Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Popping in post Christmas

I'm just popping in with a quick after Christmas post and I also have a challenge card to show you. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas? I certainly did and Father Christmas was most generous ;0)

Here is my card latest creation, using a Gorjuss Girls stamp. I have called my card "Girlie Love".

I coloured my stamped image using my trusty ProMarkers. I really enjoyed getting some depth of red into her dress by adding some shading with my Prismacolor pencils.

Here she is in close up.
Unusually for me I decided to cut her out, I like the way she is more "3D" on my card. I used some heart backing papers which I matted using black card.I rather like this red/black/cream combo.

I made a lace and ribbon border for her to "sit" on using cream lace and cream organza ribbon.

I finished off my "Girlie Love" card with a round hand stamped birthday sentiment.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges.

Ribbon Girl challenge Red, black and cream challenge 14
Totally Papercrafts Time to party challenge 97
Party Time Tuesday anything goes Challenge 48
I love ProMarkers Anything goes Challenge 98
Stamping for the weekend Anything goes challenge 23
Totally Gorjuss A card for someone special challenge 111
Make It Monday link up your cards party Challenge 69
Paper Sundaes Challenge 100 celebrations
Scrapbook Sisters Anything goes challenge 66
Top Tip Tuesday anything goes Challenge 66
Simon Says Stamp Challenge anything goes

Even though Christmas was only a few days ago it does it seems like a while now as we continued our celebrations over Boxing day, when Milly and Tom joined us and also yesterday when Milly and I hit the Sales!
Here is a photo of the table set up on Christmas day

and remember I told you that I have my cracker filled secretly.................

here it is and inside my Hb and put a special Estee Lauder eyeshadow compact in the colour I want for wearing to "The Wedding". It is called Polished Platinum and is very sumptuous.

I had some fab presents including a tumble polisher for my silversmithing work, new CK bag, new card guillotine, beauty products, candles, chocolate (of course, how can Christmas be complete without too much chocolate) but one of the most unusual and so apt for me was this wonderful large resin pig bought for me by my dearest Son. It was in a huge box and he bought him to live on the decking of my studio.

Here he is having trotted down the garden ;0)

Of course Billy had to check him out!

I guess this is the seal of approval and that they will now get on on! My pig is such fun and keeps and eye on all the comings and goings in my studio.

And of course our Billy had his present which was full of cat nip toys which he chased after during the day.
Billy also has a confession......he did steal a piece of turkey from the table! Naughty boy...we sent him off to sit on one of the kitchen stools whilst we finished our dinner!

Of course he looks as though butter would not melt.....and it's impossible to be cross with such a handsome boy isn't it? He was as good as gold from then on (and full of turkey!)

I am looking forward to catching up with  everyone's  blogs now that our Christmas festivities are over for 2011. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. We are celebrating quietly over at my parents with a meal on Saturday night. I will raise my glass to all my Blogging friends. What a wonderful year it has been, I have so enjoyed sharing my journal  and want to thank you all for the wonderful comments you have left this year and for being cherished friends. There is so much to look forward to in 2012, I can hardly wait! See you next year ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Saturday, 24 December 2011

'Twas the night before Christmas....

and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring not even a ..

Isn't he cute? My dear Hb bought me this last Christmas. We went for a weekend to York and we found a delightful shop which sold Maileg products. They are the sweetest toys and I fell in love with this match box mouse. Little did I know that when we got home he phoned the shop and got one sent to him. I opened this last Christmas and fell in love.

If you slide open the box and take off his knitted blankie this dear little mouse is sleeping inside. I will be honest this mouse has stayed around all year as I cannot resist him.

Well here were are at last. Everything is ready, the presents bought and wrapped, the fridge stacked with food, house spick and span. I even picked the turkey up from the butcher's on my way home from work yesterday. I am now off work until Wednesday 4 January which will be such a great break.

My son and his girlfriend and my Mum and Dad will be joining us for Christmas Day. Milly and Tom are at his parents this year and are coming to join us on Boxing Day. The mince pies are made and the house is looking so festive.

Billy is up and about and looks as though he is already looking out for Father Christmas.....(There is a little present in store for Billy as he has been such a good boy this year ;0)

My last window of my Advent Calendar has been opened and in one more sleep the Big Day will arrive. As you all know I just love everything about Christmas and I have so enjoyed sharing another Countdown to Christmas with you all. I have even managed to make it snow on my blog!  I have really enjoyed reading all your comments and thank you for taking the time to write them.

You know how I love all things whimsical so I just had to share one last thing with you all in my last Christmas Countdown post this year.

  I have a copy of a dear children's book about  Pookie (has anyone else heard of him?) which I have owned and treasured since 1965. It still has the old price of 5 shillings written inside in pencil. I read it year after year and it was also read to my own children when they were small. The illustrations are glorious in their detail.

Pookie is a little rabbit with wings who lives with Belinda the woodcutter's daughter.

There were several Pookie books and this adventure tells of Pookie being the only creature in the wood who still believes in Father Christmas.

The illustrations are glorious in their detail. This is his best friend even shunning him for being silly enough to believe in the idea of Father Christmas.

Of course Pookie decides to prove everyone wrong and goes to look for FC . He meets FC who invites Pookie to bring all his friends to a feast so that he can prove his existence.

What a wonderful picture this is with that "vivid" colours from 1960s print!

and just as all good fairy tales should end everyone believes again and Christmas Day is saved!

Thanks for indulging me......only one more sleep and if I've been a very good girl maybe my stocking will have something inside too ;0)

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, may your stockings be filled with sweet gifts, your house be filled with laughter and your hearts be full of love at this very special time of the year.

Back soon,

With love,

Jane x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

My last Christmas card for 2011...Simply Christmas

There are only 4 days left now in the countdown to Christmas 2011. Where on earth did December go? The month just flew by. I only have to work one more day now, on Friday and then I will have some welcome time off.

I would first like to share with you my last Christmas card challenge for this year. I will continue to enter card challenges but I will be using non Christmas themed cards from now on. I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone for the kind comments you took the trouble to leave. I really enjoyed sharing my Christmas cards with you all. I have not won any challenges yet but I still have my fingers crossed that Mr Random Number Thingy will pull me out of the hat in the near future! As my Hb reminds me "You have to be in them to win them!"

My last Christmas card for 2011 I have called "Simply Christmas" as I have left off my usual bling and created a card which I think is pretty in its simplicity. Here it is-

I used one of my favourite Lili of the Valley Christmas stamps from this year called "Moonlight  wishes". I hand coloured it using my trusty ProMarker pens and added some depth and shading with my Prismacolor pencils.

Here is my colouring in close up. This moon image is so sweet.

I kept the embellishments simple as I wanted to show off this gorgeous holly glittered vellum backing paper on top of the silver backing  card. It looks as though it is made of ice!

So all I added were some hand punched holly leaves I cut from silver foiled card with 3 red gems as berries......

and finished off with a simple round, hand stamped Christmas sentiment. 

So there we are; my last Christmas card...Simply Christmas. It was made for my dearest friend Karen who is simply the very best friend I could ever ask for.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Passion for ProMarkers Mega Christmas Challenge
Papercrafting journey Christmas challenge
Joanna Sheen Christmas Wishes
Make it Monday Blog Party 68
Totally Gorjuss A card for someone special
Weekly Christmas card challenges Non traditional Christmas colors
Dream Valley Challenges Challenge 22, Christmas
The Squirrel and the Fox Challenge 7 - Christmas
Paper Sundaes Challenge 100 - Celebrate
Stamping for the weekend Christmas

I also thought I would continue with my Simply Christmas theme with a few photos of the little things which give me so much pleasure at this special time of year and to remind everyone to take a deep breath amongst all the hustle and bustle around us at this moment in time .....

Simply coming downstairs to see my tree shimmering...and smelling the gorgeous fir tree smell....

....the presents appearing under the tree (and of course my dear Billy who kept trying to rub round and kiss me whilst I took this photo !)
 growing card I the only person who still loves to receive real cards? At work now most people just send an email stating that they are "Donating" to charity instead of sending cards. I throw a spanner in the works by saying that I am doing both !

I always hang my cards from the bannisters, they are such fun to see.

Now my daughter has her own home she has started displaying her cards this way too. On the subject of Milly   you will be delighted to hear that Tom returned safely from 3 months away at sea on Saturday. That is the best Christmas present we could have wished for.

Simply looking at my violas in the garden , bravely flowering, whatever the weather.

I even spotted.....

yes new shoots from the bulbs I planted in the autumn! What a simple joy to still see new life growing in the dark of winter.

and my last "simple" Christmas joy is........

My sweet advent calendar. The pictures behind the windows have been so delightful. There are still a couple of more doors to open but of course the biggest one is saved til last.......

Yes number 24 on Christmas Eve. Now I wonder what on earth might be behind that last window ;0)

I will be back with one last post in my Countdown to Christmas on Christmas Eve. For those of you who may well be travelling away to spend time with families I will simply wish you a very Merry Christmas. For those of you who will still be around I shall see you all on Saturday for my final post. Take care and Keep Calm and Carry on preparing for Christmas. Remember to enjoy the simple things too at this special time..... we are very nearly there.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 19 December 2011

Crackers for Christmas 2011, only 6 days to go...

It's the real Countdown to Christmas now with only 6 days to go. I have been so busy that I am only just finishing making my Christmas Crackers. Those of my oldest blogging friends will remember last year that in collaboration  with my dear Finnish friend Mia  I posted a demo on making Christmas crackers here. I have always made my own crackers as I like to have something personal and special inside for the receiver.

So I am sure you would like to see this year's offering...............

I chose quite a bright green as they are to match the Christmas serviettes my daughter bought me back from France this summer.

They feature really sweet little Christmas elves with trees and snowflakes. Just my kind of characters.

I bought white and red crepe paper and a packet of light green, red and white tying string and bows to match.

I downloaded the backing paper which I printed out on my own home printer. It features cute reindeer......

and sweet robins. I tied the ends off with the green ribbon and put a bow on each finished cracker.

Here are 5 of the 8 I have made. I am just finishing off the last ones and mine has got to wait for my Hb to put a secret surprise in for me!!

So they are all ready for putting on the table on Christmas day. Now how could I end this post without some of the jokes I found on my search for the corniest I could find?

I hope these make you chuckle! It's been such a miserable day here today. Wet, cold and dark, not my favourite combination at all.  These should bring a smile whatever weather you are having/suffering ;0)

What do you sing at a snowman 

Freeze a jolly good fellow!

Why does Santa have three gardens?

So he can ho ho ho! 

What goes “oh, oh, oh”?

Santa walking backwards

What do you get if you eat Christmas decorations?


How does Good King Wenceslas like his pizzas?

Deep and crisp and even!

Groan.....tee hee!

I shall be back soon, in the meantime I hope all your lists are being ticked off and you are nearly set for the Big Day......if not just take a leaf out of Billy's book..............

Isn't life tough when you're a cat?

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas in London

My countdown to Christmas is dashing along and here we are with only 9 days to go until the big day. I have got all my presents bought and wrapped and I have spent this afternoon after work making some of my crackers. I will show some photos when there is enough daylight over the weekend to take some shots. I would like to first show you all my latest card challenge using my favourite Christmas colours, red and green.

I used a new Lili of the Valley image called "Moonlight Wishes". I think this is such a gorgeous stamp.As you know my Mum and I do love the "Man in the moon."
I stamped the image out and coloured it using my trusty ProMarkers. I love the holly backing papers I used they are SO festive!

I really enjoyed colouring this stamp I kept it very simple as I think it suits the drawing.

I added a  die cut poinsettia (in red of course!) and a red foil star to give some depth. I also added a die cut fir branch. The matting card has lovely embossed holly leaves.

I finished off with a round sentiment and put some punch cut embossed holly leaves around the edge.

I am entering this card into the following Card Challenges;

ProMarkers  Mega Christmas Challenge
Joanna Sheen's Christmas Wishes
Papertake Weekly challenge "I'm dreaming of a (your fave colour) Christmas" My colours are red and green
Paper Sundaes Anything Christmas
Party Time Tuesdays Red and Green Christmas
Papercrafting Journey; Christmas Challenge
Creative Craft Crew "Tis the Season"
Scrapbook Sisters Two colours My two colours are red and green.

I would also like to mention the lovely red ribbon give away on the Ribbon Girl Blog here. I would love to get my hands on that stash!

I had a wonderful evening out on Wednesday when I was treated by my Mum to a festive visit to see The English National Ballet perform The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. I love London even more at Christmas. Despite the crowds everyone seems much more cheerful. I took the tube to The Embankment and got some fun photos.

I rather like the fuzziness of these shots, it was very dark and very cold so it was difficult to keep my camera still. There is a sense of bustling in this shot.

Embankment Tube Station is very close to the Strand and Trafalgar Square. I had a few minutes to spare I took a stroll with my camera and took some festive shots.

Shop fronts all decked out for Christmas

And here is the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square which is an annual gift to the UK from Norway for the help we gave them during the War.
Beautiful isn't she

And towering up above me in the dark was none less than....

.................Lord Nelson...
You can just make him out as a shadow at the top of the plinth. It was a very chilly night so I did not hang around for long and walked the few minutes to The Coliseum. I actually think I prefer The Coliseum to the Royal Opera House. It is smaller and more intimate and the seats are more comfortable!

It's a lovely old building and inside was heaving with excited people ready to see this wonderful ballet. The Nutcracker has to be one of my favourite ballets to see at this time of the year. It really has such a Christmas feel about it.

At this point there was no more photography allowed so my Mum and I settled back to an evening of pure delight. The dancers were superb, the scene changes spectacular, the orchestra stunning and the costumes...on my ...what a treat. I have found myself humming " The dance of the sugar plum fairy" ever since.

The weather has really changed here in the South of England over the last day, we even had sleet this morning and temperatures of -2oc are forecast over night. Much as I know how it does disrupt life here I can't help but also be humming...
"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!"

I hope everyone is keeping warm and snug, this is the last weekend of work before we can finally greet Christmas. As we are all reminded .......Keep Calm (but Carry on having Fun!)

Billy is certainly managing to do so ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now.

Jane x