  I am concerned how it will fair at the hands or 'paws' of Milo and Bella, well mainly Milo really, last year they weren't really too fussed but they have grown both in size and confidence since then, so we will have to wait and see, I think that I will leave my most precious Baubles in the box this year!

I have baked a fresh baked of Viennese Topped Mince Pies this morning, the mincemeat has had an extra glug of Brandy for added warmth, they are in the counter waiting for you, I have left the Brandy beside the Coffee machine you can add a shot as you please, or there is Baileys of course!

Sending Love and Hugs

Thursday 10 December 2015

Magic Wallet Tutorial

Magic Wallet 


To create this Magic Wallet you will need to cut :
1 x A4 piece of Cardstock a good sturdy weight, embossed if desired.
2 x pieces Ribbon approx 14cm long
2 x pieces Ribbon approx 18 cm long
Double sided tape or glue
Cut your A4 card in half (A5) and then in half again, giving you 4 pieces of card (as in photo).

You will need to place two pieces of your card next to each (see pic)
Then place your shorter pieces of ribbon  straight across the top piece of card, about 1.5cm in from the edge, it should go underneath the other piece of card and be attached with a piece of tape to start with, once you have attached both pieces of ribbon on the underside of the opposite piece of card pull it so that it lies straight (but not too tight and secure over the top of the card.  Next you will take the longer pieces of ribbon and place them in an X

formation across the bottom card, you must secure these ribbons on the underside of the top piece of card, inside the other two ribbons (see photo), pull the ribbons over the card until taught and secure on the reverse.  Place the remaining pieces of card on the outside of the Wallet, covering all of the ribbon ends and making the wallet stronger and neater.

This is what you should end up with,
you put the money in one side of the ribbons,
flip the wallet over and open again and as if by magic......................................................

The money appears on the other side, underneath the other ribbons, this will keep you puzzled for hours, it is quite fascinating and a lot of fun too!

The outside of the Wallet, it can be decorated
however you like, I have some leather look card
that would work really well for a Man's Wallet,
You could add names or initials to personalise
the wallet too.

I decided to try and make a Magic Wallet for Gift cards, so I simply halved the measurements above, so that you would get two wallets from one a4 piece of card, you place the ribbons in exactly the same way and cover the out side too.
This is the result.

The outside of the smaller wallet for gift cards,
you can decorate it for either a male or female recipient.
I think that this is a totally fun way to give a simple gift.

Brenda's Magic Wallet

Good Morning Ladies,

I was looking to make a Male version of last weeks Mini Handbag tutorial, Brenda (lello) had made a Magic Wallet for her Grandson and sent me the photos, so I had a go and thought it was the perfect Male alternative for giving Gift Cards, I gave it to Paul and the girls to play with and also to Sue and Pat who both loved the idea too!  So I really hope that you love the idea too, I hope that the Tutorial is clear, the photos showing the steps are Brenda's (thank you my lovely) x
I thought I would have a go at making a smaller one too, for gift cards and Vouchers, it was really simple, I just halved the sizes for the Wallet and it worked perfectly, I really think that for four bits of card and four bits of ribbon the wallet is just genius and such a fun way to give a gift!
I am looking forward to your feedback on this weeks tutorial.

Love and hugs

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Anne's Believe the Magic Christmas Card

Good Wednesday morning Ladies,

I am excited to share with you today another of Anne's spectacular Christmas cards, this one Anne has converted to a Christmas card from an everyday/birthday card on Sue's Particraft blog, it works so well as a Christmas card you would never think it had been anything else, I do love this crisp red and white colour combination, with just the hint of green from the Poinsettia leaves for contrast.
Anne has used Creative Expression's new 'Tessa' die from their Frames and Tags Collection and also the 'Lattice Window' from their Striplet collection, both designed by the genius that is Sue Wilson.
Anne has used some beautifully die cut Poinsettias to give this gorgeous card its finishing touch!
Anne this card is totally gorgeous and you have encouraged my creative 'mojo' to come out of hiding
and get to work, good job really as I have only made about 6 Christmas cards and I have a huge list to make, thank you so much my lovely xxxxx

Sue. Pat and I had a lovely chilled day yesterday, which was just what Pat needed as she was visibly stressed and exhausted when she arrived,  bless her, its hard for Sue and I to see Pat like this as she is the most 'able' of all of us! I think that taking care of Pat and Pete's elderly friends is really taking its toll, Pat my dear, sweet friend, you really do need to slow down, you are taking on way too much and I really don't want to see you become unwell, you have more than enough to do with caring for Pete, without taking on so much else, I hope you have a lovely time away in Essex xxx
Hazel you are doing almost as much, please try and slow down a little too xxx

We are having Christmas shopping phase 2 today, lets hope it was a little more successful than phase 1,
this time we are venturing in to Swindon, which should be fun, hopefully not too busy though!
My Mum always likes to give us a really challenge with her gift choice, things like a 'plaid Kilt' type skirt with no pleats! for instance! This year she has said she just wants a jumper, so I asked what type, polo neck, round neck,colour, etc?? this from a lady who has no possible space in her wardrobe as it is so full of jumpers! She just said 'something that you think would suit me', I think I will just buy her a M &S voucher, some chocolates and some face cream, nicely displayed in a lovely 'Hazel' Basket !

Tomorrow will be Tutorial day, something for them Men in your life this time!

Margaret C, Norah, Cheryl, Sheila, I hope that you are all well, we are missing you xxx
Maureen, it was so lovely to see you in yesterday xxx
Sorry if I have left anyone out, I am  not sure if I am coming or going today,

Love and Hugs

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Good Morning Craft Friends,

I do hope the weather in the North of the country has started to settle, then the hard work starts, I remember from when it happened to my friend, once the water had subsided that's when the sadness set in, realising just how much has been affected by the flood water and nastiness in it. I really do hope that none of our friends or their close family and friends have been affected.   Snow is so much more acceptable.
Today's card is another one of mine from my 'Navy/White/Silver' period! haha!! I do love this colour combination though.
For this card I took some navy card that measured about 1/4 inch wider than the die that I used, I then took the Creative Expressions Mini Poinsettia Striplet die and cut into the top and bottom of the navy card, keeping the distance from the edges as equal as possible, I also made sure I took the measurement of where I placed the die so that I could get it in the same place at the other end of my card.
I took some Silver Glitter card and placed here behind the Navy card, adding plenty of Cosmic Shimmer Dries clear Glue to make sure the glitter card stuck.  I then matted this onto white and then silver, Navy and then onto my white base card.
I ran some narrow silver ribbon across the centre of my card, sticking it with Cosmic glue on the back of the Navy card.
I then die cut some more Silver Glitter card with the Creative Expressions Snowflake Tag from the Snowflake Border Corner & Tag set, I then stamped my sentiment with Perfect Medium and added Silver embossing powder and heat set it, I then die cut this with a small oval die and then popped that on top of my Silver Snowflake Tag (I snipped into the snowflakes and tucked the edges of the oval in).
I added some silver pearls to the corners to finish the card, the glitter card sheds its glitter quite easily, hence the speckles all over the card, it was over me too, I sparkled all week!

I have Pat and Sue coming over today, which I am looking forward to very much.  Paul and I didn't get much done in the way of shopping, we sorted a couple of things, so we are going to try again on Wednesday!

Have a great day my lovelies,
Love and Hugs

Monday 7 December 2015

Not a man card Monday!!!

Good Monday Morning Ladies,

Firstly I am sorry that it is not a 'Man Card' for Monday this week, but I thought that this week we would change things a little.
To be perfectly honest with all of you I was too excited to share this card with you that I just couldn't wait another day!!

This Gorgeous Girly creation has been expertly designed by our very own Lilian, yes I did say Lilian and this is the very first 'Lilian ' designed card, what a way to start!!!!
Now I am not sure whether Lilian has used stamps or the 'Fabulous Shoes' by the amazing British Designer Sandra Wright, but which ever one she has used it had amazing results, I love the card that you have created, perfect for any female in my opinion.
Thank you so much for sending it in to me Lilian, I look forward to seeing many more xxxx

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a Happy 28th Birthday to Leanne, the Brightest Star in the Sky today, I have hung my Bauble on the tree for your Special Day, it is the brightest, sparkliest star I could find to reflect your beauty xxxx
(Leanne is Janet's Granddaughter and would be celebrating her 28th birthday today)
Janet, I look forward to seeing a photograph of your Tree! xx

Paul and I are going to try and get a good bit of our Christmas shopping done today, we haven't really done very much at all, December seems to arrive way too soon this year, in fact the whole year has just whizzed by!
Love and hugs to all of you today, (extra hug for you Janet) xx