Monday, 28 May 2012

Planting out

If you are looking for my Jubilee/Olympic Giveaway post it is here . Everyone is welcome so do join in the fun. 

Well it took it's time but finally the good weather arrived and what a wonderful week and weekend it has been. The temperatures have got up into the mid to late 20s, it was 28c in my sheltered back garden. This could only mean one thing for me.......time for planting out! I had beans and tomatoes sewn by my Dad that needed to be potted on . I had also bought my first trays of bedding plants and some fresh potting compost and set aside a sunny afternoon after work to start planting up my pots. 
Billy had been waiting for me to come home from work and I smiled when I saw that he had been dozing in the shade right by the compost. It's a shame he could not have started already...I can just see him with a trowel.
He had been joined by his friend Blackie who often visits. We think this is a stray cat and we think he is a she really but in our house Blackie is a boy. Blackie is very timid and was quite thin and small when he first appeared about a year ago. Lots of our neighbours feed him. He now comes for breakfast every morning and my soft Hb makes sure he gets something nourishing. Billy is quite tolerant of Blackie but will not let him inside and is very protective of his home! Blackie gets fed on our patio steps. 

I got out some of my pots and gave them a good wash and had a think about what was going where. 

I came indoors for a cup of tea and when I went out 10 minutes later I noticed I had 2 helpers.

Inspector Billy 

and his side kick, Sergeant Blackie.
Needless to say they just watched and after a while little Blackie disappeared again. Blackie never walks anywhere,he skips! Sadly he does tend to also roam around the front of our houses and although it is a quiet road I don't like seeing him skipping across. No one knows where he came from but he seems quite happy wandering and is no trouble. 

My little plants eagerly awaiting their yummy fresh soil and big clean pots.
And here are my first ones in place.

And how could I resist this Union Jack!

All in all a very satisfying if rather hot start to my summer garden.
So of course my card challenge just has to be garden related today doesn't it.

It's one of my newest Lili of the Valley stamps, at the moment I cannot remember the name but will come back and edit if I can find out!

I coloured it using my Promarkers and highlighted using my Prismacolor pencils.I used an unusual colour scheme of purple and green and I rather like it.
I found some great backing papers in my stash including the gardening one you can see here. I also added some lovely Marta Stewart hand punched butterflies. I do so love these punches and just wish I lived in the states to buy them as they are so expensive over here.
I completed my card with some ribbon, velum border and a circular LOTV Happy Birthday sentiment.

 I would like to enter my card into the following card challenges;
Squirrel and Fox Best friends #18
Allsorts #156 Happy Birthday to someone special and a blog hop
Pretty Little Ribbons #10 Blossom and butterflies
Totally Gorjuss #133 Something new my new is my LOTV stamp
MIM Linky Party #91

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends too? We enjoyed our trip to Southampton on Saturday  for Milly and I to have our hair and make up practice for The Wedding (61 days to go) and on Sunday went for a lovely long walk with Bear. I suppose it is back to work today for a rest ;0)

Take care, do have a look at my Giveaway...details are at the top of this post. Have a great week ahead.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Jublilations Giveaway

Following all the Jubilations here at Jane's Journal I have decided it is the right time to have a special celebration Giveaway. The weather has just been fabulous for the last few days and with a blue sky from dawn to dusk and dinner in the garden this has spurred me on to get this post up. Just look how my plants are coming along already. There is nothing quite like warm sunshine in the garden and long light evenings.

As you will know we have finally been successful in buying Olympic tickets for the Men's 3 metre springboard semi finals in the amazing Aquatic Centre right in the middle of the Olympic park. Last month my Hb and I had a last day of annual leave to use up from work and we decided to take a trip up to Stratford, the home of the London 2012 Olympics to see how the park was progressing. (Well OK then I also wanted to visit the new Westfield Shopping Centre that has been built there). At the back of Westfield (which is HUGE) there is a great viewing platform

After our window shopping and lunch we decided to head outside and see how things were shaping up.

You can see it was the most dismal day and we had to dart in and out between the downpours.

This is a side view of the Stadium. It really is enormous, this was taken from a fair way away.

This is the amazing Aquatics Centre, where we will be sitting in August.

The structure to the right is going to be a lift feature where people can pay to have a panoramic view of the park.
In the background you can see the tall buildings of Canary Wharf.

At that point the rain came pouring down so we dived into my favourite store, John Lewis.

Inside the store they also have a really good view of the Olympic Park so I snapped a couple more photos from inside in the dry.

They also had some amazing Olympic Pins for sale. Of course I had to buy a couple and I bought limited edition ones. 2 designs I bought are limited to 5,000 of each badge. 1 is really special as it is only a 2,012 run which makes it pretty rare.

The tea and scones badge on the right is the rarest and whilst I stood there looking they were all snapped up.
We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea and a piece of cake back at M+S in Westfield before we headed home.

We had a great view form our seat looking out to Stratford station and the link bridge to the Olympic Park.

Now when I was standing in John Lewis I had the brainwave that a Limited Edition Pin from the 2012 Olympics would be rather cool to offer as a prize for my next giveaway. At first I could not find another one but then hanging by itself was the very last one...and I bagged it. If you remember my Wimbledon giveaway it was a similar story then!

So here we are this is my giveaway prize to one lucky reader. A real rarity.

Now at the time I bought this I had no idea of the Julibations ahead but now that there is so much to celebrate I have decided to offer not 1 or 2 but 3 giveaway prizes to help me celebrate the Jubilee and the Olympics. The pin badge is for the first name out of the hat.

I have made one of my popular bag charms as my prize for the 2nd name out of the hat. This one is a special red, white and blue one with a teapot and tea bag British! The lovely handmade lampwork glass  beads are from my stash and all made by UK artisan lampworkers.

And last but not least as my 3rd prize ....

of course, a Cath Kidston celebration  tea towel!  Everyone who visits my blog both old and new visitors are most welcome to join in the fun. There is only one thing that I ask for -  a little market research ;0)
I would like you to look at the handmade cards-this is the link which I sell in my Esty shop and decide which is your  favourite card and why. It might be the stamp, the colours, the embellishments etc etc.
Then just leave me a comment at the end of this post saying which card is your favourite (you can even look at my sold items if you would like to) You have plenty of time to do this as I am going to leave my giveaway open for 2 weeks. It will close on Friday 8th June at 4pm (GMT). So as not to affect the numbers I will not be leaving my usual replies to your lovely comments but I will enjoy reading them as I always do. I will make the draw that evening and will put up a post with the winners that weekend, so remember to pop back to see if you have won.

So finally my card for today which just has to be another Jubilations card.

This lovely Penny Black stamp called La Soiree is one that I won some months ago in one of the card challenges. I am delighted with her. She inks up beautifully with my Promarker pens and I had fun with the balloons.
I added some more of the papers from the Crafts Beautiful freebies and dug out some of my flowers. I have had the deep blue in my stash for ages and they work really well with my Patriotic theme. I have also added some satin edged ribbon and red,white and blue Baker's twine to finish off my card.

I would like to enter this is the following challenges;
Penny Black and More London Calling
Bearly Mine #36 anything goes
Top Tip Tuesday #77 dig out the old my old are the deep blue mulberry flowers I have had for ages in my stash.
Crafters Companion Here comes summer
Passion for Promarkers #150 Birthdays
Papertake Weekly True colours
Creative Inspirations #164 anything goes
Joanna Sheen Birthdays
Make it Monday Linky Party #90

I'm off to enjoy this fabulous weather as it's my day off. Don't forget to enter my giveaway (please check the details above as I will assume that you not want to be included in it if you have not added a comment re your favourite card your have seen in my Etsy shop) and good luck to everyone. Thanks as always for visiting me, your comments always make my day.

Back soon,

Bye for now

Jane x

Monday, 21 May 2012

When Billy met Bear....

Well "When Billy met Bear" finally occurred last week and we all laughed so much. It was a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon and my son rang to ask if he could bring Bear to visit. On the Saturday I had finally been able to cut the lawn for the first time this year and the garden was looking neat and tidy.
We had also been able to prune the magnolia so the sun was streaming in.

Billy had been taking it easy and had found shade on the veranda of my Studio. When my son first arrived I was talking to a neighbour so I missed what happened next with the camera but my Hb and son told me that as Bear went bounding into our garden Billy's tail fluffed up to twice it's normal size, he turned sideways and raised his back and then sped off over the Studio roof. He looked like a cat out of a cartoon!

Hasn't Bear grown! He is still so lovely and fluffy and even his ears are beginning to stand up now. I didn't know this but their ears are flat at birth and stand up in the air in the early months. Sometimes 1 ear goes right up for a while and then flops down. He bounded all around our garden, sniffing everything.

He even sat in Billy's favourite place.

We thought that Billy would stay away until Bear went home but we laughed to see Billy spying out from next door....

He had taken himself up next door's pear hilarious is this photo and I think the size of his eyes sum up how confused he was by meeting a puppy for the first time.

Over the hour or so Bear spent with us we were amazed to find that Billy actually came back down into the garden.

He kept Bear at arm's length; you can see him in the back right of this photo but was genuinely interested in sussing out Bear. Bear was also a real sweetie as he made no attempt to chase Billy at all.

They actually got this close to one another. Dear Bear wore himself out running after his toys and he was performing his "wait" trick with my son.
He is already doing so well with his training and will sit, give his paw and wait to command. He is only 10 weeks old so I think that is pretty good for a youngster.

Just look at him "waiting" for his master to come back out of the kitchen. Such a good baby.

So after lots of playing Bear wore himself out and laid down in the shade to nap............

and from the corner of the garden, by the garden seat our Billy did just the same ;0)
I hope this will be the first of many meetings and that they may eventually even be friends. Bear had his final injections on Wednesday so he can go out for walks in a few days time. I shall no doubt be called on for walking duties some times and it will also help to burn off some of Bear's young energy.

So a card challenge for today....I thought I would use that hilarious photo of Billy in the Pear Tree as inspiration.

This is a sweet Lili of the Valley stamp called Blossom. Isn't she a cutie.

I coloured her with my trusty Promarkers, highlighting with my Prismacolor pencils.  I used some glossy accents on the flowers so they have a lovely 3d effect.

I stitched a border round the backing  paper and added a pretty yellow die cut.

I would like to enter her into the following challenges.

Joanna Sheen Birthday
Make it Monday Linky Party #90
Crafter's Companion here comes Summer
Squirrel and Fox Best Friends #18
Secret Crafter In the garden #186
Papertake Weekly In the Garden

For those of you who read my Jubilations post here when I first put it up you will be delighted that on the Thursday I came back with an edit as we have got Olympic tickets! I am SO excited. They are for the Men's 3 m springboard diving semi finals in the amazing Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park. The flame is at the moment being taken around the country and it has added to all the excitement here. The countdown to the Olympics really has started now.
The weather has also decided to behave and we are predicted a heat wave by mid week. After the most dreadful May I can ever remember all I can say is " Bring it on!".

Have a lovely week everyone,

Bye for now,

Jane x

PS Is anyone else having problems viewing photos on other people's Blogger posts? Some of the photos I view are just appearing as a block of colour. I then have to click on the photo to open up another window to view?Any thoughts/help?? Jx

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


I am always  proud to be British but this year I feel extra proud and very excited.......
...not just for The Wedding (73 days and counting) but we are celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June and we are the hosts for the 2012 Summer Olympics. This summer is certainly going to be full of Jubilations. I rather like that word and I think it sums up all these upcoming celebrations perfectly.Sadly we were unsuccessful in the ticket ballot for the Olympics and so far unsuccessful in the 1st resale but we will keep our fingers and toes crossed that we may still get some.

OMGoodness update Thursday 17th May...WE HAVE GOT TICKETS!!! Yes I have finally been successful in the second wave application. More news soon. I am SOOOOooo excited! ************

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share a Jubilation we attended long before my Blogging days started.
We were very lucky to attend the Olympic handover ceremony in August 2008.

It was held in front of Buckingham Palace, my daughter was lucky enough to win 4 tickets. The atmosphere was fantastic and some great bands played.

We were treated to a fly over by the Red Arrows.

It really was a great day out and at least I have got those memories even if I have to watch the games on the TV in July.

I always like to buy a little memorabilia for special events and the Jubilee and the Olympics are no exception.

I found 2 great tins in Mark's and Spencer's. This one is for the Jubilee

and this for the Olympics. I can never have too many tins and the bonus of these are that they are full of yummy biscuits to eat first!

I also found this sweet little dish in John Lewis. It is the perfect size to rest my pepper mill on in the kitchen.

I really like the illustration on it, there are some great details , I love all the flag waving public.

I also found this great Jubilee Tea towel, below.

I have also bought tickets for a fab event in London's Battersea Park over the Jubilee weekend. There is a river pageant and festival on Sunday 4th June. If anyone is near London it really is worth a visit. Check it out here
I shall certainly be taking my trusty camera with me.

 So there is a lot of Jubilations going on around here, including The Wedding. I made the card shown at the top of the post just for fun and  I have it put it on my desk  in my studio. It features one of the free backing papers from Crafts Beautiful (thanks for the heads up Helen x). I have used a Ladybug Crafts Ink stamp which I have hand coloured with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils. I hand cut the bunting out of red, white and blue card and made a cord out of red, white and blue Baker's twine. I think this suits the Jubilee and the Olympics perfectly!
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Sir Stampalot  Medals and Monarchs
Penny Black and More Allsorts London Celebrates
Crafter's Companion #24 Here comes summer
Make it Mondays Linky Party #89
Whimsy Stamps #39 Anything Goes
I love Promarkers #117 Anything Goes

Let's hope that the sunshine puts in an appearance for all the's been a very mixed bag here. It's been 4 Seasons in 1 day today but we did have a glorious weekend, so I should not really complain. There was also a hilarious meeting of Billy and Bear on Sunday , I will be back soon to share that with you all ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x