Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Studio news, Part 3

After giving that sneak peek at the end of my last blog post I am back to show you how my Studio is coming along. I needed some blinds and I decided I could not resist a red version of the same blind we have in our kitchen.
Here is my studio blind, it is a Sanderson fabric called Dandelion 

I just love it! As the daylight is so short at the moment I have not been able to get any photos without artificial light but I am sure this gives you an idea

My Hb and I fitted this one on Sunday. I have also bought a matching blind for the left hand window and at the moment have not decided about the door. I may well buy a plain maroon red for that or I may just buy the same. They were out of stock so I have time to think about it.
This is a link to the green version we have in the kitchen.

We also have lampshades of this in our newly decorated room.
I cannot get enough of these wonderful retro patterns.

Back at the Studio...this is the light sensitive lantern my Dad installed for me. It clicks on and off with any movement and when I go in and out. It gives such a cosy glow in the darkness.

I also have a clock which I can see from my workbench.

We have assembled the first of my Ikea Billy bookcases for my storage. I have bought another 2 doubles and a single but we need to get an off cut of carpet in place first.

Some of my card making stash in place.

I wound my new fairy lights around the rafters which also give a lovely glow.

That is my Studio news up to date for now. I will of course post again when I have some more to show.As you all know life gets rather busy this time of year.

 So here I am working outside in my wonderful creative space. I love it. It gives me a little warm glow inside when I see these photos.

I hope you are all keeping cosy wherever you are in the world. In my Count down to Christmas there are only 26 days left so I really should get on with the last of my cards and jewellery. Have fun with all your festive preparations too. 

As I have felt very nostalgic writing the post I just had to share one of my favourite poems for this time of the year. It's the last day of November tomorrow and this seems very apt!


November comes and November goes,
With the last red berries and the first white snow.
With night coming early and dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket and frost on the gate.
The fires burn and the kettles sing
And earth sinks to rest until next spring.

Elizabeth Coatsworth

Take care, 

Back soon,

Jane x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

It's getting nearer...shhhhhh only 29 days to go

Yet another week has flown by and we are now getting so near to my very favourite time of the year....yes CHRISTMAS!!
Four weeks tomorrow and the presents will have been opened, the turkey eaten and our family will probably be giggling over a game of cards...Chase the Ace is one of our firm family favourites.

Meanwhile I have been making some more cards and I am entering this particular one into a few card challenges.
Here it is
I have used a Lili of the Valley stamp called Angels with crib. I have coloured them with my trusty Promarkers and highlighted this with a touch of Prismacolor pencil.

I have punch cut some snowflakes in white and silver and used plenty of Stickles diamond glitter glue to give some extra sparkle. I also used silver card as backing card to give some festive shine.

My backing papers are Dovecraft and I have finished everything off with a lovely die cut bell and a blue organza ribbon.

I used a LOTV circular sentiment for my Christmas message.

I am entering my card into the following challenges;
Lili of the Valley, challenge Anything Goes
Promarkers challenge 127 Swirls and sparkles (swirls in my backing paper and lots of glitter and foil to sparkle)
Winter Wonderland Challenge Nativity (Baby Jesus)
Totally Gorjuss Challenge 108  Sparkle
Scrapbook Sisters Challenge 61 Christmas Time
Paper Crafting-Journey Anything Goes
Ribbon Girl Challenge  Jingle all the way to Christmas
Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine Snowflake challenge

Thanks for looking at my card!

Today has been another incredible mild day and as I was outside tidying a little I spied that I STILL have some of my fuchsias in flower. I don't think I have ever had them last this long into the autumn. Just look at them, still adding some colour and grace to my little garden.

We are still awaiting the cold weather and have not even had more than a couple of frosty nights. How good is that! It was 15oc this afternoon. It has meant that I have been snug with my little heater on out  in my studio, whenever I get any spare time, to work on the last of my cards and jewellery for this year.

 I will be back with some more Studio news very soon to show you how things are coming along but will leave you with a little sneak peek of my cosy creative space taken this evening...!!
I hope all my American blogging buddies had a wonderful Thanksgiving and will now join me on the sleigh ride towards Christmas.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. I hope you are starting your Christmas lists? Thank you as always for your visits and for taking the time to leave such lovely comments. It's always such a pleasure to see you here.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Cath Kidston kind of weekend

I had such a great weekend, as I mentioned we went down to my daughter's where my clever Hb managed to get her downstairs radiators working. Luckily the weather is still so mild that this has not really been a problem but when our winter eventually arrives I am sure she will appreciate some warmth.
On the Sunday we went to Gunwharf Quays at nearby Portsmouth. This is a great "outlet" shopping Centre with all the Big Name shops with slightly smaller prices.

It was another glorious blue sky day... as it was on Saturday as well. It was so mild it really did not feel like 5 weeks until Christmas day.
This is the Spinnaker Tower which is a landmark you can see for miles. We did not have time to go up to the viewing platform but will do so another day.

You could also see the ferries which go over the the Isle of Wight.

We had many happy holidays with the children over on the Isle of Wight and will return there again as it can easily be done as a day visit.

The main reason for our visit on Sunday though was to go to the Cath Kidston outlet shop and we were not disappointed.

We turned down one of the walk ways and there was.....

One of my favourite shops. It was absolutely heaving with people and it was not really surprising as most things in the shop were half price.

                                                       Lots of lovely goodies on display
We emerged from the shop with bulging bags!
We did some other shopping too and as we left I took a few more photos of the sea front and I just love the milky light in these photos.

I know you will all be itching to see what we bought and a few bits I cannot show as they are off to Father Christmas' sleigh! We really were so spoilt for choice. Milly decided she would like a new weekend holdall for Christmas and found this beauty

This is a REALLY big bag and has an extra strap inside that clips on at the side to make it possible to put the bag across your shoulders. It is a cotton fabric but is Teflon coated so if it gets any marks they can be really easily removed.

I spotted this WONDERFUL retro Christmas print half apron. This just sums up the Christmas paper that was around when I was a little girl and transported me straight back to 1968!!
I am in love! It has a great little pocket too and I may even use it for my crafting as well as cooking. It wraps around you and the ties can then be brought round to fasten at the front.

                                           Here are close ups of this wonderful fabric

I also chose a bag to send to Santa's sleigh

Mine is an oilskin "fabric" medium sized tote bag and has a wonderful retro London Olympic games print. I shall have to be patient for another 5 weeks until I can use it and my Hb has told me I must "forget" it has been bought so that I can be surprised on the big day!

and just as we were about to pay just look what I caught sight of...
Needless to say it went into the shopping basket. How ME is that.........??!!!

Welcome to the Christmas Season everyone and I now have a new Santa sack to hang up on Christmas eve, only 33 days to go!

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 18 November 2011

A Christmas card....for someone special.....

It's Friday already and it's another card challenge post from me today. I am entering this into a couple of new (for me) lovely challenge blogs I have found on the internet. These are Penny Black, Winter Wonderland and Gorjuss. I am also entering this week's  Lili of the Valley challenge. I am getting quite hooked on card challenges. They are a great way of getting all my Christmas cards made and even some birthday ones too.

Without further ado here is my entry

The stamp is one of my favourite of this year's Lili of the Valley Christmas release called Milly Winter Window and yes my Milly and Billy came straight to mind "Waiting for Santa!"

I have coloured the image with my trusty promarkers and used some die cuts from my stash and some very sweet Tibetan charms which I use with my bag charms. I have bought lots of Christmas themed charms which are so useful both in my jewellery and card making. I do love it when craft ingredients cross over (and it is much more economical too!)

Here are the little charms in close up which spell "Let it Snow" and also a tiny snowflake.

I also added some pretty blue flowers which I "glittered" to give them some extra sparkle.

I finished my card off with a round sentiment.

These are the challenges I am entering my card into;

Lili of the valley card challenge 121 A card for someone special (shhh I can't tell you who this card is destined for yet but they are indeed special ;0)

Penny Black November card challenge All creatures great and small (A big girl and a tiny cat!)

Totally Gorjuss challenge 106  Christmas traditions (my tradition is Waiting for Santa!)

Winter Wonderland Challenge Awww what a cutie any cute image.

I also want to mention here the candy up for grabs at The Ribbon Girl blog. They have a stash of Christmas embellishments that I would love to get hold of!

Thanks for looking at my card.

So there we are, another week over and only 37 days til Christmas. I went shopping yesterday with my dear friend Karen and we started our search for our gifts. I can't give much away but I can say that there are already some gifts  for Santa to stack on his sleigh ;0)

We are off Milly's again tomorrow. My Hb is going to try to get her radiators downstairs in her new house to actually heat up properly whilst my girlie and I disappear for some Christmas shopping. I am reliably informed that there is a Cath Kidston outlet shop nearby too.....yipee , I can't wait. I am also meeting up with some old school friends first at lunchtime in London. Some I have not seen since the day I left school, July 1979. It should be great fun. I am then catching the train and will meet my Hb and Milly there.

Wishing you all a great weekend. The sun is still shining here in the South East of England and I still have not got out my winter woollies. I was told that it is the warmest start to November for 350 years!  I hope you are all keeping cosy and warm where ever you are and that you are just beginning to get into the spirit of my favourite  time of year.

I also keep meaning to tell you that dear Billy is now 100% better and back to leaping and climbing. He has a new place to climb to now...

My King of the Castle! He has still not really ventured into my Studio but he keeps a look out for me whilst I craft away.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My penultimate birthday treat

Over the months some of my great blogging buddies including Vivienne have joked how some people manage to stretch out their birthday celebrations for days, or even a week. Indeed for my 50th birthday earlier this year I spent from Friday to Sunday celebrating. I shared those times with you all in my previous posts. Well, I had another treat recently, yes seriously all these months on!  I was given a "Sunday Brunch" voucher by Milly, Tom and Matt to enjoy a treat at the "Altitude 360" venue in central London. This boasts one of the best high rise views of London. I decided to save my treat until the autumn and we finally booked a table a few weeks ago.

It was actually quite an overcast day but the views were still brilliant and we had a table looking out towards Westminster.

All the windows had painted silhouettes showing all the major sights.

You can see the River Thames with the "Eye" looming over it on the right.

Also on the far right where the trees start is St. Thomas' Hospital where I spent my first 2 years as a junior physiotherapist. We always had a pretty good view! We could look straight across the river to the House Of  Parliament.

The food was gorgeous. The brunch started with a glass of champagne and moved onto any combinations of eggs, bacon, veg etc. It was an all you could eat buffet and we then finished off with.....

pancakes. I chose chocolate filling with syrup, fresh soft fruits and a small scoop of clotted cream. It was a great brunch but of course we needed to walk off all those calories so we took a walk around that part of London.

I took my trusty camera so that you could join us! We walked past Big Ben


Past Westminster Abbey..(Remember "The Wedding" ..not  "THE  Wedding" of course, which is next July!!

We then did a loop along the river to end up at one of my favourite museums, Tate Britain.

If you ever visit London this is really one not to miss. Tate Modern on the South Bank is a really interesting building, but I am not really a great fan of modern art. I love classical art and artists including the Pre Raphaelites. They all have their work on show  in Tate Britain.

There was a special exhibition called "The Romantics" on at the time so we were spoilt with more wonderful art

We really had a most enjoyable day. Believe it or not I STILL have one more present to use. I have a theatre tickets voucher but as they have no use by date I think we will wait until the gloomy days of January or February to see a West End Show. Has anyone any suggestions....?

I hope you all enjoyed visiting London with me and sharing my penultimate birthday treat. Now who says birthdays are over and done with in one day? I wonder if I hold the record for the longest birthday celebrations ....;0) 

Bye for now,

Jane x