Monday, 31 December 2012

so that was Christmas.........

Christmas passed here in a blur of tissues, cold remedy's and sleep to be honest.  I woke on on the 22nd feeling utterly lousy and it just got worse from there on.  Thanks goodness for the cold and flu capsules is all I can say which got me through my working days till boxing day when I truly just gave in. From boxing day to the 30th I slept most of the time and when awake drank warm ribena (never touch the stuff when I am well but its a must when I am full of cold)

I have never been ill like it.  Not only did I ache and all the usual cold rubbish but I just could not think - my brain was just utter mush.  Thankfully I had no entertaining planned (which I would have had to cancel) and my lovely family have looked after me.  I am sad that I did not have the energy to enjoy the week when both boys were home but was so pleased to have them all here.

Here we are at the 31st December - I am still not right but at least am able to think a little (although I have needed a 3 hour nap every day from the strain lol). 2012 has been a mixed year - hubby is still making small steps to recovery after his breakdown and I am grateful he seems on the way out the other side.

My hopes for 2013 are :- Health for us all.  A year when finances become more stable and that my children are still heading for their dreams.
Wishing you all the best for 2013, thanking you for stopping by to say hello and read my rambles and view my crafting. 

Happy New Year
Janet xx

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Present begun last year!

 This is my first pair of knitted socks and possibly the only pair I would ever knit!  I began them last year in September after seeing a lovely bed socks pattern in Crafts Beautiful.  The socks themselves were completed some time ago but last night I got on and knitted the ruffle.
They are far from a perfect example of fine knitted socks but they are done! So they may be late but someones tootsies will be warm this Christmas!

Our last craft class was yesterday so now begins the huge task of sorting the craft room for Tom coming home on Tuesday. Looking forward to my boy being home but not the mass move of stuff!

Hope your day is far more exciting!
Janet x 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

My week so far......

Yesterday saw me and hubby head off to meet our eldest son Tom at Manchester University where he graduated with his Masters degree in research.  He loves studying and has a bottomless soul when it comes to knowledge but he did show this from a very early age.  His love of books and reading was apparent from babyhood and often as he grew he would have a book in his pocket to fill any empty moments with a little more knowledge.  To say I am proud of my kids is an understatement which I am sure every mum feels too.
He looks so much like my own Dad its uncanny and I know my Dad is enjoying watching his grow and develop from above. Well done Son! 

On Monday Mum and I played with distress markers.  I used them on a cute image where as Mums were more traditional.  Both of us were so pleased with the outcomes Mum asked to go to the local shop to buy a set today!
I love how easy they are to use and how developing depth is a breeze.  Only helps with the right paper though this is WHS 300 gsm cold pressed watercolour paper.  Often on offer in the sale so if you fancy a try look out for it after Christmas.
As you an maybe tell i turned my image into a commission card.  Been so busy with those lately I do wish i could train folks to think about them in November!!

Thanks for stopping by today especially if you have managed to leave a comment too - I really appreciate it xx Janet xx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Not been feeling myself at all

I think the pressure of the last year has started to affect me as I have struggled to concentrate the last few weeks.  I have a week off this week which is much needed as I transform the craft room back to a bedroom for my eldest coming home for Christmas.
Here is a project i began a couple of weeks ago and finished off today.  I got the idea from the crafts for Christmas book published by practical publishing and really enjoyed doing it.

 the fabric was stampin ups last years colours which are muted and vintage looking just what I wanted.
 Bow looks a little crooked here so may need another little stitch.
and here is the whole thing.  I do think I will make more for next years gifts.  The baubles are from tesco as is the gold star and the whole thing is made on a wire coat hanger!
Fab project which i loved reproducing my self.

Hope all is well in your world and you are looking forward to Christmas.
Thanks for stopping by x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

More Elves

 Sorry I have been MIA - not been feeling too good to be honest but I am not here to winge but to show you some more Elf makes ahead of C4s film showing  on Sunday. First off a notepad makeover for the lovely Joanne a fellow Elf fan!
Then a plain tin was transformed with a few left overs as a gift.
These were both coloured with the distress pens and my Elf cards have since been snapped up so I must make a few more.  Luckily I have held one back for our crafty card swap at the festive breakfast on the 17th December.
Just completed my matchboxes for a 12 days of Christmas swap on facebook.  I ended up with 2 to do following a drop out so have been busy with 4 calling birds and 7 swans a swimming!
Hopefully by Saturday all 12 will be together so I can share them here.
Thanks for stopping by x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sundays makes

 Sunday saw me playing with the distress pens again this time for more commissions.  It began when Caroline asked me to do a card using this Molly Blooms fireplace for her hubby.  I just love how it comes to life with the pens - so much nicer than anything I have achieved with promarkers!
 Once the card was finished I was then asked to make 2 more similar cards for Tracey and Tinas hubbys so the colouring took most of the day!
 I as however as thrilled with the results as they were.

I did manage a couple mores projects which I will share tomorrow x
Thanks for stopping by to see my crafty makes x

Friday, 30 November 2012

On the Saturday......

 I played with some of the other girls Christmas stamps.  I do actually have this one but had forgotten to take it.  Once I got in an Elfie mood I just could not stop.

 This was also me experimenting with my distress ink pens which I love.  I have been meaning to play with some cute colouring using the pens and this was a perfect opportunity.  I loved the ease of the colouring with them and the lovely effortless blending I could achieve - it made me feel very artistic!!
 This is a Lindsay Mason stamp set which my pal Georgina let me borrow - I have since bought my own from Sir Stampalot.  I love his cheeky grin.
 and here is his pal from the same stamp set.
and the cute saying from a Darcies set I have echoing the sentiment from the film Elf!  Love that fabulous feel good film!

Playing with these elves earned me 3 commissions over the weekend as one of the ladies had Elvington as a last name and thought these elves would be good for her children.  I loved playing with the inks and look forward to doing more colouring with them.

Thanks for stopping by x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Craft retreat first night project

 This was actually a last minute project which I packed just in case I had time but as I thought about doing it for the whole journey to Claxby it was the one I began with.  Gorgeous image from the Molly Blooms collection coloured with promarkers. 
Lovely papers left over from last years retreat makes and the sentiments are from an old K&Co alpha sticker set which worked well.         
This box was given to me - I suspect it originally held cheese.  I had such fun playing with it..

Thanks for stopping by.  More makes to share tomorrow as I spent Saturday experimenting!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Away for the weekend

On our annual Christmas retreat at Claxby in Lincolnshire.
As always a warm and hearty greeting awaited us from ladies who have become very dear friends.  This year our "Christmas day" fell on 25th November which was extra special here is a few pictures.

 Busy working space!

 The lovely tree

 These makes were from 2 new ladies to the group Rudi the Reindeer was a new crafty recruit!
 sing along tunes
 Handmade decorations

It was a wonderful time.  I will share some of my makes over next few days.

Thanks ladies your company was as ever fantastic!
Janet x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

some more little gifts

 Got these cute little calico bags from crafty individuals a while ago which were perfect for prettying up. 
  here is George carrying a lantern
 and Molly too.  Perfect images to house this sweet little votive and candle.
These were such fun to make I think I will play some more with the larger size bag that was in the pack!

Happy Wednesday xx
Janet x

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Better to give than receive........

I am by nature generous, some would say far too generous but I do love giving gifts and thinking up ways to give something homemade is something I love about this time of year.
Last night I picked up this forlorn looking box which has been gessoed then put to one side for inspiration to strike.

 and strike it did.  I messed around with some Christmassy ornaments, gorgeous papers by echo park and my collection of Christmas stamps.

It was great fun. and the perfect box to present this candle in.
A mistletoe fragranced candle mixed by me.
Got a very special lady in mind for this for Christmas!

Thanks for coming to look today - if you could leave a comment that would make me smile.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Experimenting with Sloe Gin

I make lots of Christmas cakes between September and November and this year has been no exception.  My papercrafting is interrupted by the mixing of all the cakes and caring for them once made which is a crucial part of them tasting just right.
This year I also had a glut of other dried fruits - dates, figs, apricots etc so decided to put a twist on the recipe I have used for the last 25 years.  I also had some homemade slow gin given to me by my lovely crafty pal Glynis so I decided to experiment.

 I used the base recipe for the Christmas cake but instead of black treacle used maple syrup and instead of the traditional fruits of raisins, currants, sultanas and mixed peel I used up what was in the cupboard.
I must say I was thrilled with the outcome and made two 7 inch cakes.  One for Glynis and one for testing.  I sent out to 10 different testers - some I have never met but chat to on facebook and so far the feedback has been very pleasing.  Here are some comments.

O M G my cake arrived and i have died and gone to heaven lets just say the piece is not big enough i need the whole cake lol it is absolutely fantastic, eaten half soon as i opened it, going to make a cuppa and relish the rest. Thank you so much Janet and also for the lovely card. xxxx

mmmmmmmmmmm it was absolutely scrumptious. so fruity and moist and the alcohol taste remained in my mouth. i was going to give the dog a few crumbs but forgot as it tasted so good. huge thanks, and btw the little red heart is now permanently hanging from my curtain hold back. thanks again xxxx

 Oh wow thank you so so much for my cake parcel received this morning Janet! What an absolute treat for my dessert with my lunch! It was absolutely delicious. I was going to save some for when my daughter got home as I know she would love it but temptation beat me and I scoffed it all myself with a nice cuppa! Thank you so much Janet! Totally totally scummy :) xxx


 Mine arrived today, and was scoffed today. Now I have to say, that I am really funny about fruit cake. I don't like it dry looking, and if it even looks dry, then I won't eat it. Yours Janet Clarke - looked beautifully moist. I also liked its colour - I thought it would look much paler, but it looked just right. I took a small 1.5cm x 1.5cm corner sample first, and thank god I did ! It was beautifully moist on the tongue, and then within seconds, the taste hit me ! Wow ! Sorry, but after that, it was literally demolished .... in like seconds .... I didn't stop until it was gone. The taste was heavenly, and I couldn't tell that it was sloe gin that had been used. It just tasted delicious. The fruit blended well with the sloe gin, and there was no after-taste like you get with supermarket christmas fruit cakes. The sloe-gin definitely complimented the fruit, of which there was ample, but not overloaded so that it was all fruit and no cake. ( I'll still have to have my 5 a day) !!! As I say ... more or less after the first sample, it was gone ... so if you want a more in-depth analysis, then you will HAVE to send me more :) Thank you also for the beautiful packaging that it was sent in as well, that melted my heart before the cake did ! Thanks for letting me take part in the cake tasting event - it was mucho enjoyed - love 'n' hugs xxxxxxxxxx

I must say its been one of the most fun experiments I have ever done so thanks for playing along to my 10 official testers - still waiting to hear from a few!

Hope your weekend has been fun.
Thanks for stopping by
Janet xx 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Life with Lovin' Ink

Has gone from strength to strength and we have outgrown our little shop blog.  So with a spit and polish and some new photographs we now have a new home and some fabulous candy giveaway.
You can find out all about it in Lovin' Inks new home here

2013 looks to be full of excitement and we cannot wait to get started on new rounds of workshops.

Take a stroll around the new blog.  Find out how we met and how it all began.  Look up our retreats and our gallery of projects and contact us if you have any thoughts you would like to share.
You can find us on Facebook and subscribe to our posts via email.

Looking forward to growing the online community of Lovin' ink too
Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the prize draw.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Christmas al la Tim

 For our last workshops of the year Michelle and I decided to introduce Mr Holtz products to the classes.  We also found some amazing LED Christmas trees just begging for an exploding box makeover.
 So with some embossing folders, distress inks and a touch of glitter we have also revisited techniques from the last few months making this a revision piece too!
 Here is the view from above.  I love those Christmassy colours of peeled paint and fired brick.

This class will be held at Embsay on Saturday 1st December.  If you fancy a play then you can book through Samuel Taylors here

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Last few hours to get the candy

We all love candy right?
And what better than stash candy - all the pleasure and none of the calories!!

This particular candy is available till Midnight so check out what you have to do in the draw here

Someone is going to be a very happy crafter!!!

Good luck x

Monday, 29 October 2012

Halloween mini book

 My pal Georgina is a huge fan of Halloween well actually the supernatural because she includes fairies, angels,vampires and witches in her interests.  She has a corner of her home as a witchy place.
When I saw these papers I just knew I wanted to make her a mini album that she could add to herself too. So I know she has received it by now so I can share 

Certainly not everyones cup of tea but I had fun making it and I just know she will love it too!

Happy Halloween everyone!