Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 from the pages of Jane's Journal

I really enjoy looking back at the year that is coming to a close today. 2013 has been a wonderful year....yes there are always ups and downs in life but I feel blessed that we have enjoyed so many great times. I have made a photo collage of each of the seasons as they came and went.

Spring...early spring brought some lovely weather and my beloved daffodils bloomed.

Summer....although late starting we had fabulous weather and  my vegetable crop from my garden was one of the best. We also had tickets to Wimbledon on a scorching hot day, the players had to be sheltered from the sun with umbrellas, it made a change from the usual rain.

Autumn found us holidaying in sunny Rhodes and then gathering conkers at home.  November 11 for us was the best day of the year as my precious granddaughter Daisy Jane came into the world.

Winter...has only just begun but brings my favourite time of the year. ..yes Christmas and there are only 359 days to go until the next one ;0)

And here is 2013  in one collage from the pages of my journal.

I have not featured any of my crafting in these collages as I will be back in the New Year with my Top 5 creations of 2013, now that is going to be much more difficult than the Christmas one.

Today's card challenge is one to celebrate the New Year and is my Design Team GD card for Nicecrane Designs. There are some lovely DT cards over at the blog, do stop by and say hello.  I thought this printed digi image is just perfect for tonight. I used lots of gold card. There is a TH clock die, plus my J Sheen ivy die and the numbers are from Quickutz.
It is from a fab sheet of wine and elves digi images available on the website here

The backing papers are from Bearly Mine, a win for me during last year. If you recognise the bell it is from my Lindt chocolate Santa! I just added a red ribbon to it. Well waste not want not.

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

Bearly Mine anything goes
Pan Pastels UK anything goes
Crafty Little Fairies anything goes
Cute card Thursdays anything goes
Loves Rubberstamps New Year resolution, mine is to try to make more shaped cards, they do take longer but are such fun.
A creative Romance Sparkle
Totally Gorjuss New
Make it Monday Linky Party #172
Squirrel and Fox anything goes
Party Time Tuesdays Party
Artistic Inspiration anything goes
Crafting from the heart anything goes
Lunagirl Moonbeams Vintage winter/New Year
Whoopsi Daisy celebrations
Polkadoodles anything goes

 I would also like to mention that the Ribbon Girls are having a fun button competition ..all the details are here

So it's goodbye to 2013. I hope you all enjoy seeing out the old year tonight and ringing in 2014. May it be a happy and healthy one for you all. Thanks for making blogging such fun for me. You are all such a supportive cheerful bunch and thanks for all the lovely comments that you take the time to leave me. Here's to another year of blogging friendship and fun. For those of us in the South East take care tonight/tomorrow, it appears there is another storm heading our way, stay safe.

I will raise my glass to you all at midnight.


Back soon

Bye for now

Jane x

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Hello everyone and I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas?  Ours was fabulous and spent with the family over 4 days. We ate lots of good food, shared lots of laughter and exchanged gifts. Boxing day was our Christmas day number two and our darling Daisy Jane delighted everyone. Such precious family time. Everyone has now gone home and my Hb and I are enjoying a few more days off work.

This was my table all set for Christmas day.

  My handmade crackers went with a bang, literally and the presents I enclosed were so well received. I can now  reveal what was inside my Darling Daughter's and Daisy's. This was a secret surprise I had been working on at my  silversmithing class.....I made 2 silver daisies using the lost wax casting technique. First I had to make a pair of daisies in wax. I was able to texture the wax,using of all things the string bag from satsumas. I used cutters from my cake decorating stash (I love the way my crafting stash overlaps with my different hobbies) and then manipulated the petals and made a small centre piece which I gave texture to using a cocktail stick. Once I was happy with the wax models they went off to Hatton Garden in London to be cast in silver. When they came back they had a sprue attached which I had to saw off. I then filed and polished the pieces and finally put them into the tumble polisher. I bought chains for them, a short one for Daisy and a longer one for her Mummy. Here they are all finished

and a close up
and this is where Daisy found hers;
I received some lovely gifts including an amazing Butler and Wilson broach from my Hb. We dance so this was very appropriate

We are having a quiet night in this evening and then will start some more celebrating tomorrow right through to the New Year. What fun!

My challenge card today will be the last Christmas card I will share with you this year. I have really enjoyed making them since late summer. I am glad I started so early as I managed to make nearly 30. However I still  had to buy a few shop bought ones to make up the numbers I needed.

I have used one of the oldest rubber stamps I own made by the delightful Helen and Mark over at Visible Image. I bought it years ago and it still is one of my Christmas favourites. I just used clear embossing to give it a gorgeous sheen. I added a vellum sheet over black card stock to give a wintery night time feel. The Santa and Sleigh and the white holly leaf die cuts are Cheery Lynn. The candle is Marianne and the snowy corners Memory Box.

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

Visible Image Christmas
Oh La La winter wonderland
Pan Pastel UK anything goes
Rhedd and Rosie let it snow
A creative Romance sparkle
Country View Crafts Bah Humbug
Papertake Weekly pick of the year my challenge is November's Snow and Ice
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Vintage stamping cold and frosty christmas colours
The Artistic Stamper anything goes
Card Crafter's Circle Home for the holidays
Simon Says stamp Bling it on

I know you will want to see my darling granddaughter Daisy Jane at Christmas so here are a couple of snaps. She will be 7 weeks old on Monday.
Yes of course I had to make sure my girlie had a little dress...she looked so cute in it. My Hb and I had the honour of bathing her in her little bath tub 2 days in a row, just look at her holding tight to her granddad's loving arms..
Now I love Christmas and chocolate but when it comes to my little Daisy....I think she wins hands down ;0)
I took this photo this afternoon. She was giggling on my lap whilst her Mummy and Daddy loaded up the car to travel home. I miss her already, this little girl just brings so much joy into our lives.

I hope you are enjoying your time off and are looking forward to celebrating the end of this wonderful year and welcoming  in 2014. Thank you for all the kind Christmas wishes you have left me here in your comments, they are so appreciated. Take care,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas and my 5 Favourite Christmas creations 2013

Christmas Eve is here at last. I have finished work until 3 January and I am so looking forward to the coming days.

I took the above photo at Harrods, all those weeks ago when my Mum and I had our annual visit there.  My lists have nearly all been ticked and the only things left to do today are to make my mince pies, peel the veg and get the table ready later in the day. My dear Hb is working but will be back later and we will start our celebrations with a glass of mulled wine. Then we will be all ready for our  family to arrive for  lunch tomorrow. There are 6 of us here for Christmas day and then our last 3 will join us for more celebrating on Boxing day. We are calling it our Christmas Day number 2.

As well as popping in today to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas I am going to join in with a little Christmas tradition which the lovely Debby  from The Scrapjourney Blog has been running for a few years and I only spotted just after Christmas last year. Debby gets everyone to post their favourite 5 Christmas creations/cards they have made this year as a little challenge. All the details are over here on her blog

Now this is a tricky one for me as I have made lots of  Christmas creations this year! After looking through my folder on the computer I have come up with these 5 as my favourites. I wonder if your faves feature in my list? They are in no particular order.

Now my regular blogger friends may not recognise the one above and that is true, because I not shown it until today. I have saved it until today as it is perfect for a Christmas Eve card.

I have used one of my favourite Christmas colour combos; silver, white and blue. The silver is so hard to photograph it is so sparkly! The image is one of the cute House Mouse stamps which I simply coloured with black and white Prismacolor pencils.I just blended them using Sansador to give some shading.

Here is a close up
The papers and sentiments are LOTV and my die cuts are Cheery Lynn, Memory Box and Marianne. There is also some Card Candi and a silver snowflake charm to finish it off.

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

Joanna Sheen make it sparkle
The House Mouse challenge use silver or gold
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Pan Pastel UK snowflakes
Vintage stamping cold and frosty christmas colours
Charisma Cardz anything goes
Creative Inspirations anything goes
ABC B is for blue, bows and bling My card has blue, there are bows on my star and snowflake die cuts and there is certainly lots of bling!
Simon Says stamp Bling it on
The Artistic Stamper anything goes

So just like this little mouse remember to leave some cookies out for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. I hope he does not have too bumpy a ride tonight, the weather has been atrocious with gale force winds and torrential rain and there is more to come here in the UK. Have yourselves the best Christmas, however you are celebrating. I think these words written by Calvin Coolidge and the second by A.E Rundel sum up Christmas for me.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy is the real spirit of Christmas.  

Christmas, that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance, a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.

May your Christmas be blessed. Take care.

Much love to you all,

Back soon,

Jane x

Sunday, 22 December 2013

My Christmas excitement

Oh my word, just 3 more sleeps to go. As you know it has been an incredibly busy run up to Christmas this year for me. My darling granddaugher Daisy has just been the best distraction. She is 6 weeks old tomorrow, just where did those weeks go? We are visiting my daughter, SIL and Daisy today to deliver their presents and then will see them again on Boxing day. I can't wait.

As a real Mrs Christmas I wanted to share a few photos of some of my Christmas excitement in the run up to the Big Day.
Yes the festive seals returned to my milk bottles, which my milkman delivers to my door step.
These Cath Kidston oven gloves just fell into my shopping bag (plus a set for my girlie) when we were shopping at Gunwharf Keys the other week.
and these were the pretty lights we saw there.
Daisy has some Christmas bed time reading. If you have never seen this book do go into a bookstore and read it. The illustrations and story are just perfect. It is a magical read for young or old.
It involves a certain man in a red suit helping Stick Man get home to his Family Tree

I bought a pewter robin spoon to serve my cranberry sauce at the Winchester Christmas market.
I loved my yummy gingerbread man my Hb brought home for me....
Oops he seems to have vanished
I have a delicious smelling wreath on my front door, also bought at Winchester
and one for my studio, although it is shut up for the winter now.
My vintage advent calendar nearly has every window open
and Billy is keeping an eye out for Santa.
And there is great excitement to see parcels appearing under the tree.

Of course my greatest excitement of Christmas this year is Darling Daisy and my daughter sent these photos yesterday which really made me grin...look at her in her little bath tub
How cute is her little face ;0)

My card today is one I made using my favourite accordion die 
I used a cute Meljen digi stamp which I coloured with Promarkers and highlighed with Prismacolor pencils. My dies are Cheery Lynn, Marianne and Memory Box
 The BPs are a real mix from my very old stash, one I recognise as Docrafts also one is Raspberry Road.
The sentiment is computer generated and you can see my lovely Cheery Lynn holly leaves feature in green, gold and white card. I have also used Frantage for some snowy bling.

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

County View Crafts Bah, Humbug!
Cheery Lynn anything goes
The Inky Chicks Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut last minute Christmas makes
Love to Create anything goes
                                      Pile it on P is for ......Poinsettia , Pine tree
Loves Rubberstamps anything goes
Addicted to stamps and more anything goes
Polkadoodles anything goes
Card Crafters Circle deck the halls
Christmas at Sweet Stampin let it snow
A creative Romance Sparkle at Christmas
Simon Says Stamp Bling it on
Merry Monday Use an animal
Natalie and Amy cute and cuddly Christmas
Crafts too Challenge you natural world, any winged animal I have been inspired by the outside world at winter time with the birds in their tree, my "twist" of any winged creature are birds.
Oldie but a goodie Winter my papers are ancient and my image is from last Christmas
Crafty Little Fairies anything goes  
Cute Card Thursday Celebrations
Pan Pastel UK anything goes
The Artistic Stamper anything goes
Whimsy stamps party time

I will be back once more on Christmas eve but if you are off to travel to your family and friends before then may I wish you a very Merry Christmas. For those of you (me included) who are doing the entertaining and still  need to pick up the turkey and get peeling the veg, it will be alright on the night.  Enjoy the last days of all the excitement of this wonderful time of the year.

Bye for now, 

Jane x

Friday, 20 December 2013

12 tags of Christmas Funkie Junkie style with a Jane's Journal twist, my final creation

Well here I am back with my final creation for this wonderful challenge which I have been a part of over the last 3 months. If you are really quick you could still join in as Linda has extended the deadline to 8 January but you will need to get your 12 projects uploaded by then. If you would like to join in with this challenge the details are all here. There are also some great prizes up for grabs as the challenge is sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Linda's tag for inspiration this week can be seen here. I was drawn to the gorgeous white and gold colours she used. I loved the gold embossing.  I also thought how very classically "American" her card is and decided that I would make something which I think epitomises an "English" Christmas card. I also wanted to create a really "In the bleak midwinter" scene with lots of snow. So I set about thinking how I could do this. After an early morning light bulb moment (I have lots of these!) I realised I had the perfect stamp for my card. Here is my finished card;
It was so very hard to photograph as the gold embossing and the glitter really sparkle. I was really pleased how it came out. I know how much you have enjoyed seeing my creative process with these card so here we go;
 This is the wonderful Stampendous Snowy Postcard stamp which I stamped and gold embossed twice.
 I cut out the centre of one of them
and then added some creamy colour with my  Linen Distress ink.
I added some Frantage to give a lovely snowy backing card.

I also gold embossed the edge of my backing card to give a lovely antique feel.
I used die cut lots of snowy related shapes including trees and candles and added lots of Glamour Dust to give them a gorgeous shine.
 I also used my very final gold embossed deer which I had made for #2
It was then a case of piecing everything together to create my English snow scene. Here are some close ups.
My Fav Cheery Lynn holly die with pearls as berries

the little tags are Lili of the Valley and you will spot my wonderful Joanna Sheen Ivy die again. I also used tiny CL snowflakes to make a collar for the deer.

and here is my card once more;
So there we are all 12 cards finished. I have so enjoyed this challenge as I have explored a side of my card making I have not done before. I really do love the challenge of trying new ideas and techniques as I really don't have a "fixed" style, I really like playing and learning.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

The Funkie Junkie's 12 tags of Christmas #12
County View Crafts Bah, Humbug!
Joanna Sheen Make it sparkle
The Inky Chicks Christmas
Crafty Catz Merry Christmas
Sweet Stampin Last minute Christmas
Pile it on P is for ......Pine trees, pearls, Postcard (stamp)
Love to Create anything goes
Make it Monday linky party #171
Loves Rubberstamps anything goes
Addicted to stamps and more anything goes
Bearly Mine anything goes
Polkadoodles anything goes
Rhedd and Rosie let it snow
Card Crafters Circle deck the halls
Christmas at Sweet Stampin let it snow
A creative Romance Sparkle at Christmas
Simon Says Stamp Bling it on
Artistic Inspirations anything goes
Pan Pastel Snowflakes
Merry Monday Use an animal
Fashionable Stamping In the holiday spirit
Cheery Lynn sparkle and shine
Crafty Little Fairies anything goes
The Artistic stamper anything goes

I made a collage of all my other cards to show all 12  in case you missed them....and as a recap for everyone else. I sold some of them and the rest have all gone to happy homes for Christmas.

Do you have a favourite?

Before I leave this challenge I really want to say a huge thank you for all the wonderful comments everyone has taken the time to leave  me over the last 12 weeks. They really spurred me on to continue, even when I just didn't seem to have enough hours in the day. I was so determined to finish all 12 cards. Thanks also to Linda for running this challenge. I would also like to thank my dearest Hb who not only encouraged me in this project but has been an enormous help. There have been days at the weekends when he has brought lunch to me whilst I have been working on this project and he has never once complained. Thank you M you  really are the best ;0) He also loved #9 which I made for his Christmas card.

I am really looking forward now to the last few days of my most wonderful time of the year, yes just 5 more sleeps to go. Everything is coming together well.  I have my food delivery coming on Sunday and will be making mince pies at the weekend. I can't wait. I will be back to share a few Christmassy things before then.
Enjoy all your preparations too whether you are just celebrating quietly at home or have huge family gatherings.

Bye for now,

Jane x