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Monday, 4 December 2017

Page 4 complete

I've managed another page finish on It's Only Forever today fingers crossed I can get another one done before the end of the year.

Stitches so far 12,575

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Christmas cake

I finally got round to baking our Christmas cake yesterday.  The recipe is from a book I bought a couple of years ago called Ultimate Christmas by Parragon publishing.  Not sure if I bought it from Tesco or a garden centre but it's not just a cook book it also contains crafting. 

While the cake was baking we had the pleasure of Harlee-Jays company for a few hours - he loves playing with the Thomas train track which we first bought years ago for Connor so that set was definitely worth the investment.

In the evening I finished prepping the cards for next week's beginners card class at Scrapbook Magic.   Fingers crossed they will enjoy making them as much as last month - I will share those ones with you next week.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Advent calendars

I made hubby his own advent calendar this year with a die I bought from Joanna Sheen.  Simple decoration of the boxes was in the form of stickers which I had left over from last year and I had purchased from Lidl.  Inside is a chocolate coin (Paw Patrol - the only ones I could find at the time to fit)

My own calendar is from Kelloggs and has 24 bowls of cereal until Christmas.

Normally we don't have advent calendars but I thought they were both a little different and would add a fun element to the run up to the big day.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Retail therapy.

Yesterday I caught the train up to Totnes and met up with my friend Lisa at China Blue.  Anytime is a good time to go there but especially at this time of year when they have all their gorgeous Christmas decorations displayed.  We both picked up a few decorations for our trees, although I could have bought far more decorations for all over the house as there was such a great choice.  We also enjoyed lunch there before going to Dartington and looked around the shops there.  I picked up a new item to display my tags, cards, photos or whatever else I choose to hang from the clips.

I also bought a calender for next year to go in my craft room.  It's called Celestial Journeys and features beautiful artwork by Josephine Wall.  As I looked at it I was also thinking what wonderful cross stitch designs they would make too.  On doing a little more research into the artist I discovered that Heaven and Earth do cross stitch charts by this artist - oh dear my cross stitch want list is now even longer lol.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Stitching progress

I'm fairly close to another page finish which fingers crossed will be by the end of November.   Some of the wording has now made an appearance.  Next decision is whether to continue upwards and finish the wording which would probably be another quick page finish or continue to work on the owls face.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

WOYWW #442

It's been absolutely ages since I took part on WOYWW but I found something today and so thought I'd include my find with my desk as it is at the moment.  Remember me looking for a pyramid kit for a workshop I was doing down at Scrapbook Magic?  Well I found it as I knew I would after buying another one lol!  

As you can see my desk is a bit of a mess at the moment as I am working on cards for December's beginners card class.  I've completed one and the paper for the next one is on the table ready to work with.  Beside the card is that elusive pyramid card which I found in one of the kitchen craft cupboards which I hadn't looked in before. Why hadn't I looked there?  Well, the wood flooring for the hallway had been stored out of the way in front of the cupboard and as it was rather heavy I hadn't wanted to move it - serves me right for being lazy.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Beginners card class

As promised last week here is a photo of the cards I made for the beginners workshop I taught at Scrapbook Magic last Monday.

I introduced them to working with Distress Inks, stamping and embossing.  Three of the four ladies had never made any cards before but they managed to replicate with them with a little guidance.  The lady who had done card making before paid me a wonderful compliment saying she had learnt more in my one workshop than she ever had in all the classes she had done before elsewhere.  It certainly boosted my confidence.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Stitching update

Another page completed on It's Only Forever and page four started.  It's the only stitching I managed to do last week as I was also busy prepping for a beginner's card class - more details of that in another post.  Back to the stitching, I'm hoping I can get page four completed before the end of the month and begin working my way across again as then I will be working on the owls face.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Just the finishing touches required

My last workshop at Scrapbook Magic was to make this pyramid box.

This was a class first taken a few years ago when Helen Allen the designer of the pyramid came down and taught the workshop at Scrapbook Magic .  Margaret adapted the design to make it more festive and I have turned my pyramid and decorated it more as a Christmas tree.

There is the addition of lights and texture paste to the base to create a snowy effect and when opened there is a tree inside which also has lights on.

I still need to add some decoration to the inside panels and also add some pages to the mini album which fits into the base of the tree.

Overall I am very happy with how it is looking and it will be a nice addition to this year's Christmas decorations.  I am also hoping to use the album to finally complete a December daily journal - surely this year with a mini album I can keep up with the prompts I get from the Shimelle Laine class Journal your Christmas can't I? 

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

New craft room additions

I'm a member of the Hobbycraft Club which means I get regular newsletters with their latest offers and details of demonstrations taking place in their stores.  Not often but occasionally there is something that grabs my attention and last month there was an offer on an OttLite lamp which I felt was too good to miss.  Not only does it help with the lighting in my craft room but also has some useful storage.  It also means I don't have to keep bringing my stitching daylight up and down the stairs while crafting.

My other craft room addition was stash enhancement - a couple of die sets from Clearly Besotted.  A frame it die set and a stripped die set.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A couple of stitching updates

I've been working on It's Only Forever quite a bit recently and last Sunday I managed to complete page 2 of 30. A total of 8816 stitches in this section.

Since then I have added quite a few more stitches and page 3 which obviously has far less stitches, 1539 if I've counted correctly.  I have managed to complete just over half of this page and I am hopeful of another page finish by next weekend.

I have also been working on a Secret Santa project for a work colleague.  This design is from Cross Stitch Crazy magazine Issue 235.  I am hopefully going to make it into a little stocking and fill it with a small bottle of wine and some chocolates.  The stitching is all complete and I'm now just outlining it to give me a guide for finishing it as I want to line the stocking before putting the gifts inside.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Current reads

My home reading fiction book is From Rome With Love by Jules Wake.  This book was kindly given to me to read by my friend Chris.  It's a nice light hearted read about a young lady going to Rome to look for her father but in addition there is romance and comedy along the way.  I'm really enjoying this so thank you Chris. 

My magazine reading is called In The Moment Issue 5.  I have bought this magazine from when it first came out.

"In The Moment is a beautiful, practical lifestyle magazine for the modern-thinking creative woman. Enjoy practical creative projects, positive features and stories to inspire, adventures near and far for a healthy body and mind, and ideas embracing every aspect of women’s lives: friends, family, self, work, rest and play! It has a sense of community and fun, and you will be informed and entertained by knowledgeable experts and humorous columnists. With content covering wellbeing, creating, living and escaping, its monthly publication will reflect latest trends and encourage you to make the most of each day by living ‘In the moment’."

I really enjoy this magazine each  month for several reasons.  Firstly, I enjoy quite a lot of the articles as they often give me food for thought. Secondly there is usually a craft related item you can use  - this month there are decorative bookmarks.  You can never have too many bookmarks.

Thirdly, the paper quality is really nice, there are lots of pictures that when I can bear to cut into them would  make great collage pieces so will come in handy for crafting.  The pages are also of good enough quality to make a junk journal out of.

At work I am still reading The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld although I am getting close to finishing that one now.  I only get to read this during my tea break on a Thursday.  It started off quite slowly and I found it difficult to get into at first but as its gone on I have enjoyed it more.  It will soon be time to pick out a new read.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Always something to be thankful for

Well here we are in November.  October seemed to fly by in a flash, there was lots going on including a week's holiday in Cornwall,  family stuff, a nasty cold and busy times both at work and home so I gave myself a month's leave from blogging.

Hopefully this month I will have lots to share with you.  One of the projects I started at the end of October was a wide spine journal with the help of this video on You Tube.  I have made the journal and created the hinges although there are more hinges on mine as I wanted more pages.  I ran out of SU's Chocolate Chip cardstock so production came to a bit of a standstill until yesterday when my SU order arrived.  I did manage to decorate the front cover though.

The Dreams of Autumn paper pack from Bo Bunny I am using to decorate the journal with are just gorgeous and so appropriate for this time of year, but I  am sure I will also be able to make them work for the whole of the 12 months of my intended project.  My intention (I always have good intentions) is when it is completed which will hopefully be this month is to use it as a Project Life journal and fingers crossed 2018 will be the year I finally participate in this instead of just talking about it lol. 

My journal has 13 hinges as opposed to the 7 in the video, with the addition of pockets and flaps I should be able to adapt it to hold 52 weeks worth of Project Life type pages.  Everything will just have to be done on a smaller scale than the original Project Life idea.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Tic Tac Toe challenge #16

At last I've finally had some free time to play with the Tic Tac Toe challenge again.  It is still my intention to catch up and make something using challenges 14 and 15.

I've gone for a diagonal row Autumn Colours, Paper Piecing and Free.  I've picked some autumn colour patterned papers, distressed the edges and layered them.  The stamped image is from SU and I've paper pieced the umbrella and dress and also used a sentiment from the same stamp set.  To finish it off I stamped some tiny leaves to try and make it look as though she is walking through/on the leaves. 

I'm also going to enter this into Darnell's NBUS challenge as neither of the two stamp sets from SU had been used until now.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Happy 30th birthday

I can't believe our baby (now grown up) girl is 30 years old.  It was her birthday yesterday and she's been having a tough time lately what with one thing or another so we invited her down for a little birthday tea.  What she didn't know at the time was that her two brothers and their families were also going to be there.  It was chaotic, loud but a very enjoyable time and so nice to have all our family together to celebrate Colette's milestone birthday. 

Colette hates the photos but I love them.  We even managed to get a photo of all the grandchildren together, not the best photo as trying to get them all to sit still was a challenge.

From left to right we have Savannah, trying to keep Lincoln from escaping, poor Harlee-Jay squashed in besides Elisha then Connor who is trying to stop Theo from escaping and finally Logan holding Sebastian.  I love them all.

Monday, 18 September 2017

First page of It's Only Forever completed

For the past week I have been trying to focus on It's Only Forever and I am pleased to say I've actually finished the first page of this design.  Only another 29 pages to go!  Having said that not all of the remaining pages have 4616 stitches on them so some will be quicker to complete than others.  

I really do like having the matching needleminder and I can now see which part of the picture I have completed.  Its like having the picture on the outside of a jigsaw puzzle box.

Having concentrated on the stitching this week has left no time for me to take part in the Tic Tac Toe challenges but it is my intention to catch up with challenges 14 and 15 tomorrow evening and hopefully get challenge 16 done in time to take part in the link up again.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Home reading

This week at home I have been reading and finished Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson.  A thoroughly light and enjoyable read, lots of humour but with a great every day life storyline.  I will definitely look out for more by this author as its one of those books you can pick up and put down without losing the storyline.

This was one of two books I picked up at our local garden centre.  The other one is called Steps to the Gallows by Edward Marston.  After buying the book I noticed its the second book in a series and while it is probably a stand alone book as well I will try and find the first in the series before making a start on it.

In the meantime I can finally continue with the Sue Grafton alphabet series of books as I've now picked up L is for Lawless.  At the same time I purchased O is for Outlaw as I already had M and N as well as P.

At work I am still reading The Interpretation Of Murder by Jed Rubenfield which I picked up when we were in Scotland.  Although a bit slow to start with I am now starting to enjoy the book more.

In the Get Artsy book club we are reading The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.  I have to confess I have fallen a little behind this month so need to try and catch up this week.  I have to say I'm enjoying reading non fiction books that I wouldn't usually even think of reading and it has given me lots to think about.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Tic Tac Toe challenge #13

#13 unlucky for some but I think finding the Tic Tac Toe challenge was lucky for me as it has made me create at least one card every week since it started.  I have also been lucky enough to have had two of my cards selected for Team Picks.

I was lucky enough to be able to make this card at my favourite bricks and mortar shop Scrapbook Magic today.  I've gone for the top line this week, pink, patterned paper and sequins.

The papers come from 6 x 6 paper pads from the First Edition range by Trimcraft.  I made the scallop border using a circle punch.  The sentiment is a TH Stampers Anonymous set Simple Sayings CMS155.  Clean and simple and finished off with some sequins and punched hearts.

Last week I used some flowers with coordinating dies and Jackie W left a lovely comment for me but also asked which company they came from.  If you are reading it this week they are from Clearly Besotted and the stamp set is called Fresh Flowers.  At the moment they no longer sell the dies but I think I did read that they might be bringing back some of their die sets.  I have however just looked on the Simon Says website and they sell the mini version of stamps and dies which also include an additional four flowers.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Stitching updates

The weekend is almost over and I spent most of yesterday morning at work getting the end of month filing checked, counted and packaged ready to be sent of to the pricing authority. In the afternoon it was spent putting an enormous order away as well as helping out with the dispensing.  By the time we left there was still a backlog of prescriptions from Friday's surgery collection still waiting to be dispensed - it has just been plain crazy the past few weeks and we seem to be constantly chasing our tails.

Thank goodness for relaxing hobbies.  The seaside boats received some attention during the week and we now have some houses and the large green boat is complete, I'm now working on the sea again before I get to start another boat.  I'm probably about a third of the way through this one.

Today has been miserable and wet so have I spent most of my time working on It's Only Forever.  There are a total of 30 pages to this one.  The page I've been working on has 4616 stitches of which I have completed approximately 1300 so just over a quarter of the page complete.  It doesn't look much but this is a very large piece and will measure 19.43 x 28.64 inches when finished.

As if I don't have enough to keep me going I purchased Gecko Rouges Halloween SAL in the form of a download and couldn't resist the needleminders that go with it.  Typically after I'd purchased them the fourth installment came out with another needleminder  - I will now wait until the other two installments come out and get the final three needleminders all at the same time.  Not sure if I will start it this year or put it on my list for next year.