Wednesday, 30 October 2013

On a dark, dark night

You all seemed to enjoy your photographic trip with me to Canterbury in my last post. Thanks for all the great comments you left, it truly is a stunning city and it should be on your bucket list.

Yes tomorrow is Halloween and the last day of October. We don't celebrate it much in our household as my kids were too big when trick or treating started to take off a little here in the UK but I still love to buy them some Halloween goodies.

This year I found these fun bits.

I put them into a bag for each of them and tied them with twine
I then tied each "couple" together with a hand made Halloween tag.
You will have seen the tag on the right on my blog a few weeks ago, the one on the left is new and is my card challenge entry for today. It is also a my DT Guest Design card for Nicecrane and uses another of the fab coloured images from the Halloween and kids colour sheet.

 Here is my tag in close up. Those pumpkins are such fun aren't they.
The leaf and lace edge die cuts are Cheery Lynn and the branch is one I won from Marianne. The fun sentiment is from the Halloween Grunge sentiment set by Nicecrane and can be bought here. My tag was made from that same single sheet of Inky play which I made in my studio.....this photo was taken when I was still putting together my other autumn inky projects which you will recognize over the last month.  I had one last piece of the distress ink backing card I made left to create this tag ;0)
I love seeing people's creative space so I thought I would share mine in my studio on an autumn day a few weeks ago. I have used up all my autumn hand made papers ready for winter and Christmas to take over.

I would like to enter my pumpkin tag into the following challenges;

Feeling Crafty Halloween
Country View Crafts Halloween
Heck of a Challenge Autumn
Cute Card Thursday Spooktacular
Stampin for the weekend Something spooky
Card Crafter's Circle Autumn splendour
Ali Craft Halloween
The Cupboard Trilogy Halloween
Loves Rubberstamps A trick or treat
Crafty Ribbons Anything but a card
Bunny Zoe Ribbon
Papercrafting Journey Anything goes
Crafty Boots Autumnal
2 Sisters Cute and Spooky
Party Time Tuesdays Anything goes
Top Tip Tuesdays Seasons
Make it Monday Linky Challenge #164
The Paper Shelter Halloween my season is autumn
Divas by Designs use some orange...there's orange in those pumpkins and the border of my image.

Watch out for things that go bump in the night tomorrow and have a Happy Halloween. I will leave you with my happy crew of pumpkins sitting on my shelf...Boo!

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 28 October 2013

Canterbury Tales

We had a fabulous weekend and it was wonderful to return to Canterbury after several years. The glorious Cathedral looked splendid in the autumn sunshine on Sunday morning. This post is very photo heavy so if you are just here to see my card just scroll to the bottom of this post.

The party we went to on Saturday night was in rural Kent and we stayed nearby overnight at a tiny hamlet called Elham. The bed and breakfast was an old Coaching Inn as it was on the London to Canterbury route. When we arrived in Elham we had a little walk just to look at the tiny High Street.

We had a taxi booked to take us to the party on Saturday evening, which was being held at a converted Kent barn.  It was such a pretty venue and these are the beautiful tables set up for the meal. This photo is a little blurred as not only had I already consumed a fair few glasses of Prosecco but it was taken with my phone.
We partied until 12.30am and it was the perfect night for the clocks to go back and have an extra hour in bed. We were so lucky that the next morning was clear and sunny as the forecast storm was not due to be at it's worst until Sunday night. We drove to nearby Canterbury after breakfast and spent a lovely few hours revisiting one of my favourite UK cities.

 The cathedral dates from 596AD but the building we see now dates from 1077 when it was rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in 1067. It is wonderful to see it peeking out from the tiny cobbled streets.

We had not been inside for many years and I must admit we did think twice as they now charge £9.50 each admission...ouch! Once inside though it is impossible not to be amazed by the interior
 The space and height of the pillars and detailed stonework is breath taking. Below is the Advent candle already in place and ready to be lit on Advent Sunday.
 Such gorgeous carving on the pulpit
 The tomb of the Black Prince
 The many stone steps which, after hundreds of years of feet walking down them, have a curve at the front through wear. I can just imagine the knights rampaging through here when they murdered Thomas Beckett in 1170, now that really is old history!
We also enjoyed a walk around the streets before we headed home.

 The crooked house below was mentioned by Charles Dickens in 1849 and remains as crooked as ever!

 Yes of course we had to pay a visit to CK
and how about a Caffe Nero in a building which dates from 1573.
It's wonderful to see how the ancient and modern exist harmoniously side by side in Canterbury.

I was able to buy my own Advent candle in the Cathedral shop so I decided that today's card has to be about waiting for Christmas. I have used one of my favourite characters ....The House Mice. I adore these little critters and there is such a fab blog hop going on over at the House Mouse Card Challenge blog that I just knew I had to join the fun.The theme is "anything goes with twine".
This stamp is from the Gingerbread Christmas set and for the first time I coloured my image using my Prismacolor pencils only on white card. I blended them with Sansador and really liked the muted effect it gave.
The papers are ancient from my stash, the sentiment is LOTV as is the little tag. I added a tiny pine cone and snowflake charm from my jewellery stash which I tied up with some fun red and white twine. Don't these little mice look cosy and warm in their sweet hats just waiting for Father Christmas? Here they are in close up.
I added some Glamour dust to the fur on their hat beds to give some shine. The dies cut holly leaves are my favourite Cheery Lynn holly leaves I added some red pearls as berries and a lush deep green organza ribbon too.

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

 The Blog Hop over at the  House Mice and Friends Monday Challenge Anything goes with twine
Crafty Little Fairies Anything goes
Crafty Sentiments Designs Bingo My line is left side vertical ;red (pearls), punches (my round sentiment and the circle scallop around it have both been punched) and metal (my charms)
Crafts to Challenge you Christmas festivities and what they mean to me. This card is all about the anticipation of Santa coming down the chimney to fill your stocking on Christmas Eve. I have always adored Christmas and I still get this same feeling every year.As a child I would put my stocking up and in the morning would always feel such pure joy that there was something in it. I still hang a stocking on my bed and my dear Hb (Santa) always sneaks a present in there for me to find in the morning. The rest of our pressies nowadays are under our tree.
Die cut Divas Use an animal and/or autumn colours as a focal
Christmas cards all year round Getting ready for Christmas
Christmas at Sweet Stampin Cards for men
Emerald Faeries Sparkle
Sparkle Creations Bows
A Creative Romance Add metal
Creative Creations Inspired by a book mine just has to be "The night before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore
Make it Monday linky party #164
Pile it On embellishment crazy I have used die cuts, ribbon, twine, charms and red pearls
Cutie Pie Bingo my line is the middle vertical;  pearls, ribbon, charm
Sweet Stampin Leaves, trees or wood I have holly leaves on my card
Bunny Zoe ribbon
Rhedd and Rosie anything goes
Paper crafting journey anything goes

I am so glad that the storm, although fierce, was nothing like the Great Storm of 1987. A few trees came down locally but it has now passed and all is calm. The sun has even popped out...bliss. I hope everyone else stayed safe too. Happy Monday and thanks for visiting me. I will be back on Wednesday with a pre Halloween post.....woooooohhhh...don't get too spooked ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 25 October 2013

Funkie Junkie's 4th tag of Christmas, with a Jane's Journal twist.

I am really having fun with this challenge and it seems that you are all enjoying seeing my takes on Linda's great tags. Today I am here with number 4 and if you would like to see Linda's tag, have a look at the link here. It is not too late to join in with the 12 tags of Christmas and The Funkie Junkie boutique is sponsoring the challenge with some great prizes too.

The inspiration I took from Linda's tag was the hessian/sacking (Americans call this burlap), the gingham ribbon, the paper poinsettia  and the touch of metal she added with the bead caps. I recently won a craft voucher and had bought some burlap which I had not yet used so I got it out and added some vintage walnut distress ink to give it some colour. I also recently won some paper from Bearly Mine so I printed one up which I used as the backing paper for my card. I wanted to use a really Christmas red for my card. Here it is

Here is the burlap in close up where I have tied a snowflake metal charm on with string and added some pretty red gingham ribbon

I finished the bottom corner off with a LOTV Christmas tag and a Whimsy Notable.

The poinsettia is a Marianne die as is the pine leaf. You can see the detail of the pretty paper too which also features poinsettia on it.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

The Funkie Junkie 12 tags of Christmas #4 tag
Allsorts ribbons and bows
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas peace
Crafts to Challenge you Christmas festivities and what it means to me This card is a mixture of getting ready to decorate the tree and also the sacking makes me think of the old Christmas sacks we had for our parcels. Just the smell of it evokes this. The red gingham also makes me remember wrapping up Christmas parcels and tying them with red gingham ribbon, there is something quite timeless about this. And always there would be Christmas music on the radio or TV.
Bunny Zoe  Ribbons
Ladybug Crafts Ink anything goes
Paper Crafting Journey anything goes
A Creative Romance add metal
Winter Wonderland check this out I have checks on my ribbon and there are checks in my hessian.
Rhedd and Rosie anything goes

I am in the process of making tag #5 so I have nearly caught up ;0)

I also bought something the other day which I have been meaning to buy every year for such a long time and only when I see them in flower do I regret not doing so.......

yes an Amaryllis. I grew one of these when I was first married and it was spectacular. Ever since then I have always left it too late to plant to have them in flower around Christmas/New Year.  The instructions said "just add water" and they weren't joking
The bulb is already potted in the soil and I did "just add water"
I shall be taking some photos as this beauty starts to grow. Even after a couple of days on the kitchen side the shoot is already starting to look slightly green..isn't nature just much potential just waiting to burst into life.

Thanks for stopping by and in case you have missed him recently Billy wanted to say hello, it was a warm sunny day yesterday and I snapped him sitting relaxing.

Another week has flown by and we are off to a Silver Wedding/50th birthday party. It is near Canterbury so we plan to have lunch there. Canterbury is one of my favourite UK cities and yes I will pack my camera ;0) Have a lovely weekend whether you are crafting, relaxing or visiting. For those in the UK let's hope these gale force winds which have been forecast don't materialise. Fingers crossed.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Knitting Nanna

Most of my regular readers will think that there is a typo in my blog title as you have seen me making wire chains using the old fashioned French Knitting or Knitting Nancy. No the title is correct because I will finally show you that once upon a time I was a very prolific knitter. I knitted jumpers for me, my hubby, my children, toys, shawls and just about everything and anything. Then around 20 years ago when my children were still quite small I really found that I just did not have the time and also I discovered cake decorating and card making so my knitting ceased. One of the last things I knitted was a tooth pixie doll for my daughter to put her milk teeth in as they fell out. In those days the fairy brought 50p...I wonder how much is the norm now?
As my darling grandbaby will be making an appearance very soon I decided that I just had to make a couple of knitted things so I decided to try to find my old knitting patterns.
In one of the wardrobes I found my old knitting pattern box and pulled it out. It is an old chocolate box with a great picture on the front.
 I opened it up and actually laughed out loud when I saw these fantastic 1980s retro are these! Just look at the Flash Dance headbands!
I have knitted every single one of these and they were great at the time. In fact cotton yarn had just come in and the jumper at the bottom on the far right in white I made in lemon cotton yarn. It was a terrific make which I wore lots.
I also found the aran jumper pattern I made my Hb
and guess Hb still has the jumper which he wears if it gets really it is...needless to say it is not in lemon.
It is a blue/grey and is still a good looking jumper
I had fun with the pattern and finished this jumper when I was pregnant with my daughter in 1985/6.
What I was really looking for were my baby patterns which I was delighted to find as one of them I knew makes up as a sweet little matinee jacket, the one at the top as I had made it in the past for my daughter as a baby.

As we do not know the sex of our grandbaby I decided to use white yarn. So I got knitting and in no time at all I produced a back....
and after making the other parts I had one little jacket all complete with stripey buttons
All ready to keep a November baby snug. I am also just finishing off a couple of little hats which I will share with you in another post.
I must admit I was astonished how you never forget a skill. I was clicking away with my needles just as I did as a 20 something year old. Happy days.
I had a lovely catch up with my darling daughter yesterday who in now only 2 weeks away from her due is her very neat bump (she has only put on 13lbs in weight so it's not surprising we think our grandbaby may be small...but we are a petite family). Needless to say there is no problem her tucking into her hot chocolate with marshmallows.

I thought today's card should be a birthday card. It is a GD card I have made for Nicecrane Designs. I know it features a girl but it happens to be one I have not shown yet on my blog. We will either be welcoming a little granddaughter or grandson very soon, I will be thrilled whoever comes out to meet us. Names are being decided for a boy or a girl as we speak.

It is a criss cross card which features this super cute image from the  Vintage Birthday greetings set available here
How cute is this image? Ignacio often puts great Freebies on the Nicecrane blog, do pop over and see what is availbale. The current freebie is a real vintage cutie and there are some great DT cards for inspiration there too. This is the link here
The card has an insert which pulls out
I used my Martha Stewart punch around that page punch to make the detailed border. The papers are really old Wild Rose Studio. I used some gorgeous Hobby House and Wild Orchid Crafts mulberry roses which I blinged up with stickles glitter. The faux lace border is Cheery Lynn as is the olive leaf branch which I added glitter too.  The sentiment is by Britannia.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Allsorts Ribbon and bows
4 Crafty Chicks multiple layers
Bunny Zoe Ribbon
Crafty Ribbons anything goes with ribbon
Emerald Fairies sparkle
Live and Love Crafts Use Pink
Sentimental Sundays Shaped or easel card
Whimsy cards shabby/vintage
Cheery Lynn vintage
Party Time Tuesdays Use glitter

I hope these gale force winds forecast don't come to much, the trees are still in full leaf and will really suffer. Happy Tuesday everyone,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x