Friday, 30 December 2011

The stamp Man Annual Award for your best craft project of 2011

So here we are at the end of 2011 - where did that year go???
The Stamp Man has done an annual award for the last 2 years and along with the site revamp so has the award been revamped.- love that picture of Jill and Ian!
So stop by the Stamp Man and find out all about it here

I have chosen a recent atc from the November swap.  I loved making this atc and how it turned out was just as I imagined when I began it!
It also sees me using chipped sapphire distress ink - a year ago it was unused in my stash however after Jill sent me a Christmas card last year with lots of it on I fell in love with the way it makes such a fabulous dawn or dusk colour.

So what's your favourite project of 2011? I would love to see it xx

Rockin my world Last one for 2011

So here we are at the last Friday for 2011 - I just had to find the time to post for this one!
2011 has passed by in  a flash - to be honest the years since the millennium have flown by I must be getting old!
Anyway I thought instead of concentrating on the last week - i would pick my big grateful s for the whole year! Its an epic post so you may want to pause now and get a cuppa!

First up predictably are my Family - they pick me up when I'm feeling down and give me so much love and 2011 has been full of it. xx
Little things from this week have been my son James - helping out around the house - don't you just know they have grown so much when they do that without being asked.
Hubby who finally added the doors to our freecycle wardrobe yesterday whilst I was at work - I was so ridiculously happy I can't tell you!
My daughter Meghan for listening to my chocolate craving whinges and providing me with an alternative sugar fix everytime xx
Tom - ahh my eldest who went through a phase in his teens where he was totally embarrassed by any kind of physical contact - now gives spontaneous and filled with love hugs - each one makes me feel gooey inside!
My Sis Amy who let me borrow her favourite mug for a cup of tea - as long as I didn't take it home LOL!(sisterly teasing goes on a lot with our Amy)
and finally Mum - who made the best millionaires shortbread for my hubby for Christmas - he has loved it standing for long is s difficult for Mum these days so being prepared to do that for Tim has really meant a lot!

Next has to be my friends
So in no particular order
Michelle - love love love my gift which you can find here and for everything else huge hugs xx
Barbara and Debbie- you are so thoughtful! thank you for your support and encouragement over the last year - your gifts for Christmas just showed what a special pair you are - love love love the book and have read it already!
Jae - well what can I say - your support means the world to me - I hope 2012 is YOUR year.
The Claxby Gals - Loved spending time with you again this year - I love the special friendship we have and how it develops deeper each time we meet - I hope 2012 continues to see us get closer and closer xx 
My email buds - I have a few email pals - I suppose a little like penpals but special mentions for Susie and Linda - I am not the best at replying and I know its my turn now but I really love getting your chatty emails - most of all I love it that you care xxx
Liz - now how to describe the love you send my way - honestly it can't be summed up into words.  Hugs wing their way to me the minute I feel low - how do you do that my witchy friend?  the last weeks have not been easy for either of us but I am blessed to have had you by my side even though you are all those miles away xxx
My crafty chums - Thank you so much for all your wonderful support and encouragement over the last 12 months - Michelle and I are so grateful and have loved watching you all gain confidence and skills.  Looking forward to seeing it develop further this year too xx

Onto work which for data protection must be brief and non personal - Its been a little rollercoasterish this year with comings and goings that have been momentous. I have just had 2 shifts that remind me why I love work so much which is a fitting end to the year me thinks.  The young people I work with all have learning difficulties, behavioural issues and may need lots of specialist help just to live each day.  Many people feel sorry for these children and indeed life is not plain sailing by any stretch of the imagination.  Simple things can mean so much though - the way you speak their name, the way you read a book, the choices you support them to make - even little ones like which top to wear.
I sat reading a book yesterday to a young fella who is Autistic - a big strapping 17 year old with some seriously challenging behaviour.- he has a new silly rhymes book which was a Christmas gift which I read to him a few times yesterday.  We laughed and giggled at the rhymes and he had some real belly laughs.
It was at that moment all the trials and annoying things that have happened at work melted away as no longer anything to worry about - thats why I love what I do - for those precious moments that make such a difference.  I could go on and on giving you examples of this - a little moment in my day that makes it special - I hope it makes sense to you because it makes a world of difference to me.

and finally my free time
I am lucky to have free time - mainly its because I am not a domestic goddess - the housework can always wait that bit longer! But I am gradually filling the free time with crafty things.
Our (Lovin Ink) retreats and stamping classes have gone really well this year and 2012 is looking even more promising with new opportunities opening up at some of our favourite venues. I will tell you more about that next week.  The excitement is building however and will mean I have less to blog as my time gets taken up with making samples and getting ready for classes. I will have a tight schedule which may mean longer absences from my blogs or spurts of posts then non for a while.
This development to my crafting has been part of a long term plan Michelle and I have had for Lovin ink. Life has meant the pace of the plan has been slower but its coming to life and feels very very exciting.
I have every person to thank who has attended our retreats and classes for the support and encouragement Lovin ink has received.  We love what we do and are so glad you do too.
So my final grateful is for new opportunities!

Cor are you still with me??
Well done - Thats my long post done for 2011.
Hope you have much to look forward to in 2012 and that love and laughter fill your days as well as much creating of course!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Craft retreat madness

Our craft retreats are so much fun but we do get a little giddy at times.
This was a moment of madness - or rather about 20 minutes of sheer belly laughing at the July retreat where we decided to have a go for the number 1 slot this Christmas.
After a lot of giggling and some serious editing here is our crafty version of the 12 days of Christmas.
Some well known designers in the song so make sure you follow it right to the end.
Credit for the lyrics go to Michelle Marshall, Georgina Ellis, Kate Hancock as well as myself.
Huge thanks to Alan Marshall for some excellent editing

Excellent vocals from the Thursday night crafters of Skipton!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Try it on Tuesday Alter it week

 Christmas wrapping comes with some fab ways to recycle packaging so its of more use.  My kids know me so well they actually save stuff like this to give me - which is exactly what my son said when he opened this box of socks! 

Socks are compulsory for Christmas - everyone got some except me!
So I decided to upcycle it into a box for my daughters pencils and pens that she uses for her sketching.

So some pretty papers and co-ordinating stickers from an old Stampin Up set were perfect for the job! I chose these as the box has turquoise inside which goes really well with these papers.

Even a little window to see the pens through!

and I decided to line the inside too!

Now the box is more suited to being a pencil box don't you think?
Whats more I have 2 others waiting for inspiration too :0)
Stop by Try it on Tuesday where we are sponsored by The Craft Barn too!

Get rummaging in your rubbish to see what you can transform into treasure!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Had a few exciting things happen from blog land the last 2 weeks

How exciting to be featured on the little red wagon blog

with this creation here

and I was delighted to be randomly chosen as the winner at the craft room challenge here winning £10 to spend at the Craft Room shop which I did with no bother!
Here is my creation for that challenge too

huge thanks to both Challenges

Janet x 

Monday, 19 December 2011

Had to pick up James from Uni this weekend so as I had got a great hotel deal we headed off to the big smoke.

James suggested a trip to Covent Garden to soak up some Christmas spirit - Look at the size of those baubles!

Of course there is always good street entertainment in Covent Garden too and this musician was certainly a good one!

As you can see even though it was early evening there were still lots of folks about.

and this is the stunning tree!

Our faithful tour guides James and Christi

Who took us on a wander down the strand where this fabulous theatre is tucked away!

We had a wonderful meal then returned back to the hotel after a wander along the Thames which is spectacular in the dark!

Come on even in the sale you don't think I would be staying at the Savoy without a lottery win do you?? I have to say the travel lodge did us just fine, comfy bed, warm and clean it was a bargain at £12 a night!
Now all my chicks are back in the nest for the holidays - the washing mountain has appeared again but this Momma is a happy one :0)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Something non Christmassy for a change

Sal at work is leaving us - I am particularly sad about this as she is a total breath of fresh air. She is always cheerful, a children's advocate , honestly I think she is sooo good at her job. So I needed to make her a card - her next job is as a Social Worker so I thought this was a fab image to use.

Sorry the light has been abysmal here today. Cardstock is Bazzil, papers by Stella Rose - Loved them as soon as I saw them and they seem to team up well with everything else.

Had to make a box to go with it as the roses won't fit in an envelope. Saw this ex class stamp at Embsay today and so as I thought it said what I wanted I stamped a few and added one to the box. So there it is and on 31st December Sal leaves us for her next challenge. I hope she continues to work with the passion I have seen over the last 8 years if so the nations vulnerable children will have one helluva champion for their rights xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Try it on Tuesday and some pressies

I know its Wednesday but Hubby and I snuck away overnight on Monday for a little trip up north to Dumfries to see our lovely friends Janet and Chris - so here I am late again!
Tags over on the TIOT challenge so here is mine - Clover and watermelon adirondack inks and a little faux bleach with water - overstamped with a paperartsy sprig stamp and then a blonde moments bauble embossed and added. Some gold backing paper and a huge ribbon and its done. Do stop by the challenge blog here to see my team mates work.

Here is a couple of pressies I can share with you following a pattern by Joanne Wardle here
I just missed out the pocket and added some crochet flowers - thanks Mum!
I think these are fab for token gifts - just beware I got my bottles from the £1 shop - I bought these 2 then a few weeks later bought another 2 and the second 2 are fatter and a little larger than these so I need to make some pattern adjustments - shame I had already made the covers! now I need to do some speed knitting to get them finished!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Another card from Claxby

Had a play with some stamps I got in the sale last year whilst at Claxby - along with my distress inks and Barbara's gorgeous dies this little piece came together. Its not quite what I imagined when I began but there again not many things turn out the way you expect do they?
Its a very wild and windy day here in Skipton. the back yard is flooded and I am hoping it wont creep under the door. I wonder if the roof ridge tiles are holding or if the loft is leaking???? argghh best go check....
stay safe, dry and warm wherever you are today xx

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

These 3 designs......

Are based on some by Barbara Hancock one of our lovely hosts at Claxby Retreat. I love the gorgeous ruffle binding and lace by stampin up - stamps also by stampin up and the punch too - gorgeous marianne creatable design leaves and a lush rose - thanks Ali x
Here it is with a touch of red and a button instead of the rose.
I also loved this die which Barbara had used to make a similar card - my twist is the fir cone backing papers, stamped image cut out and lace bow. I must get me some more dies - Santa can you hear me...............?
My Try it on Tuesday entry is over at my Christmas blog where this week the challenge is all about the big guy do hop on over for a peep here

Sunday, 4 December 2011

More projects from Claxby retreat

Initially Michelle and I were going to give a candle making tutorial however with lots of factors against it that didn't happen so I took along some candle tealights to do a tiny tutorial on making a tealight card. Once the basics have been done everyone set about decorating their own so here is my version.
Love love love that snowflake die from spellbinders but its a devil to release from the die - would love any tips you may have! Borrowed Joannes inverted corner punch from woodware (thanks hun)- I must get me one of these!

This is the inside - rather blurry but lush papers - not sure of the make but double sided for twice the luxury!
Here is the front of another one I made too - Gorgeous Reindeer designed by Mr Holtz!
Hope your weekend has been good - I've been at work for most of it but took the kids , from work, to see Santa today and do their Christmas shopping so its been a rather festive shift!
Keep warm folks and thanks for stopping by xx

Friday, 2 December 2011

So what Rocks my world this first Friday in December???

Been AWOL again from the Friday rockin posts but Friday does tend to be a bad day for me time wise - I really should be a little more organised and prepare the post in advance!
So things to be thankful for

The wonderful retreat last weekend - as always spending time with those friends is very special and makes my world brighter for it.

My Family for allowing me the indulgence of Me time - I think they know just how much it means to my mental wellbeing to have that time to relax and craft - goodness knows what I was like 7 years ago before I found papercrafting!

My Mum for looking after Tim and Megs for me ensuring they did not live on eggs for the whole weekend (both love them!)

Michelle for taking me and bringing me back safe - not moaning about my snoring and letting me borrow all the bits and pieces I had forgotten to take with me!

The Craft club ladies - what a hoot we had last night at our Christmas social evening - lots of yummy food and a fabulous rendition of the 12 days of Christmas crafting style - they are such a game bunch of ladies. Michelle recorded it so hopefully it will be on you tube soon so I will share!
Also to Kate and Georgina for helping write the lyrics - you never know one day it could be a hit!

I am grateful to have got through a whole 3 weeks without chocolate! I have been diagnosed a type 2 diabetic - no surprise really for this rather rotund gal however as a self confessed chocoholic I do know that is where my problem lies and I'm the only one who can change it. I am getting awful sweet cravings which so far I am staving off with dried fruit - yes I know thats not the best food to eat either but it is better than the chocolate. I have to be realistic and take little steps if I am to be successful in keeping the sugars in control. So far so good - I seem to have shed a few pounds too.......

So all in all a lot to clap about
here is Spring and Autumn to complete my Mollies four seasons - which one is which you decide!

Thanks for stopping by today and hope you have a great weekend x

Thursday, 1 December 2011

From Winter to summer!

Here is my summer version of the little frames - It was fun playing with the summer Mollies again and using summery colours. The papers are by K&Co and are lovely muted colours.
Thanks to Joanne for the finishing ribbon touches - I had only taken reds and browns to Claxby so was lacking a little ribbon in the right colour.
Day off today so a few jobs, a little shopping then craft club tonight! We are having a little social time with nibbles as well as our crafting - I think I may take along Mr Buble for company - well its rude not to share him don't you think???