Monday, 31 December 2018

Monday Challenge





Good Monday Morning My Lovelies,

Monday's mean one thing.....Challenge, this Monday is no different, well apart from the fact that it's New Years Eve!!

So this Challenge is both the last Challenge of 2018 and the First Challenge of 2019

I understand that some of you are still either with family or have family staying with you, so will be too busy to sit and make cards, so please don't feel under pressure to take part.  But some of you are at home and would enjoy the challenge of making something that isn't 'Festive' !!

I wanted this first challenge to have the categories to enable us to make 'Spring' cards, pretty pastel colours , flowers, butterflies, so this particular grid is perfect for that.  I hope that you like this TicTacToe grid as much as I do.

So how many of you have plans for tonight/tomorrow??
We are doing what we usually do......Not very much!!  I think that all of our Children have plans to go out and celebrate, I was so relieved that Lucy arranged something with her friends, with Sophie being in Florida I was worried that she would be miserable sat at home with Paul and I.
We might pop round to the Red Lion for a drink this evening, we went there for the first time with Paul's parents for dinner on Friday night, it was really nice, the food was good and the landlady was really friendly and welcoming.  So we may break tradition and pop out for an hour!  Other than that we will have a take away and celebrate quietly, like we always do.
New Years Day we are breaking from tradition, we usually have a Roast Beef Dinner, however there are only 4 of us home this year, so we are going to have Steak, Chips and all the trimmings instead.
I will save the beef for when Sophie comes home of Friday.

She is having a lovely time in Florida, she went to Universal Studios on the first day, then yesterday they were taking one of those Jet Boats (with the big fan on the back) on the Everglades, looking for Crocodiles, I think that she was both excited and apprehensive, in the end they only saw a couple as it was a little bit chilly for the crocodiles.  She has decided to give Disney World a miss as Universal Studios was so incredibly overcrowded it wasn't as enjoyable and they had to wait ages in queues for rides etc.  I hope that she doesn't regret that decision, I think it is a good one though.  I have always thought that they should limit the number of people they allow in on busy days, so that everyone can enjoy all of the attractions.  We had the same experience at Legoland Windsor in 2004, it was hot and the park was so overcrowded, we waited hours for every ride, so only got to enjoy two of the rides, I wrote and complained, they just used every excuse they could think of, we have never returned or recommended it to anyone else for that reason.  They just get greedy, I don't think they think about what would happen if there was so kind of emergency on those days.

Anyway I will leave you all to enjoy your New Years Eve my Dear, Sweet Friends, I would like to wish you 'All that you wish for yourselves and much more'!
I can't wait to share every day of the New Year with all of you.

Thank you so much for all of your Friendship, Love and Support through 2018,  I truly believe that we have the VERY BEST, FRIENDLIEST BLOG in the world.  I look forward to checking in to see what you have all been up to each day, I love Challenging you and sharing your amazing projects too.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, You are all the most amazing Friends.

Love and Huge Hugs

Sandra
xxxxxx

Sunday, 30 December 2018

A look back at some of my favourite cards of 2018




Good Sunday Morning Ladies,

Well we didn't have a challenge this week as we were all just to busy to sit and make cards, me included (although I did sneak a couple in)!  As a result I we had no Challenge cards to display this week. 
We can't have a Sunday without a lovely display of cards though, so I thought that it was time to start sharing some of your amazing cards that you created for the different Challenges throughout this year, my goodness there have been some absolutely stunning cards made by you this year.

See for yourself...….



















These are just a few of the amazing cards that you have all submitted to various challenges or simply for me to share on the blog.

Now you may notice that I have left the names off of the cards, I thought it would be fun for you to have a go at guessing who made each card!!!
I will send the winner/winners (who guess the most correct answers)  a little something in the New Year.

Are any of you ready for a Challenge this week? Or do you want to leave it another week, let me know in the comments please.

I would also like to hear your suggestions for Challenges in the New Year, it just makes it a little more fun to have a topic/idea that one of you has chosen.  

I hope that you all have an lovely Sunday,

Love and huge hugs

Sandra
xxxxxx

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Michele Magazine Review

















Good Saturday Morning Ladies,

Michele has done another of her fantastic Magazine Reviews, there are some fantastic free gifts featured in some of these magazines.  Simply Cards and Papercraft looks like a real 'Bumper Issue' with some lovely freebies and great inspiration.
Michele Congratulations on your 'Star Letter' featuring the above card, you must have been over the moon when you were chosen and won a £50 Voucher for Crafters Companion.!!! 
Michele's card was made from the Chloe Die that was a magazine freebie and her Bit Box! 




Papercraft Essentials has a beautiful set of stamps & Dies free this month. There’s 2 features inside the magazine using the free gifts showing you a range of cards you can make.






Diecutting Essentials has a pretty die free this month with could be used for many occasions.
I was lucky enough to be featured as the “Star letter “ and have won a  £50 voucher to spend with Crafters Companion.


Cardmaking & Papercraft has a a lovely Stamp & Embossing Folder set this month. There’s a great feature showing some really pretty cards made using the free gift.



Simply Cards & Papercraft has a fantastic few gift-it’s a bumper set of stamps & stencils plus another mini magazine full of ideas using some of the free gifts.



Papercraft Inspirations has a brilliant Stamp & Die set this month -Hootie the Owl. You could use these all year round for many occasions.



Making Card has some “pig themed “ free images this month, they’re cute but I don’t think they’ll only appeal to everyone (I’m not impressed). 

That’s it for this month, see you again soon.

Michele


Thank you so much Michele for another fantastic Magazine review, I certainly have made my choice, I bet some of you have too!

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend,

Love and hugs to all of you

Sandra
xxxxxx





Friday, 28 December 2018

A pretty card for a loved one.....



Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well and have managed to use up all of your Christmas leftovers, we had the last of the turkey last night, with mashed potatoes, spiced red cabbage, sprouts and carrots, very simple but very delicious, Paul's parents quite like simple food, so really enjoyed it.  I think that tomorrow will be something super simple like the twice baked jacket potatoes.

Well I managed to make a card, with very limited supplies and the tiniest craft space as my desk has been totally packed away to make room to have the dining table out, I was able to open the door slightly and reach my arm in to grab an ink pad and piece of card.  The stamp and dies were out as they are new and I haven't gotten around to putting them away yet.
I took some Petal Pink card and embossed a piece using the stunning new Lace Dynamic Embossing Folder, it has such a lovely lacey design.  I added a strip of the Spotted Tulle ribbon and topped that with a piece of Powder Pink Ruched edge ribbon.  I stamped the 'Love You' from the  'Beauty Abounds' stamp set into the middle of that beautiful Floral patterned heart stamp from the 'Meant to Be ' Stamp set, I die cut this with the matching die, mounted it on foam pads and added it to my card front, over the ribbon border.  I decided to embellish the heart with some very subtle peach roses and some delicate foliage.  The only other embellishments that I added where the tiny heart pearls along the ribbon.
I didn't want to add anything else because I wanted to show off that stunning Embossing Folder, it has lots of places that you could add embellishments including tiny flowers and pearls of all sizes in the centres of the flowers and star like shapes.  I think I will be using this folder quite a lot.

Lace Dynamic Embossing Folder

Our Sophie flew off to Florida with Lewis's family, I will be honest and admit I shed a tear as she hugged me good bye.  It's a long way for one of your babies to go without you, she did message me saying that she felt nervous and although she is a very much loved addition to Lewis's family she said she felt a little sad that and nervous that she wasn't with us.  
She arrived at about 11pm last night and looked and sounded very tired bless her.  They have only gone for a week so I think she will be that busy with all of the Parks and sight seeing that she won't have time for being Home Sick, her biggest obstacle is being without Lucy, the two of them are inseparable, Lucy is so lost without her and looking totally fed up, she has volunteered to work for the next few days keep herself busy, which will hopefully make things a little easier, it breaks my heart to see any of my children sad or upset.  I dare say that this week, like the other 51 this year will fly by in a flash.

I am sending warm, loving hugs to all of you, my Dear Friends,

Love too,

Sandra
xxxxxx 


Thursday, 27 December 2018

Sue's Christmas card


Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you all had a lovely relaxed Boxing Day, we had a lovely day, we dropped the girls off at work then came home and had a late breakfast/Brunch.  I then  insisted that we both sit down together and do nothing for an hour or so, we decided to start a new Jigsaw puzzle, although when we opened up the Puzzle holder/Board there was still a puzzle inside that we never managed to finish the year before last I believe, as we certainly didn't have time for Puzzles this time last year, as we were packing the house to move as soon as the holidays were over.
So we decided to finish that Puzzle although we couldn't find the box we had enough of it done to be able to complete it, having said that it is a 'Wasjig' puzzle and you don't get the actual picture on the box anyway.
So we are all set to start a new puzzle today, we also have Paul's parents arriving today for a few days, so it will be a little busier than normal, I like seeing Paul spending quality time with his parents though, we don't get to do it nearly as often as we used too, they have been staying in Birmingham with Paul's sister, they come to us for a couple of days to break their journey and spend time with us.

We still have so much food leftover so I think it will be another 'picky bits' day today which will be easier, we did by a big joint of beef but I think that we will have that at the end of the week.

How are you all enjoying the Holidays, apart from Michele who is straight back to work,?

Today's absolutely gorgeous card has been made by Our lovely Sue, I love that embossing folder you have used Sue, the snowflakes look and feel so 3D, of course that amazing 'Elizabeth Design' die is the highlight of the card, it is just such a stunning design, so scriptive and flowing.  Sue has die cut it out of the smoothest glitter card ever, it feels almost silky to touch.  Sue has used the same glitter paper to matt and layer and for the insert.
Such a beautiful card Sue , I love it thank you so much xxxx

I am not sure if any of you are travelling today, if so please have a very safe journey, if you aren't then just enjoy another fun, family day.

Sending love and hugs to you all,

Sandra
xxxxx

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Boxing Day





Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well and super relaxed after your Christmas Day with family and friends, the best part is that we get to do it all over again today.

I always think that Boxing Day is a little more relaxed as there is no early start because of the excitement at what Santa may have bought, no big dinner to cook either (well not in our house anyway).  It's all very 'help yourself' today, no watching the clock or timings for cooking lunch.  It's more a day for adults, I do miss seeing the Children sitting and playing with all of their toys I must admit.  I don't think we got any games this year, we have our favourites, Articulate is always fun, nobody else really enjoys scrabble as much as I do, so that never makes it out of the cupboard.

Do you all have a favourite family game??

Whatever you are doing today have a lovely one, Our girls have gone back to work today, I guess a lot of people will enjoy a stroll around the Wildlife park on Boxing Day.

Becca is coming home today and staying over so that will be excitement all over again as she opens her gifts and brings hers for the girls to open.

Sending Love to you and your loved ones,

Sandra
xxxxxx

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Happy Christmas



Good Morning Ladies,

On this very special day I would like to thank each and every one of you for making time in your day every single day for the past 365 days this year to visit my Blog.
I am so very grateful to all of you for your Love and Support.

I would like to wish all of you the Very Happiest Christmas, I hope that you all have a lovely time with your family and friends. Please make time to relax and have fun, I look forward to hearing all about your Christmas fun.

You are all like family to me, we have grown so close over the past few years, you are my very dearest friends.

I would like to send you all lots of festive love and hugs,

Sandra
xxxxxx

Monday, 24 December 2018

Happy Christmas Eve




 Good Morning Ladies,

It sounds as though you have all been very busy with shopping and wrapping, it's funny to think that we spend so many hours preparing for one day.
Brenda I am like you, I like my parcels to look pretty, the ribbon and bows make such a difference, although I will say that only the 'special' gifts get the 'fancy' treatment, I wouldn't have the time of the ribbon to wrap every gift so beautifully (shhhhh….I actually would have enough ribbon to do every gift for the next ten years, but we don't need to share that fact)!!
I agree with John in that it does only get ripped off in seconds, as the children have gotten older they do appreciate the wrapping a little more and I certainly like a beautifully wrapped gift.  We also have fun and write cryptic clues on some of the labels, just o keep them guessing and we like to wrap things in odd shape boxes to confuse them even more.   One thing that I think is sad is that they don't want to be video'd opening their presents anymore, as they are too concerned about their hair and make-up! I have shed many a tear looking back at the Christmas video's of years gone by, such precious memories, I will encourage them to do the same with their children too.

Yesterday just flew by, we had a very slow start as I could barely move after so many hours in the car on Saturday, the engine sound of the car really affects my tinnitus, the ringing was almost unbearable, I ended up watching youTube until I fell asleep as the background noise helps, I think I may start listening to Audio Books, it's just having something to drown out the high pitch noise.

Today's lovely Christmas cards are from Michele and Lilian, Michele's card is a stepper card, so clever as when its stood up that lettering goes up the 'steps', Michele has made it in a lovely green too, I love all the different snowflakes, they really stand out against the dark green too.
Thank you so much Michele, I love my card xxxx

Lilian made today's second card, it features a super cute Snowman that has the biggest sparkly pom pom on his hat and a lovely, fluffy scarf too. I'm not sure who's stamp the Snowman is, but I love it.
The topper with the snowman on has also been stitched, which must have taken you ages Lilian, investing so much time in a card makes it such a special gift.  That background paper is so pretty too, Lilian I absolutely love my card, thank you so much xxxx

Well I pray that you all have very safe and straightforward journeys to your family and friends today, just keep thinking that as soon as you get there you can put your feet up and relax and hopefully do nothing for a few days.  Make the most of it my lovelies.

Well there is nothing else except for me to wish each and every one of you Very Special Ladies an amazingly Happy Christmas, I hope you all enjoy every moment.  Take lots of photos to share with us after the holidays.  Go Eat Drink and Be Merry.

I love you all dearly,

Extra special Love and Hugs

Sandra
❤😘😘🤗❤


Sunday, 23 December 2018

Your TicTacToe Challenge Cards






Good Sunday Morning Lovely Friends,

How are you all feeling today? Are you all prepared and able to relax, or have you still got last minute bits to shop for?? I think that we are pretty much done, maybe a couple of puddings to pick up, oh and some of Aldi Red Onion Chutney, which i can tell you is one of the nicest Chutneys I have ecer tasted and i have tried a lot over the tears, from all price ranges too, I guess thats why it has been out of stock for a while, their ploughmans chutney is good too, I wonder if people have made Hampers with it in.  Chutney is something that most of us will eat, we used to get Picalilli but it got wasted as it was only me and Sophie that eats it. 
Boxing day is an all day Buffet in our house, could meats, cheese board, pork pie, salads etc, it makes for a more relaxed day for every one. My mum always does another roast dinner on Boxing day,  we did a few times but its just too much after the big roast on Christmas day.  My one guilty pleasure is using leftover sprouts and mash adding some sauteed red onions and making Bubble & Squeak and having it with a fried egg and a big slice of the Roast Ham, ooh my mouth is watering just thinking about it!! 
What do you all lpok forward to eating most?? 

Now lets look at this weeks cards, not so many but thats undetstandable......

 Maria

Maria has used a beautiful Decorative Paper for the background of this amazing Birthday card,  the pretty frame that surrounds the sentiment was made using Sue Wilson Delicate Garden Frame die (I think), it's a beautifully intricate floral design frame die set, that works perfectly with Maria's design.
Maria used Categories: shades of Pink/patterned paper/Happy birthday 

An absolutely amazing card Maria, thank you so much for taking part on such a busy week.   XXX 

Lynda

Lynda has created her own beautiful pink background for her Challenge card this week, using a Crafters Companion 3D Embossing folder, it has such deep emboss that the flowers look like they have been decoupaged onto the card. Lynda has added a wash of Pink ink and some pretty pearls to finish this lovely card.
Lynda using categories:  Shades of Pink/Pearls/Embossing 

Thank you so much for taking part my lovely. XXX 

Janet



Janet has made three beautiful Birthday cards for this weeks challenge.  All completely different styles, Janet i think you are so gifted in so many different techniques and methods, your cards are always beautifully designed and rarely repeated.  Take these three cards for ecample, you would think that they were made by different people.  

Your first card features such a cute little girl with eyes that make your heart melt, you have framed the image beautifully with a Sue Wilson die and added some pretty flowers, a gorgeous card ! 

Janet's second card is a more sophisticated look, using Sue Wilson's Eternal Rings Background, which we all adored!  A gorgeous shade of green too,  Janet has embellished this card with some delicate little blossoms.

Janet's third card is Alice in Wonderland themed, do you have a CD rom Janet or a papercraft kit, as you have made some stunning Alice in Wonderland projects this year. This card is as stunning, there is so much detail from the Cheshire Cat to Alice herself. One little girl is going to be so excited to open this card.

The categories Janet has used are..

My first card uses Pink/Ebos/Birthday
My second card uses Green/Pearls/Birthday
My last card uses Green/Patterned paper/birthday

Thank you so much Janet for taking part in this weeks challenge, especially with it being such a hectic week. XXX 


Well we are hoping for a relaxed day today after yesterday's  very long, very tiring journey , I think we will get our wrapping done today and I will dounle check we have everything for our baking tomorrow.

I hope that you all have a lovely Sunday, safe travels for any of you going to be with family, some motorways were chaos yesterday! 

Sending lots of love and hugs to you all,

Sandra
Xxxxxx











Saturday, 22 December 2018

Mixed Up Saturday







Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well and have done with your shopping, the shops have started to get really busy, we popped to get our food shopping last night....Big Mistake!  There were not even any parking spaces, we ended up waiting for a space, don't even get me started on the lazy swines that park in Disabled spaces that have no Blue Badge and No Disability!! They just wanted a space close the entrance because if was chilly and drizzling!! 
We did battle through the crowds, we ended up having to go to two Aldi's and Tesco's as Aldi's were sold out of half the things we needed.  We did manage to get 80% of what we needed, just a couple of little bits to finish on Sunday.

Today's crafts are mostly from Danielle who has had a crafty couple of days, getting ready for Christmas.  

The photos above are of a Gift Wallet that Danielle has made, she made about 6 of them, they are so lovely and so much better than any of the ones you can buy.  I am sure Danii will give you all the dimensions if you would like to make one.


Dannii

This stunning Gift back is a great size made from two sheets of 12x12 paper, I love the paper that Danielle has used with those cute robins on.  Danielle explains what paper she used in the video tutorial she made for this bag.  I have left the link to the BAG TUTORIAL below...…...



Thank you so much for sharing your amazing projects with us Dannii xxxx

My Gift Boxes

My lovely Gist Boxes, Janet sent me the die cut parts to make these boxes, I sat and put them together last week and forgot to photograph them.  
I love them and I know that Paul is going to be hugely baffled on Christmas morning, although I have been thinking that he may be disappointed if he is expecting Chocolate and gets pants!! I may have to think of something more interesting!
Thank you so much Janet for sending me the die cuts xxx

We have a big journey ahead of us today, a good 320 miles to  cover, I am dreading the journey part of it, I imagine that the roads will be absolutely packed as its the weekend before the holidays.
Wish us luck!!

Have a lovely, relaxed weekend My Lovelies,

Love and hugs
Sandra
xxxxxx


Friday, 21 December 2018

Something Festive....Guess what it is??? Yes Another Christmas card !



Good Friday Morning Ladies,

I know I say this every week but Oh My where has this week gone!!  We have managed to get most of Christmas 'delivered' this week, a bit like Margot and Jerry on the 'Good Life' except ours isn't coming from Fortnum & Mason!! More like Amazon and just about everywhere else, I think that every one in the street things that I have 'a thing' with the delivery man as we are on first name terms now, although there are in fact 6 people ordering as Becca is having all of her gifts delivered here too.
The boxes are piling up in the corner of our room, we have a few more arriving today and then thats it I think, apart from food shopping.  But to be honest we don't need to get too  much in, we have all the nibbles, choccies etc.  Christmas lunch is basically Sunday Dinner, I have no idea what these folk that have 2/3 trolleys piled high with food do with it all!  Plus the shops are back open the day after Boxing day, in fact some open Boxing day too (which I think is ridiculous)\!

Today's card is from Our Pat, I think that these 'Groovi' Christmas cards are little works of art, I know how much time and effort has gone into making that card, first of all the Frame, which is stunning, I don't even want to think about how long the Sleigh or the text took you Pat, let alone the colouring inside those tiny lines.  It all works so beautifully together though and I love it and will treasure it always.  xxx

Paul has half day today so we will finish off anything that needs finishing off today, Matt still hasn't decided on what he wants, so he will probably just get some money and can shop in the sales.
We are going over to Colchester tomorrow to visit my Mum, I am hoping that my Sister will call in and maybe my brother, but that rarely happens as we always clash with something he has organised.
I feel a little bad that we won't be there to take Mum to her annual 'Carols On the Quay' event, as past years we have all managed to be there together and you can see that she loves it.  But Paul put his foot down and said that Sunday is too close to Christmas and didn't want me to be in agony when we have a busy couple of days in the kitchen and Christmas day of course.  The journey is quite a bit longer now and seems to take me longer to recover.  My youngest sister Emily has just bought her first home with her fiancée and wanted us to go visit them but its another 40 minutes in the opposite direction to coming home wo would add another 80min to our journey home.  We have said that we will do it next time we visit and will stay over somewhere close by.

Lilian you sound very organised preparing meals for when you return from visiting family, you are so right about wanting plain/simple food after all the rich and indulgent food that we consume over Christmas.  Do you buy local fish, it must be lovely having such lovely fresh fish so close to home.
Thank you so much for my card, I love it xx Have a very safe journey my lovely xxxx

Pat I hope Pete's medication is easing the pain from his shingles and not causing any other side effects.  sending love to you both. xxxx

Right I must be off and get organised, Have a lovely day my lovely friends,

Love and hugs

Sandra
xxxxxx

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Cheryl's Christmas Card


Good Morning Ladies,

Today's fantastic Christmas card is the one I received from Our Lovely Cheryl, I have to say Cheryl I was utterly thrilled to see a totally stamped card, I am touched that you went to so much effort.  Cheryl has used all Stampin Up Products for her card, the background is made up of the 'Lovely As A Tree' stamp set, Cheryl has then created a blended ink background, I love how the trees go off into the distance, with the larger ones at the front of the card.  Cheryl has then used the 'Star of Light' Dies to create that beautiful glittery Star.  I absolutely love your card Cheryl thank you so much xxxx

Sue came over yesterday and we decided we would go out for lunch for a change, neither of us could decide where so we headed to the Range to start with, as we had a nice lunch in their last time, we were very disappointed with what they had on offer this time though so just spent a couple of hours wandering around the shop, I got a couple more decorations and a couple of Christmas presents, but no craft goodies.  We then headed off to Dunelm for lunch and we were intending to go into Hobbycraft too but in true Sue/Sandra style we ran out of time.  We both had a toasted sandwhich (as there wasn't much choice) then I had a piece of Coconut/Jam slice and Sue had Chocolate Mint Shard cake, both of which were delicious.  
After a long sit down we had a good browse around Dunelm, around their Christmas bits, not that there was much left to browse, we then moved to curtains and well just about everything, we found some lovely bargain curtains that were an unbelievable price, that we where both tempted by.
As we were walking towards the exit a Teenager can racing out of a side aisle causing us to stop abruptly, she was followed by a rather dubious looking family that were clearly Travellers/Gypsies, whatever the correct term is these days, we were a little taken a back but we carried on towards the checkout and stopped briefly to look at some more decorations, we then noticed the other young girl just brazenly walk out of the exit with Pillows, quilt and mattress topper, the older girl was then beside Sue and I trying to haul a huge box containing a Gas effect electric fire, that must have been 4 foot long by 3 foot wide over a security barrier, she was trying to ram it through and manipulate it over but couldn't quite manage it, she wasn't the least bit phased or embarrassed that we were stood, jaws dropped watching her, I did a one time think she was going to ask Sue to help!!  She then left the store along with the mother, the father was still somewhere inside though.  We went to the tills and explained what we had seen and that the girl had left the fire just where someone could reach over and take it.  The girl on the till wasn't the least bit surprised, she said, they were 10 times worse yesterday, there were groups of them that entered the store, caused a drama to create a distraction and which occupied security while the rest of them ran out with arms full !!  Sue and I just couldn't believe it, particularly how brazen they were, they had no shame!! 
Rather a dramatic end to a lovely day out, thank you so much Sue for taking me out, I had a really lovely time, I don't think we stopped talking for the better part of 6 hours! xxxxx

Waiting for a few more parcels to arrive today, maybe start some wrapping up too!
Have a lovely day however you are spending it,

Love and hugs to all,

Sandra
xxxxxx


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Another lovely Christmas card


Good Morning Ladies,

Well what horrendous weather! Paul's parents arrived after a horrendous journey up the M5 the police were talking of closing it at one point as visibility was so poor, I think that they were glad of the break, they stayed for a cuppa a slice of cake before continuing their journey to Birmingham to Paul's sisters for Christmas.  They both looked tired, they said that the wind has so strong and was washing all the water over to their side of the carriageway, combined with the backwash you get everytime a lorry whizzes past you made for an awful journey.  It's a shame they couldn't stay over here over night and do the rest of the journey tomorrow.
So Janet I pity poor Jim out driving to and fro if the weather was as bad at your end, it makes it so much more tiring because you end up concentrating so much harder to see, I have visions of Jim nodding in the chair last night.

Today's amazing Christmas card was made by Our Val, it features one of the 'Apple Blossom' Embossing Folders that has Christmas wording at the bottom and a lovely swirly pattern at the top that has little holly leaves featured among the swirls.  Val has then created a beautiful Decoupaged arrangement of Christmas Roses and foliage with fruit added in too, it all looks like it has been expertly fussy cut too. Such a beautiful design Val, thank you so much for a lovely Christmas card, yours in on its way, I do hope it arrives in time. It went Monday as my Son forgot to post it while we were away on Friday.
I hope you have had a lovely time spoiling Barrie and that he has enjoyed the break. xxxx

Pat I was sorry to hear that Pete may have shingles, thats the last thing he needs to deal with at the moment, I believe it's quite painful.  I guess he is going to be prone to picking up bugs etc as his immunity is weak because of the lack of White Blood cells.  I hope you get some medication soon to make him as comfortable as he can be.  Sending you both love and hugs. xxxx

Lilian and Lynda I was happy to read that both of you are getting a little better, coughing is such a frustrating symptom, as it keeps you awake at night too making you feel even worse.  I hope that you both continue to improve ready for spending Christmas with your families. xxxx

Michele, How was your meal out last night, I hope you weren't hampered by the gales my lovely xxxx

Karen I hope your Mum in Law is comfortable bless her, you always feel so helpless when they are in pain.  Sending love and hugs xxxx

I hope that you all have a great day, try and stay warm and dry,

Love and hugs to all,

Sandra
xxxxx



Tuesday, 18 December 2018

My Challenge card



Good Morning Ladies,

Here is my Tic Tac Toe Challenge card, it's so lovely to be using bright and spring like colours, I think that we all love the colours of a new season at the start of that season but as it draws to a close it's so nice to move on to the next batch of colours. This particular Patterned Paper Collection is called 'All My Love' and features soft pinks through to vibrant Lovely Lipstick.

So My Categories for the TicTacToe are:  Ribbon/Patterned Paper/Embossing

I cut a white card base 4 1/8 X  5 1/2  inch then matted a piece of  the gorgeous 'All My Love' dsp on top, I then cut a narrow white border and cut a scalloped edge down the length of it and embossed a stitched effect along the  scalloped edge .  I ran a piece of Flirty Flamingo ribbon down the card and finished the top a with a triple bow, which I popped a fussy cut flower into the centre of.
I stamped one of the sentiments from the 'Forever Lovely' stamp set in Flirty Flamingo ink and die cut it with one of the Layering Oval dies, adding a scalloped mat of Flirty Flamingo card beneath.
I fussy cut a few flowers from the paper and added around my sentiment.
Quite simple but quite pretty I think.

Oh we have a busy day in our house today..... the girls and I need to finish a few decorations, then at 11am we are all having our hair cut, Freya is lovely and it's always great fun when she calls in.
Then Pauls parents are calling in with a 'Special Delivery',  I will tell you the story...…..

Sophie has asked for an Overhead Projector for Christmas for her art work, so we looked into them and to be fair she had no idea how much they cost to buy new, you are looking at at least £300 +,
we were looking everywhere for one that was in stock and could be delivered in time for Christmas,   I just happened to follow a link to Ebay, (not a place I would look for Christmas presents) the link took me to a Overhead Projector for sale that had 6 hours left and no bids, it said in the description that it has only been used for one project and is 'As good as new'!  So I placed a bid for the £50 minimum (it was midnight) and just left it to fate.  Paul woke me at 6am to see if we had won the auction, so I logged in and we were the only bid so we got it for the £50.  The other thing that probably put people off was that it was in Newton Abbott, which luckily for us is really close to Paul's parents house.  So they went and checked it out today and said it was great and it came with a large Screen too!  So they are calling in to drop it off on their way up to Birmingham tomorrow, which is really kind and helpful.  We don't ever usually get that lucky.   We had asked Sophie if it was one that she would like and she was super excited as it was the same ones as they use at School.

After all that I have to organise an early tea as Paul and I are off to get a few more gifts, we only have a couple more things to get apart from Matt who just doesn't know what he wants, he did suggest a Steven Brown McCoo Painting though. So I will look into that later today.

I hope that your day is far more relaxed than mine,

Have a lovely one however you are spending it,

Love and hugs to all,

Sandra
xxxxxx

Monday, 17 December 2018

Monday Challenge


Good Morning Ladies,

Here we are at the start of another week, this time next week we will be doing the 'final preparations' for the big day.  I am not sure if you are the same but we like to be organised before Christmas Eve so that we can have a relaxed day, I love to get the girls involved in a bit of baking and Christmas food preparation, mostly to prepare them for when the time comes to do it themselves.
I think that we all have our own family traditions, most of ours are traditions that we have started ourselves.  Like Cooking the turkey and Boiling and Baking a huge ham on Christmas Eve, we started doing it that way out of necessity, the oven in one of our Married Quarters was tiny and so we would have not been able to cook the turkey and all of the vegetables and accompaniments in that tiny oven so I cooked the Turkey on Christmas Eve, it worked out se well we have done it ever since, the turkey is so much easier to carve after it has rested over night, you still get yummy smells when using the meat juices to make the gravy, plus all of the other Christmas dinner things, I bake a sausagemeat stuffing loaf, that is wrapped in bacon, you can basically add whatever you like to the sausagemeat, I add a box of stuffing mix and an egg or two depending on the size, you can add apricots or dried cranberries, diced apple works well too, you can play with different stuffing flavours too, you line your loaf tin with streaky bacon, pop your sausagemeat mix into the bacon lined tin and wrap the bacon over the sausagement and pop in the oven with the roast potatoes, pigs in blankets etc, it generally takes about half an hour/45 mins, depending on size.  Once its cooked and rested it carves into slices and I serve it on a large meat platter with the turkey and pigs in blankets.  Its a huge family favourite and I think that all of my children could make it, after helping to prepare it for years.
We also bake mince pies, sausage rolls and anything that they fancy having a go at.
(sorry that went on a bit)
I would love to hear your traditions too, things you do with your family over the Christmas period.

Now onto this weeks Challenge, I totally understand that a lot of you are super busy this week, shopping, visiting family and friends etc.
I toyed with the idea of not having a Challenge but that's something that I struggle with, I know that a couple of you still wanted a challenge, just to encourage to go into your craft area, some of you may have last minute Christmas cards to make, maybe New Year cards, some of you still have birthdays to prepare for too. So I went for a TicTacToe Challenge, the one I have chosen could be used for Christmas cards, or just about any other card, including 'Thank You' cards, which are super important this time of year whether it's to thank some one for a gift or for hosting Christmas or maybe to thank some one for something that they have done for you all year long.

So if you have time I look forward to seeing your cards, if not then please don't worry, if you are all up for it, we will start all over in the New Year.

I hope that you all have a fantastic week ahead,

I want to sent hugs to Lilian and Lynda and anyone else that is struggling with virus's or bugs right now, it's the worst time of year to feel under the weather.  Love and healing hugs on their way xxx

Pat, I want to send special hugs to you too, I hope that you aren't too exhausted my lovely, I can't imagine the stress you are going through right now. Lots of love and hugs on their way to you too. xxx

Love and Hugs to all of you my Very Dear Friends,

Sandra
xxxxxx

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Your 'Anything But Christmas' Challenge cards






Good Morning Ladies,

It was lovely to see your 'Anything But Christmas' cards this week, I makes a refreshing change to see something other than Christmas projects.
Having said that I am loving all of the 'Happy Christmas Mail' that is arriving through the letter box, you are all such incredible crafters, all of the cards that I have received so far are completely unique, you have all used different products and different layouts. I have been 'wowed' by them all. 

Not so many cards this week but that is totally understandable given the time of year, but just look how amazingly inspirational the following projects are.....

Janet



Janet has been super busy in her craft room as usual, creating 3 stunning projects, the first is a gorgeous 50th Birthday card, Janet has used a gorgeous colour mirror/foil card to die cut, that die is stunning Janet you need nothing else on the card, you could use it in so many different ways to give different looks. 
Janets second project is one of her Tonic Triangle gift boxes, I did put mine together while Sue was here on Wednesday Janet and we were both blown away but the stunning foil card that you have used for the decorative elements.  I see you have another stunning colour for this project too, it really transforms it to a 'wow' gift.  
OMG that third card is just out of this world, so intricate and opulent and just WOW, I love the card shape you have used, it really shows that die cut off perfectly.
Thank you so very much for 3 amazing projects.
XXX


Karen 

Karen's project is for her Brother In Law, who is a Formula One enthusiast, the image is from Serif and Karen cut the letters for the 'Eclipse' effect on her 'Scan and cut' . 
The eclipse works perfectly on this image Karen, I bet your Brother in Law loves it, particularly as its personalised and his favourite subject.  
Thank you so much for another fantastic Karen Inspiration card!!
XXX


 Margaret


Margaret managed two gorgeous birthday cards this week, the first one uses the Stampin Up Springtime Thinlits, die cut in white and placed on a Night of Navy Background, as we all know that is a colour match made in heaven.
Margaret's second card is made from the Papermania 'Capsule' collection papers, I love this shade very much, Margaret has finished her card with a sentiment stamped and punched with the 'Lovely Label' punch.
Thank you so much Margaret for two fantastic cards.
XXX

 Lynda

Oh Lynda this is such a beautiful card, the colour is simply gorgeous and that embossing folder is absolutely gorgeous, it has so much lace detail, enough in fact to be the main focus of the card rather than just a background.  Your simple choice of the die cut flower is perfect.
Absolutely gorgeous, thank you so much my lovely.
XXX

 Michele

Michele, I just love the abstract flower print on the paper that you have used for this card, it has so many pastel shades that you could pick out and make the card look different every time.  That simple pierced flag sentiment works perfectly, as it lets the paper shine as the main feature.
Stunning card, thank you so much for taking part my lovely.
XXX


We are home at last, we had rather a 'damp' end to our little break, we started the day by taking a slow stroll through the centre of London and then Hyde Park and then on to Harrods, where we browsed for a couple of hours, the food halls didn't have that same 'WOW' as they used to have, it's mostly a load of bar style eating places that have queue's that block the hole walk way.  But we saw a few nice things.  We left there and decided to walk through the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park as a way to get back to Marble Arch and Oxford street, not long after we set out the rain started and just got heavier and heavier, the wonderland was a lovely, lively place, a lot of people weren't allowing the rain to dampen their spirits, the smells coming from some of the food vendors were making my tummy rumble.  We decided to go for a quite bite to eat and a look in Selfridges, where we got to dry off a little in the disabled toilet, thank heavens for hand fans!!  
With the rain not letting up we decided to just get the bus home, so me made the short journey back to Marble Arch and discovered that everyone had had the same idea!  There bus shelter was over flowing, I had no hood and no umbrella, it was raining that heavy that it hurt your head as it landed, we knew that there was a bus every 15 mins so didn't have too long to wait, but oh no, because of heavy traffic around Westfield shopping centre they cancelled two buses, by the time another bus had arrived the rain had penetrated by wool coat and my jumper, my leather gloves were as wet on the inside as they were on the out and the scarf that I was using to try and shelter under could by wrung out!  The ends of my fingers and toes were hurting so bad it was all I could do not to cry, I think that my AF and the other issue with my heart have affected my circulation as I have noticed that I am really struggling to keep both fingers and toes from turning blue.  
We did have an amazing time in London, despite the damp ending and I can't wait to return.

I hope that you all manage to stay warm and dry today,

Love and hugs to all,

Sandra
xxxxx