Saturday, 28 July 2012

From this day forward...

I cannot believe that The Day has finally arrived! I have scheduled for this to post at 3pm today as that is the exact time that our darling daughter is getting married. This is our sweet girl in the Summer of 1987, happily playing on the beach on holiday. This really makes a lump come to my throat just looking at her aged 18 months.  She has grown into the best woman (and Doctor) you could meet. So kind, funny and generous  and I love her so very much.

 Yes after getting engaged in December 2010, amongst all the snow we had at that time, the months have flown by and here were are ready to see Milly wed her beloved Tom. I am so happy for her as she has found a soul mate in him. I have always dreamt of this for my own girl as I married my soul mate too in July 1981 and we celebrated our 31st Wedding Anniversary on Wednesday. It will be a very proud Dad who is giving away his darling daughter today. I shall watch with so much love and pride. Our son is an usher so we will all be a big part of her special day......4 peas in a pod ;0)

At this very moment Milly and Tom will be saying their vows and I will be standing in my outfit wearing these................

They are grey satin and I love them. There is nothing like new shoes and of course if a girl has new shoes then she just has to have....

a new bag of course.

This is my clutch bag, it's tiny and will just hold a few essentials; the tissues will be in there just in case.

You will have to wait until next week when I get a chance to sort through my photos until I can show you a few photos of the day but I thought I would take this opportunity to share my very last sneak peeks, as I could not risk them being seen by anyone in advance of today.

These are a couple of pieces I made related to the  wedding jewellery. If you have not read about my wedding jewellery the posts are here and here
Milly wanted a bracelet to wear which matched in with the bridesmaids necklaces. The photo below shows  what I made. I used one medium and 2 small sized  beads, the same design as I used in the bridesmaids' necklaces. I used the same freshwater pearls too and finished it off with a heart toggle clasp.

I decided that it would also be lovely to make a keepsake for the bridesmaids and also for Milly. As you know I love making bag charms and I had one of those light bulb moments in bed one morning that I could make them all a bag charm with one of the necklace beads in. So I did and here they are...

The one in the middle is for Milly the other 2 are for Megan and Laura, the bridesmaids. I do hope they like them.

 When the beads were being made by Laney we had to decide on sizes. Laney sent me 3 different sized lentil beads and we decided to use the smallest beads for the necklaces and one medium for the middle of Milly's bracelet. It did mean that I then had a large and a few medium sized lentil beads spare. I thought the large bead would make a great pendant for Milly as she really loves the bridemaids' beads. I thought a pendant necklace would be really different for her to use after the wedding. So this is what I will have given her yesterday when we spent a whole girlie day together at a hotel spa, her last day before her wedding.

I really hope she likes it. I bought a really good quality sterling silver chain to hang the pendant on.

So the only pieces of jewellery you will not have seen yet is her own necklace and earrings. We decided to keep these very simple indeed and to go for classic freshwater pearls. The pearls  were selected  for me abroad by a seller I have known for some time and they are just stunning.
Pearls are graded by their size, regularity of shape and lustre and these ones are just gorgeous. A+++ quality. They are quite large for pearls (8mm) and all I did was put some crystal spacers between. We both LOVE this necklace and she will enjoy wearing it after the wedding too.

It has a simple heart toggle and was made with lots of love by me for my girlie. Here is a group photo with her pearl stud earrings in too.


I also made her a lucky horseshoe which I will give to her after the ceremony. Her bridesmaids are carrying sunflowers and she has ivory roses and bright gerberas in her bouquet so this is a little of both.

I attached it to an ivory ribbon. It is a wooden horse shoe and quite traditional over here to give something like this to the bride just after she has said her vows.

As she will have been seen by all now I will give you one tiny sneak peek of the back of her dress......ready.........

This was taken at the second dress fitting so all the little beads have been tied off now and finished. This lacing takes some time to do but looks stunning. Milly wanted a dress that looked good from both the front and the back and she really did find it. You will have to wait to see the front ;0)

I will also share a photo from the practice hair day  to show the gorgeous flower hair comb we had made. We saw the maker at a wedding fair last year and just fell in love with her work.

This was taken at Milly and Tom's house in May. It just compliments her hair and her dress so well.

So now my last sneak peek just has to be their card which I have shown at the top of my post. That showed the box I made for it, here it is in all it's glory taken out of the box.
It's one of my easel cards and this is the front. I have used flowers to try to match Milly and her bridesmaids' bouquets, there is a bit of both here. I used lots of lace, punch cut vellum butterflies and lashings of glitter on the flowers to give them sparkle. It's hard to see in the photo but the backing paper I used is lovely matt shiny silver card.

I used my beloved Lili of the Valley Bride and Groom stamp and again used some of the colours that will feature at the wedding. I carefully coloured it with Promarkers.

I also used my recently acquired
calligraphy skills to write the sentiment inside.

There is something special here too - the white flower in the centre (and also on the lid of the box and the far right hand side of the front of the card) is taken from my headdress from my own wedding day. The headdress was broken and unusable but I cut out some of the flowers and used them here. It was wonderful to be able to use them in this way. It really is a card with a lot of love inside.There are 2 rings for the card to "stand" on.

Here is the easel standing up and also a view from the side.

 I would like to enter my card into the following challenges; (I will put up the links on Monday).

4 Crafty Chicks Wedding
Whimsey stamps challenge 49 Summer Fun
Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes
Dream Valley #37 Summer
Make it Monday  linky party 100
I love Promarkers #127 Gold, silver or bronze
The Stamp Man Challenge Blog Anything Goes
Coffee, Chocolate & Cards Challenge blog Rainbows and butterflies #18
Lili's Little Fairies A touch of romance

I know that you will all be thinking of us today.  I have been so touched by all the emails, comments, cards and even presents that you have sent. Thank you all so much. I find it hard to put into words how much our families are looking forward to celebrating Milly and Tom's Wedding Day today. I am so very proud of my Girlie and I wish her and Tom a lifetime of happiness together, full of love, from this day forward........

I shall raise my glass at the toast and toast all my blogging friends too...cheers!

(I have also not forgotten that my 2nd Bloggerversary was on Thursday. I shall be back with a post soon and a little celebratory giveaway. I am sure you will forgive me for being late with that, there was rather a lot going on at the time ;0) Thanks for being such a positive force in my life).

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane  (the Mother of the Bride)   ;0)

Monday, 23 July 2012

The Olympic Flame and Summer arrive in a blaze

Wow..what a difference a week end makes. The promised summer weather certainly arrived and since Saturday the sun has been shining from dawn to dusk. Today was a rather special day as the Olympic flame was coming to my neighbourhood. I had decided to take the day off and I am so glad I did as I really loved seeing the torch being carried right in front of me. Matt's girlfriend and I decided to walk down to the ponds a couple of hours earlier as we thought that there would be crowds. This was a good plan as I have never seen so many people in our High Street!. As we walked down the sun was blazing.
There was a big festival also being held in front of the newly opened Honeywood and we were amazed to see a swan ship on the ponds ready for a band to play.

We decided to find a less busy vantage point and chose the mini roundabout which is just up past the Greyhound pub you can see on the left of this photo.

This was our viewing point at 12.45

and at 2pm when the flame arrived this was the view........

Just a bit busier isn't it. Once the police outriders moved on we had a perfect view back down towards the High Street and ponds.

First the sponsors drove through.

and finally the bus in front of the torch runner appeared.

Everyone was clapping, cheering and flag waving and I really felt quite choked. There was a feeling of total joy and community spirit!

And behind this was the one thing we had all waited for...............................

Hooraaaaaaay! The 2012 Olympic flame being held by the torch bearer. Yes we stood this near and everyone was just cheering so loudly. It was an awesome moment. And as quickly as he arrived .......
he ran on. Afterwards all the crowds walked back towards the pond to enjoy the bands playing and the festival spirit.

It was funny being able to walk down the middle of the road. Everyone was in such a great mood and yes the weather really did help ;0)

Yes I really did, with my own eyes and I shall always remember that momentous occasion for ever. I am so glad we went. I enjoyed a cup of tea with C afterwards and then she made her way home. The Olympics are only 4 days away and The Wedding is now just 5....yes 5 days away. There is so much excitement in my life at the moment that I am trying to put on a cool head. Today's card is how I would like to think I am in these last precious days...LOL!
This is a brilliant stamp made by my great blogging buddy Kerry's company Ladybug Crafts Ink. She is such a cool stamp called Martini Nicci. Perhaps I can call it Martini Jane for today ;0)

I have had coloured her with my Promarker Pens and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils. I have used papers from my stash and the cute Lili of the Valley tag stamps. I finished off with a gorgeous green shimmery organza ribbon and some pearls.

I would like to enter my card into the the following challenges;
Dream Valley #37 Summer
Joanna Sheen Animal antics
MIM linky party #99
Brenda  from Floral Inspirations Photo Inspiration- I have used the colours from her photo as inspiration, greens and red Poppy photo inspiration

Now as I say I hope my card shows me how I am trying to behave in this run up to my darling Daughter's wedding this Saturday. Cool, calm and collected ;0) Everything is ready and I am off on Friday to spend the day with her, her last day as a single woman. The Wedding is at 3pm on Saturday and if blogger scheduling behaves I have a little surprise post planned so do tune in then for some very special sneek peeps. This is my last post before this most momentous day. I would like to thank you all for your wonderful kind messages. I am going to inhale and treasure every single moment of my day as The Mother of The Bride.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Best of British

When I visit my parents in Kent  they often treat me to lunch at a local nursery in Knockholt called Coolings. This is a gorgeous nursery selling great quality plants and the on site restuarant is rather good too. I always have homemade soup and a roll; Summer or Winter followed by a slice of homemade cake.
Coolings often have greenhouse display showcasing plants of the season. When we last visited I was delighted to see a Red, White and Blue Best of British theme for the Summer Showcase.
There was a table set up for a Jubilee party.

Even a London taxi featured amongst the floral displays.
One of my favourite annuals are fushias and they had showcased so many gorgoeus varieties.

I just love these showy plants. Needless to say mine in my own garden this year have been quite slow but they are coming along well. I even have a variety called Blackie and one called Billy ;0)

These pelargoniums caught my eye too.

The displays were so bright and cheerful everwhere.

Now usually I can overcome temptation and come home empty handed. That day though I wanted to buy some shrubs for my front garden.... well OK just a few extras jumped onto my trolley ;0)
Now there's no need to look too closely , yes I can see that there are some more plants underneath too. I have no idea how they got there....perhaps these plants have legs? It was a lovely visit, there is nothing quite like a bold display of colourful plants to sooth the soul. As soon as I got home I got these into the garden and with all the rain I must admit they are going really well. Unlike most summer's I have not had to water them at all!
This is my back garden early yesterday morning when, for the first time in ages, the sun decided to made an appearance.

I snapped this photo out of my back door first thing in the morning. Just look how lush the grass is this year. Usually by late July it is looking more like hay.

You will have spotted my Billy sitting there, enjoying the sunbeam. If you think he looks pleased with himself well he had just had some extra biscuits with his breakfast as it was his birthday. Yes Billy was 4 yesterday...bless.

I also wanted to share a recent photo of Bear which Charlotte sent me.  He is growing so quickly and is the most wonderful dog...I think secretly he is their baby ;0) What a handsome boy he is.

I tried enlarging this but the photo seems to turn into zigzags so I have left it this size. Sometimes I think blogger throws hissy fits with photos especially downloads.

I thought today's challenge card needed to be a flower themed card. I made this card for Tom's sister who has recently got engaged. Tom's Mum and Dad have another wedding booked for next May!

This sweet image is a Penny Black Betsey Bluebell stamp which I coloured with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils.

I have bought a new larger Martha Steward butterfly punch and loved adding some different sized punched butterflies. I added some bling with little gems and the butterfly backing paper also has a lovely sheen to it. I added lots of details to this card including mulberry flowers and pearls and I even made a box for it. It was very well received ;0)

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

Really reasonable ribbons Sizzling summer colours #52
The Stamp Man Anything Goes/Summer colours
Totally Papercraft Lots of Layers #125
Penny Black Allsorts Summer blooms
Penny Black Saturday Challenge Summertime
Papertake Weekly All things Girlie
Stamping with the Dragon Ribbon and bows
Simon Says Stamp Dawny's sketch
The Paper Shelter Anything Goes #73
Divas by Design Anything Goes #44
Make it Monday Linky Party #98

Well this really is the count down to Milly and Tom' wedding now...just 10 days to go. She had her final dress fitting at the weekend and The Dress in now hanging in my back bedroom all ready and waiting to be worn. I have finished all the jewellery. I am working this week and then I have next week off which will be lovely. The Olympic torch arrives here on Monday and I shall be there to wave my flag. I shall be back  next week hopefully to show you some photos of this momentous occasion. Life is certainly very full and busy at the moment. I have lots of lists I am juggling to make sure that I do not forget anything. Thanks goodness for lists ;0) There is great news too about the weather, the jet stream is finally moving north and it looks like by this weekend our normal summer weather will be returning..hooray...Summer you have been missed.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Christmas in July

No you have not read the title of my post incorrectly. I am so fed up with this weather that I decided that as I am such a Christmas lover that I would have a Christmas in July post. Yes there are only 167 to go. I thought I would show you some recent things I have been up to and put a fun Christmas slant on it . It is official that June was the dullest wettest June on record and so far July is going the same way...but

It must be Christmas in July because....
the hosepipe ban has  been removed!

We had this introduced in our area our area in early April and within a week it started raining. We have actually been more fortunate than some poor souls in the North of England where very severe flooding has and is still taking place.
Despite the rain it has not been cold and my plants are still flowering beautifully.

I have hardly had to water any of my pots this year. The flowers don't seem to mind the weather and still show off in all their finery. They are all so cheerful to see growing away.

Even the lawn is lush and green, the only down side is that I hardly have a chance to mow it as I have to keep dodging the showers.

It must be Christmas in July because......
I have finally re potted my indoor cacti and succulents!

This is only about 3 years overdue. I am such a keen gardener but I am afraid that any indoor plants I have survive by total neglect. As I have been unable to work outside in the garden very much I decided that my poor indoor souls would finally get their Christmas in July present.

Just look at them, especially the one in the foreground, it had so outgrown its tiny pot that it had difficulty standing up. I spent a few hours re potting them all a few weeks ago and to my amazement some of my cacti have even started flowers again and the plant in the front here looks so happy....

We call this one Clint Eastwood and look at the new "arms"  he has grown, I think I can even hear him humming now in my porch ;0)

The flowers on these 2 cacti are amazing and no these don't have names ;0)

It must be Christmas in July...
because I bought a new tin.

Yes I spotted this in good old M&S. It is another that has been issued for the Olympics/Jubilee and I think the images on it are really good fun. The shortbread biscuits inside were yummy and the tin has gone down to my studio and is already being used for my crafting stash.

It must be Christmas in July because...........................................

I made my first Christmas card.

Yes there are a lot of  Christmas in July card challenges on at the moment so it was time for me to join in with one.  This one is using one of my Lili of the Valley stamps I bought last year. It is called Milly winter window and I love it so much as it reminds me of my Milly and Billy sitting waiting for Christmas.

I decided on a "white on white" theme for this card as I think these cards look quite sophisticated. It is also a great way of using up your white stash! I have hand punched some snowflakes and used holly embossed backing paper and embossed glittered velum.

 I also used lashing of glitter glue to give some bling to it! As I have been so organised I have put this one up for sale in my Esty shop here. Last year I never had enough time to make more than a few Christmas cards for my shop so I am determined to make a start early this year.

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

Ladybug Crafts Ink Christmas in July, new release!
 Christmas card challenge Challenge 32
Ribbon Girl Girlie card
Winter Wonderland white on white
Sparkles Christmas Challenge #18 sketch
Make it Monday Linky Party #97
The Stamp Man Bring on the bling
Lili little Fairies Anything Goes
Crafter's Companion Ho Ho Ho Christmas #26
A&T Emerald Faeries Challenge Use Lace #28

It must be Christmas in July for Billy.......

because it was so wet outside yesterday that when I saw the naughty boy flat out on my just changed bed linen......

 I actually let him stay there!

What a cheeky lad he just stretched out when he saw me and that little pink nose as always melted me and he was allowed to stay.

And finally, it must be Christmas in July....

because in 18 days time my darling daughter is getting married.

And that has to be the most exciting count down. I went to her Hen Party on Saturday held in London. We had such a fab time, we mixed cocktails in Vodka Revolutions in Soho. There was a lot of laughter there.  I won't tell you what the design of the straws we drank through the cocktails through were but there is a clue in the word ;0) Afternoon tea in the Dorchester in Mayfair was so elegant, the tea was a special "Wimbledon tennis tea" and all the cakes were tennis related and totally delicious. We ended the day with an evening at Ronnie Scott's Jazz club, such amazing music and then caught taxis back to our hotel where we collapsed into bed at nearly 2am. Such a fab time.....I will share a couple of  photos.

On the tube to Soho.
Cocktail shenanigans

Walking past Bank to catch the tube with her bridesmaids to be 

A slightly more sedate afternoon tea at the Dorchester hotel. We made this last for nearly 3 hours! There was no photography allowed at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, our last Hen stop in the evening  but you can take my word that is one place in London that you really should visit!

I hope this Christmas in July post brought a smile to your faces. Let's hope that the weather really does become more summery soon.

Enjoy the rest of the week, 

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x (AKA Mrs Christmas)