Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 a vintage year

Here we are at the very end of 2012. What a year it has been, so many happy occasions. Like many other blogging friends I think this is a great opportunity to look back over the last year and be so thankful. I thought it would be good to look back through the seasons - despite the torrential rain which started in June and has continued right up til today.

Spring included my birthday celebrations and some gorgeous early sunshine which was sadly short lived. 1st April 2012 was spent outside in the garden in hot sunshine!

Summer was just amazing as it included the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, my darling daughter's wedding and the Olympics. Such momentous occasions. Just about the only hot sunny week we had was the week leading up to the Olympics and indeed my daughter's wedding day. We were so lucky with the weather.

Autumn included our sunny holiday on Rhodes and some of the best conkers seen for years. I harvested my first chilies grown from seed. The autumn leaves this year were also very beautiful

Winter included the countdown to my favourite time of the year...Christmas. I managed a trip to the Winchester cathedral Christmas fair and also carols for Christmas at  Chichester Cathedral and wore my Cinderella slippers to the Ball. I so enjoyed my annual countdown to Christmas and sharing it with all my old and new blogging friends.

My card making has taken on new heights and I was delighted to win several card challenges and also proudly made the Top 3 in several others, my most recent VIP Top 3 was just today with my recent Wrapping up Christmas card. I thought I would share a card collage of a few of my favourite makes of the year.
So there we have it, 2012, such a vintage year. Of course I need to add my card challenge for today and it just has to be one that I have made over the Christmas holiday with some of my new stash.
The image is a new one for me, a Tiddly Ink cutie, these are a sweet range of stamps.

I coloured her with Promarkers pens and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils. You can see that this is the first circular focal I have used as I now have my Big Shot die cutter...woop woop. I used a my new Spellbinders standard circles and scallops to cut this. I also used a brilliant Martha Steward punch at the side. The papers are Nitwits and I also added some hand punched red hearts. The ribbon is actually from some of the Christmas presents! It was too gorgeous to throw away. This card is for sale here in my Etsy Shop and is even included in my 25% off sale.

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

Totally Gorjuss New
Natalie and Amy Your favourite things my Favourite things are my new Big Shot and my new digi stamp
Winter Wonderland New beginnings
Papercrafting Journey anything goes
Charisma Cardz anything goes #51
Cute Card Thursdays anything goes
Party time Tuesdays anything goes #100
Jelly Park Old and new My old is my backing paper, my new is just about everything else!

The Ribbon Girls are also launching a fab new Magnolia only challenge on the last Sunday of each month. Have a look at their link, it sounds like fun...and they have another fab giveaway too!

So there we are...2012 was indeed a vintage year for me and my family. Of course there are always ups and down in a year but I always like to focus on the positives as they so outweigh anything negative. Life is good,  make sure you seize the day.
Thank you everyone for all your visits and your kind comments. It has been a total pleasure to write Jane's Journal for another year. I am looking forward to sharing another year of blogging and friendship with you all.

I will raise my glass of champagne to you tonight at midnight at the New Year Ball.


Bye for now,

Jane x .............and of course I could not close without a word from my Billy.....

Here's to the return of some sunshine in 2013...purr xxxx

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Hello again and I really hope that you all had a fabulous Christmas? What a wonderful Christmas Day we enjoyed. It was a real bonus this year my parents and both our children with their partners were with us. I do know that in years to come this is not going to be possible. As our family grows up Christmas Day does evolve. I think this is a very natural process and I will never be a person who desperately clings to the past. My motto in life is to always live for the day. Every Christmas is unique and every Christmas past, present and in the future will be treasured. We number 8 for our direct family and their partners so this is the perfect number for my dining room table. Billy did try to get a place as I set up the table but he has his own green chair so he was persuaded onto that instead.

What a funny boy he is.....

My crackers well well received and the table looked very festive for our Christmas lunch. I must confess it is the only roast I cook all year but I do enjoy it. My son said he could have eaten a whole plate of roast parsnips.

We gave and received some wonderful presents. My family are so very clever at choosing the best gifts for me.

We flamed the pudding, played cards, laughed a lot and watched the wonderful new Snowman and Snowdog again (we watched it Christmas Eve too). O my this is another classic and I really hope they produce merchandise from it. It will be on my Christmas watching list from now was magical. In the evening we had a buffet tea with all the trimmings. One of my children's favourites is cheese and bacon parcels so of course there were plenty of these. We also had a chocolate Yule Log and lit the candles on it and sang "We Wish you a Merry Christmas".

A really magical day was had by all. Another very treasured Christmas for me and I look forward to all the count down again in 2013. It really is my very favourite time of the year.
So what were my gifts......obviously I can't share them all as I would be here til next Christmas but these are some....

Inside the big snowman paper box was indeed my Big Shot die cutter, I am going to have such fun with this. I was also bought my first dies and some more Martha Stewart punches.

I love this retro Portmerion Kellogg's mug, very me.

I also got these great Harrods tea caddies containing my favourite blends.

My daughter and her Hb bought me, amongst other unique gifts this brilliant  Kath Wohlfahrt  decoration which clips to the branches of my tree. He came back from their recent trips to Bruges. He is a frosty candle with cute dangly legs. So cute.

 and of course pigs had to feature somewhere. This great tin came with lots of crafty goodies inside too.
My son was very clever and managed to buy me the correct Estee Lauder face cream set that I use as well as other well chosen gifts. When I showed my surprise that he bought the correct one his answer was that he used to sneak in and use it when he was at home and needed some moisturiser .......LOL!
What a very lucky girl I was.

So today's card challenge is my last Christmas card for 2012. I am pleased I started working on my cards from September as I was able to get many more made this year.
Although I do really like the contemporary colours I used for some of my cards I will admit that I still love traditional Christmas colours the best. Give me golds, reds and greens any day ;0) I am also using one of my favourite Christmas stamps from Lili of the Valley called Angel with oval bauble.
I made lots of variations of this card this year. This one I sold on Etsy some time ago but it was one of my favourites.
I coloured the image with my Promarker pens and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils. The poinsettia die cut is a Marianne and the snowflake by Memory Box. Just think I will be able to die cut my own shapes now using my Big Shot. I hand punched the small gold snowflake. There is plenty of shine here from using gold card and gold ribbon at the side of the image. The sentiment is by Whimsy Stamps.

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

Crafting for all season's red green and sparkle
Charizma cards #51 anything goes
Pretty little ribbons #17 It's Christmas
Visible Image Christmas
Card Crafter's Circle #55 anything goes
Natalie and Amy Winter Wishes
Papercrafting Journey anything goes
A and T Emerald Faeries #38 Christmas
Joanna Sheen with love at Christmas
Simon Says Stamp anything goes

Please also take a trip to the Ribbon girls blog as they have had an amazing giveaway over Christmas. They also have an amazing online store here

To see the old year out and welcome in 2013 I am also having a Winter/end of the year Sale in my Etsy shop where you can get a massive 25% off everything there. You could stock up on cards for next Christmas as there are still some left here or even start thinking about birthdays and celebrations for the new year. Just enter the Code WINTER2012 at the checkout and this will be taken off your purchase(s)  (does not apply to shipping costs). You could even treat yourself to one of my bag charms; with 25% off they work out at around £5 instead of the usual cost of £6.75

Thanks for visiting me today and I hope you are all looking forward to seeing in the New Year? Let's hope that the new year brings back some dry weather to the UK as the situation has been quite dire for many over Christmas, some parts of the country are still badly flooded.  We are off to a New Year Ball  on Monday night at our dancing class so it may well be time to get out my Cinderella slippers again ;0) Enjoy the last few days of 2012

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 24 December 2012

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

my sweetest boy is dozing as we wait for the family to arrive. I opened the last window of my nostalgic German advent calendar, no surprises what was was there ;0) It has been such a joy to see these vintage pictures behind every door for the last 24 days.

Everything is ready. My food delivery arrived on Friday night and the fridge is stacked full. My parents, my daughter and son-in-law, my son and his girlfriend will join us tomorrow for lunch at 1pm. Christmas is such a special time for me. Today is actually quite relaxed and I have made some more mince pies. I have used lots of different cutters this year to decorate them (and yes of course there has to be a pig amongst them, thank you dear Mia x)
Yesterday, despite the flooding on the A27, we managed to make it to the Christmas Carol service in Chichester Cathedral. My son in law was a chorister there between the ages of 7 and 13 so it holds some old memories for him. I do like to attend a carol service at this time of year too and we were invited to join him and my daughter there. The cathedral was packed and it was the perfect place to sing the carols I have known and sung since I was a child.
Afterwards we walked to the cloisters and enjoyed a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie in a very atmospheric setting

My last challenge card before Christmas has a special greeting.(A quick edit added, do you remember my Tradition Santa card here... I just found out it made Top 3 on one of my challenges I entered..woop woop!)

I have used one of my dear Lili of the Valley stamps called Angels with crib. What a sweet stamp this is, just so peaceful. I coloured it using my Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor Pencils. I added stamp dimension to the wings to make them stand out. The pine branch die cut is Marianne and the snowflake is from my stash. The papers are Papermania from last year...Enchanted Forest. I so loved them and now have very little left. I added some lovely new ribbon I bought in festive red and green with a gold fleck. I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Sweet Stamping Seeing Double my double are this sweet pair of angels but I also have 2 pine branches here too so perhaps I am seeing double double!
Lili's Little Fairies something new my new is my new festive ribbon I bought.
Totally Gorjuss Easy does it #163 I think that the baby Jesus is really taking it easy in his manger ;0)
Stampin for the weekend anything goes #24
Natalie and Amy Anything Christmas
Cutie Pie #34 Christmas
Really Reasonable Ribbons anything goes #34
Simon Says Stamp Merry Christmas
Divas by Design anything goes #66
Papercrafting Journey anything goes
Winter Wonderland wish upon a star
Crafts and Me Bumper Christmas Challenge
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challengeanything goes #104
Woopsi Daisy Celebrate
A+T Emerald Faeries #38 Christmas

This is my last post before that most wonderful day of the year for me. Thank you for sharing my Countdown to Christmas 2012 and for all the wonderful comments you took to time at this very busy time of the year.I would like to wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas. I hope that wherever you are in the world and whoever you share the day with, as my card sentiment says,

"May Christmas bring friends to your fireside,
Peace to your pathway
And success in your New Year"

My daughter and her husband will arrive around 5pm and my Hb has a half day at work so he will be home soon. We are going to wander down to the pub for a winter warmer and then watch the new Snowman and Snowdog animation on TV.
On Christmas day I will raise my glass to everyone in this world and also remember those who are no longer with us. Celebrate the joys of all the Christmas' past, present and yet to be.  Cheers!
All is at peace in Jane's World.

See you all very soon and I hope that if you have been good that Santa slips something very special in your stocking tonight ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Finding my Santa

I have a lot of vintage decorations hanging on my wonderful Christmas tree. Billy wrote a post for me here if you missed me putting it up a few weeks ago. Yesterday was the shortest day of the year and this was how my tree looked twinkling in the evening.
One of my oldest decorations is one originally owned by my granddad (my Mum's Dad). He was born in the late 1890s so I would guess that it is made of one of the very early plastics. It is a pink angel.

He died many years ago;when I was 13, so I don't remember seeing it on his tree but I am delighted that each year it hangs on my tree. I would guess that it dates from the 1940s or 50s?

My Nan (my Dad's Mum) was alive until I was in my 20s and I do vividly remember her fabulous "kitsch" Christmas decorations hanging on her Christmas tree in the 1960s. She lived in a small flat and always had one of those very artificial silver tinsel trees. It always fascinated me.
I must admit we have always had real trees and again I am delighted that some of her decorations hang on my tree now.

Just how retro is this fun Santa ;0)

and how about this genuine 1960s  retro elf. They really do make me smile when I see them. My own Mum has bought me many of my tree decorations over the years. Each one has such a special memory.

There is however one Christmas decoration which I have sorely missed for some years. When I was a little girl my Mum bought a wonderful (to me at the age of around 5!!) Santa on his sleigh. He was a pipe cleaner Santa with a plastic face and little "gifts" on his sleigh. In my childhood mind I used to imagine he was real and thought of all the journeys he made on Christmas Eve.

Some years ago I noticed that my Mum had stopped hanging him on her tree. When I asked where he was she told me that she had thrown him away!!

I was stunned....but realized she could not have possibly known of my childhood memories. She just thought he had got a bit tatty and threw him away after Christmas one year.

Since that day I have put an "Ebay" search on at Christmas time to see if I could find him again. Several have come up but they have either been in really poor repair or have gone for too high a price.
2 weeks ago I found one had been put on Ebay. It looked in good condition and I contacted the seller who said that for a decoration that was 50 years old it was in great vintage condition. It's starting price was £4.99 and I put on a maximum price of £7 and sat back and waited.

The auction finished last Saturday and yes, you guessed it........I won and for just the starting price of £4.99. I eagerly waitied for Mr Postie to deliver him and he arrived a few days ago.
I am just so delighted as he is in wonderful condition. Here he is;

He is just exactly the same as my old Santa and is even carrying his little whip. He is quite fragile so I have sat  him on the branches so that he does not rip his hat. Now there is more to the story as the seller not only sent me him but she sent me......a spare!

Now the spare does have a little bit of damage, he no longer carries his whip and one of his feet is missing but the seller said I could have him for "spare parts". Well of course I cannot just use him for spare parts, he will stay with "The Boss".

So after all these years I have found my Santa and he is able to ride his tree again. And who knows maybe he will be missing on Christmas Eve for some time delivering presents ;0) and he even has a one legged friend to help!
My card challenge today just has to be another "vintage/retro" feel card. It is another that I made using an image from the brilliant Joanna Sheen CD I won.

He is a really happy Santa and just so vintage to me. He epitomizes the Santas seen on cards in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Here he is in close up. The backing paper is my home made blended distress inked card using Tim Holtz red and green ink pads. I added Lili of the Valley sentiments and matted everything with very festive red card. The red gingham ribbon was added as a finishing touch.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Joanna Sheen with love at Christmas
Holly Jolly Challenge Vintage Christmas
Card Crafters Circle #54 It's Christmas
Papercrafting Journey Anything goes
Paper shelter #93 anything goes
Charisma cards Santa #50
Woopsi Daisy Traditional Christmas
Whimsy Stamps anything goes at Christmas
Crafts and Me Bumper Christmas challenge
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge anything goes for Christmas #104

There are just 3 days left of my Countdown to Christmas. I will be back on Monday for my very last post. We are off to a family birthday meal tonight and then on Sunday we will be enjoying the carols at Chichester Cathedral with our daughter and son in law. I just have to collect the turkey on Sunday from the local butcher and then I am all set for the family to arrive. I hope you are all getting the finishing touches completed for this magical time. It is certainly not going to be a white Christmas here this just keeps on raining!

I am so glad that I found my Santa again, after all these years  Ho Ho Ho ;0)

Back on Christmas Eve for my final exciting.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wrapping up Christmas

I am sure that most of your have finished your shopping and now have the wrapping up to do. Now I will confess that I do not really enjoy this part of present giving but I do appreciate how special presents look when they are well wrapped. I really wanted to find some gingerbread men wrapping paper to wrap my husband's pressies in and I searched everywhere with no success. I then remembered my fab gingerbread man stamp which I bought recently and made several cards with. I had a eureka moment in bed one night when I thought....I could make my own gingerbread men wrap and tags.

If you have not seen him in my previous post here he is. I decided that he would look great stamped in brown ink on brown paper. I simply used brown parcel paper which I keep anyway for posting.
The really good thing about making your own paper is that you can cut the paper to size before inking it.

I cut each piece of paper out roughly to size and then had fun stamping in a random pattern over the whole sheet of parcel paper. I stamped on the shiny side using a die based ink so that it dried instantly.

Here are some of the parcels all wrapped up.

I then wondered how to make the tags and decided that in keeping with the parcel paper that I would buy standard brown parcel tags from W.H.Smiths.

Using Versamark ink I stamped the image onto my brown tags and then used gold embossing powder to raise the image.

I do love the effect. I decided to make lots of different tags so I got busy embossing.

Here are my embossed designs. I then added embellies to some of them.

I then wrapped up Hbs pressies and finished them off with some fab Gingerbread people ribbon I had in my stash.
It was then time to hide them under the tree.

and here they are under the tree ready for Christmas morning.....only days left now!
Obviously today's card for my challenges will be gingerbread themed using the same sweet stamp I bought.
Both my sentiment tags are Lili of the Valley with some added glitter. The holly leaves are hand cut with my holly punch as is the snowflake. The foil ornament is a Marianne die. I added some festive real bells with the ribbon.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Ladybug Crafts Ink anything goes my new stash here is my fab gingerbread man stamp (even though he is old from Ebay!)
Simon Says Stamp Merry Christmas
Crafts and Me Bumper Christmas Challenge
Paper Shelter #93 Anything goes
Divas by Design #66 anything goes
Whimsy crafts Anything goes Christmas #54
ABC Christmas Y is for your favourite die/punch again my holly punch is my favourite at this time of the year.
Really Reasonable Ribbon anything goes #62
Joanna Sheen with love at Christmas
Party Time Tuesday Photo inspiration, gold/green/red #99
Holly Jolly Vintage christmas
Hooked on Crafts Christmas
Papertake Weekly Pic of the Year - favourite challenge mine is that from 11 Sept called "things that make you go awwwwww"
Top Tip Tuesdays anything goes #92
Cute Card Thursday Eat , drink and be merry #248
Papercrafting Journey anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge anything goes #103

Also The Ribbon Girl are hosting a Christmas giveaway, do pop on over and join the fun.

I hope you are singing along to some Christmas tunes as you wrap your parcels. I went off to deliver my parcels to my parents today and then tomorrow is my last day at work until 2 January. I am so looking forward to a lovely break. Take care everyone and thanks for stopping by, it's great to see you here and read your lovely comments,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Take one orange....

I promised to come back with a quick tut for making a Christmas Clove orange. I know there is only one week to go but this is so quick to make and the smell is just divine  When I smell this it takes me back to each wonderful Christmas I have enjoyed since I was a little girl. I can also remember my children making these at school and bringing them home to hang up. I last made one of these myself as a child and for a couple of years I bought the ingredients but never seemed to get things together in time. This year I bought the ingredients again and on Sunday I finally made the time. I am so pleased I did as the end product was really worth it.

1 medium sized orange.
Jar of dried cloves.
1 large or 2 medium cinnamon sticks.
1 meter of thin ribbon (avoid satins and organzas)
Pins .
30 minutes of your time ;0)

So here we go...take one orange

Divide the orange into quarters by wrapping around the ribbon and crossing it over underneath
Secure the ribbon using pins, just simply push them into the flesh, they wont' be noticed at all. Tie the ribbon with a knot at the top but don't finish a hanging loop yet.
Open the jar of cloves and inhale deeply.......mmmmmm.....just wonderful
Use a cake tester or something else sharp to make holes in the flesh and then push a clove into each hole
Once all the orange skin is covered open up the cinnamon sticks and again pause and inhale deeply..............another............mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Sit the orange on it's base and cut the cinnamon stick into 2. Tie in one piece...
Then tie in the second and finally make either a hanging loop or as I did just tie the orange to wherever you want to display it.
Mine is hanging from the banisters where we also have lights and hang our cards.
The smell is just wonderful and it brings back a lifetime of Christmas memories. Do try one, they really are so festive and really easy to make.
My card really has to be something from the past too. I recently was the lucky winner of the weekly candy at Joanna Sheen's great blog and I received this card making CD in the post. It features images by  Giordano which were so

popular when I was a child. I can remember these images on cards which I bought and received in the late 1960s and early 70s. I had a play and found all sorts of projects on the CD including images, backing papers etc. I printed out one of my all time favourites from years ago. It is of a very stylised nativity and I used it to made a couple of quick last minute cards. There is no colouring involved so all I had to do was print out the image and put together my card design.

I simply matted the image onto gold card and added a few simple embellies as I did not think the image needed a lot more. I was really pleased with this.A very simple card for me but so right for my childhood memories of making Christmas Oranges.

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

Joanna Sheen With Love at Christmas
Top Tip Tuesdays Christmas #92
Bunny Zoe's Monthly Challenge Celebrations
Hooked on Crafts #27 Christmas
Woopsi Daisy Traditional Christmas
Holly Jolly Christmas Vintage Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Anything Goes #103
Crafty Catz New beginnings I think the Nativity certainly fits the bill ;0)
Forever Friends fortnight challenge Christmas #51
Forever Friends monthly challenge Christmas cards
Dream Valley Anything Goes #34
Cutie Pie Christmas #34
ABC Christmas Y is for your favourite die/punch My favourite punch here is my fab holly punch, it is a really old Woodware one. I use it so much at this time of the year.

I would also like to mention that the Ribbon Girl has a 6 of the best giveaway..pop on over and join in the fun.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope I can inspire you to made a Christmas Orange and evoke some special childhood memories too. Keep inhaling that smell of Christmas past, present and yet to come. Enjoy the last week of festivities, remember to

Keep calm and carry on making Christmas ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x