Saturday, 29 December 2018

My review of 2018

We are into the last few days of 2018 and as in previous years I find this a really good time to reflect on the year that has past. I am so inspired by Mother Nature and always love to catch her at different time of the year in my photographs.
I think this is best shown as collages of the seasons I have lived this year...

...and yes we did have snow in February this year when the Beast from the East hit hard. Luckily it did not last too long. 
We had a cold start to spring but once April arrived things started warming up to produce some gorgeous spring flowers.
I will never forget our long hot summer, the best since 1976. It surpassed the temperatures and hours of sunlight for that year too. We spent so many relaxing hours outside. My pots of flowers this year were magnificent thanks to the weather.
 The long hot summer morphed into an Indian summer and we saw such spectacular colours during our delightfully warm, and sunny autumn.
Mother Nature really was at her best for 2018, it was a year to remember.

For my crafting I also put together a collage of some of my paper crafting projects...even I am a little startled at my stats because this is less than everything crafting I made. I also made quite a bit of jewellery at my silversmithing class.

I made;

348 one of a kind cards for Dotty's Teahouse where I sell my cards in Carshalton.
51 Christmas cards.
86 Design Team inspirational projects for my 3 Design Teams; Country View challenges, Visible Image and STAMPlorations.
2 birthday cakes: a tool box cake for Jack and a Unicorn cake for Daisy.
I was published 7 times during 2018 in 3 different crafting magazines, I made a least one project (for one I made 3 ) for each.
1 holiday album after our magical family holiday in Majorca.
At least 25 projects for TV, blog hops, Facebook lives, Creativation in the USA,  etc etc for Visible Image and STAMPlorations.
1 set of handmade Christmas crackers.


Here is a small collage just showing a tiny sample of my 400+ paper crafting projects during the year.

So my last project to share for 2018 has to be a card, as that is where my main crafting love lies. It is also a nod to Billy, my sweet cat who is my avatar and shares my blog and home.

I used the brilliant Curious cat Visible Image stamp set. I made a distress ink background and then coloured the eyes green and the nose pink, just like my Billy's.

Here's a close up
I would like to enter it into the following challenges;

Allsorts Thanks a bunch
Cute card Thursday 2/3 anything goes
Simon says stamp Wednesday anything goes
The house that stamps built 1/3 anything goes
As you like it 1/3 anything goes
Creative moments 1/3 anything goes

My card is also dedicated to you, my readers, as a thank you for all your support, visits and kind comments you have taken to leave me here during 2018. Some of you do this for every post I write 💕
My card is for sale at Dotty's Teahouse, Carshalton High Street, SM5 2AE. Dotty's is open every day other than New Year's Day.

I will be back on New Year's day as being the 1st of the month it's also time for my first design team post  for 2019 for Country View Challenges.

I will close with a very thoughtful quote from Edith Lovejoy Pierce;

We will open the book. 
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put
 words on them ourselves.

The book is called Opportunity
 and its first chapter is New Year's day.

See you on "the other side" and enjoy seeing in the new year in whatever way you enjoy. For those of you who have found 2018 challenging I hope that 2019 works out kinder for you. Life is definitely a journey and not a destination.

Take care.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Popping in post Christmas

Hello, are you still full of turkey? We had a change this year as we celebrated Christmas down at the South Coast with my darling daughter, her family and our son.
It was magical seeing Christmas morning through the eyes of Daisy. At 5 she is just the perfect age to take in all the magic. She was up at 7am, before Jack and could not wait to open her presents.
Jack woke at 8am and had lots of help to open his presents 😉
 and the sun rise was glorious. We even managed a seaside walk before lunch.
We had a wonderful time making family memories together.

I also wanted to share this little glass narcissi lantern. I bought one for my son and me just before Christmas.
As soon as it got home it started to reach out to the light.
Buds quickly appeared.
Soon I had one bud open.
and by Christmas Eve I was greeted by 2 flowers.
How pretty they are, daffs are my favourite spring flowers and it is a joy to bring them to life on my kitchen side at this time of the year.

Their lovely colour and cheerfulness and the warm memories of our Christmas gave me the inspiration for today's card.
This is a new one going down Dotty's for sale.  I had some time to make some more of my Wonderland birthday cards, which are very popular, but take me some time to make. I only tend to make them when I have spare time as they are certainly not ones I make any kind of profit from. I just make them because I enjoy doing so. The Mr Caterpillar stamp is from the Visible Image Wonderland series. I coloured with Zigs and fussy cut him out. The tags are very old LOTV stamps and the backing paper is ancient from my stash.
Here's a close up.
I've added Glossy Accents to his glasses and a wink of stella for extra sparkle.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

As you like it 3/3 anything goes
Time out 3/3 inspired by words I was inspired by the words celebrate, family and life!
Cute card Thursday 1/3 anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's patterned paper December
Simon says stamp Wednesday anything goes
Simon says stamp Monday party time
The house that stamps built 1/3 anything goes

We have some time off until the new year so we are looking forward to some walks, catching up with family and just enjoying some down time.

Enjoy your time off too if you have some.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 24 December 2018

Tiptoe quietly

Christmas Eve has arrived and after all the excitement in December we are ready for the big day tomorrow.

Indoor New Choc is enjoying displaying my vintage decs and the chocs and my Christmas card collection from friends and family decorates the stairs. 
All my decorations collected over the years are out.

 Below is one my daughter bought me from Bruges many years back, it's an incense burner.
 And this sweet sleeping mouse is all tucked up awaiting Santa.
My Christmas plates are out including the gingerbread plate I painted at Centre Parcs in 2014
 and my mince pies are made.

I'm all ready for my family Christmas.

My card today is a very traditional one with all the meaning of Christmas summed up in the image. Christmas is all about being a part of a family, wherever they are. Everyone starts life in this world tiny and helpless. It's our families who nurture and love us and are there for us through all the many pathways we travel during our lives.
I would like to enter it into the following challenges;

Pixie's Snippets playground #342 I used lots of snippets for my die cuts.
Crimbo crackers 2/3 anything goes
As you like it 2/3 anything goes
Time out 2/3 inspired by words I was inspired by the words celebrate, family and life!
Cute card Thursday 2/3 anything goes
Christmas at sweet stampin 2/3 anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas #417 anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's patterned paper December

Yes it's finally the night before Christmas. Billy is not stirring from his green chair and the trees are keeping very still and quiet waiting for the man in the Red Suit to pop down the chimney later.
 I'll tiptoe quietly past my sleeping sweetheart and whisper Merry Christmas to him. 
I will close with a little poem, one of my Christmas favourites;

The merry family gatherings-
The old, the very young;
The strangely lovely way they
harmonize in carols sung.
For Christmas is tradition time
traditions that recall.
The precious memories down the years,
The sameness of them all

(H. Lowrie Marshall)

Billy and I would like to wish my you, my lovely blog friends, a very Merry Christmas. May you enjoy your family time together and raise your glasses, as we do every year, to all our loved ones from Christmases past, present............. and yet to come. 


With love,

Jane x

Friday, 21 December 2018

Festive scenes for the Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice, or the shortest day of the year. It will be dark by about 3.30pm this afternoon but the exciting thing is that tomorrow the days will start to lengthen again. It is also the first day of winter. It's really looking Christmassy here at home. The trees are up, the decorations are hung and the opening of the doors of my vintage advent calendar give me so much joy in the mornings.

Down at my local High Street in Carshalton everything looks so festive. I always love the window at Dotty's Teahouse where my cards are sold, how pretty is this!

If you are in this neck of the woods over the Christmas holiday Dotty's is a lovely place to sit and natter over tea and home made cake or even for a more leisurely lunch. You'll find the shop in the High Street, Carshalton, Surrey, SM5 2AE The only days they are closed are Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year's Day. 

There was the return of another of my festive favourites on my door step in the week...
Yes Mo ,my lovely milkman, delivered my milk....with festive foils! Every year I wonder if it will be the last as it must add to cost but I'm delighted to see them here for another year.
One last festive item I bought in the week was for my darling son. He said he was far too busy working to get time to buy and decorate a Christmas tree, he even mentioned the word fake tree. 😲 Well you can imagine my horror at the thought that a) he had no Christmas tree and b) he had contemplated the thought of a non real tree. He works 6 days a week and I know that it really is hard for him to juggle everything at this time of the year. However, like me, he is a huge lover of Christmas.
I could not bear the thought of him having no tree so I hatched a plan and managed to find this when I met up with my daughter and Jack on Tuesday at a nursery near Godalming in Surrey.

yay...a tiny Christmas tree, grown in the UK.
I love the last sentence.
I bought a couple of decs, gave him one off our tree and made a little die cut star for the top

He really loved it and it has pride of place on his breakfast bar. Phew, Mum worry over (we're mad aren't baby boy will be 30 next year!)

Today I wanted to share the card I made for my dearest little grandson Jack who is 20 months old today and loves anything with animals on. It is just right for sharing on the first day of winter...a very wintry scene...with that wonderful thought of "let it snow".

The background is a very treasured sheet of DP which I have had forever and never wanted to cut into but I thought it perfect for Jack. It has sweet little snowmen dancing in a starry sky. He loves The Snowman and I have a very old stamp set of the snowman so I stamped and coloured him up with my Promarkers and fussy cut him out. I also added lots of inks to my robin and holly leaves. The moon was stamped too. It's a large 8X8" card so lots for Jack to see.  Here is it

Here are a couple of close ups. Lots of silver STAMPlorations stars have been stamped onto the deer for some extra interest for Jack.

and of course Santa had to feature. The sentiment is a CUTplorations die from STAMPlorations.
and one last shot

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

I love Promarkers anything goes
Passion for Promarkers hip to be square
Fashionable stamping 3/3 Winter
Double D let it snow
Crimbo crackers anything goes
As you like it 1/3 anything goes
Simon says stamp Wednesday party time I think my snowman is having a great party in the middle to the woods with all his woodland friends!
Time out 1/3 inspired by words I was inspired by the words celebrate, family and life!
Cute card Thursday 1/3 anything goes

My daughter sent me this photo. Jack is a bit blurry, as he is really hard to catch as he is forever on the move, but here they are with their Christmas cards.
I can't wait to spend Christmas with them.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely comments, I so appreciate them.
I'm back again on Monday with my Christmas Eve post..the last before the Big Day...just 4 more sleeps....are you ready? Have a fab weekend.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Crackers for Christmas 2018

I have been able to tick lots off my list over the last week and one of the things I needed to do was to make the Christmas crackers. I'm always delighted to see that Tom Smith still make Christmas crackers and these will grace many tables on Christmas day.

My handmade crackers have become quite a tradition in our family and shop bought one just can't be sneaked in by me anymore. As we will be celebrating with Daisy and Jack this year I decided that the theme had to be "cute animal" as both Daisy and Jack really do love animals.
I found I had some really old printed squares by Lili of the Valley which I bought years ago. They were perfect and I die cut them into ovals.
I used my trusty spellbinders die
and also die cut some deer and skates in silver. 
I put my design together and added some silver glitter for some sparkle which you will see more clearly in my final photos.
I gathered all my supplies and set to making 9 crackers.

Complete with corny jokes, gifts, paper hats and a banger.
So here they are

and one final shot.
I would like to enter my crackers into the following challenges;

Crafteezee 1/3 a gift
That's Crafty 3/3 anything goes
Fussy and Fancy 3/3 Christmas
Moving along with the time 3/3 anything Christmas
Crafty Catz 3/3 anything goes
Die cut divas 1/3 winter

 So my card today is another traditional  Christmas favourite; gingerbread men
It is for sale at Dotty's Teahouse, Carshalton, SM5 2AE
The gingerbread man stamp is an ancient favourite of mine from my stash. I white embossed 2 onto kraft card and fussy cut them out. I added some gingham ribbon, die cuts and a few sequins for bling. The backing papers again are ancient from my stash.

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

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas anything Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's patterned paper December
Penny Black and more traditional Christmas colours
Stamping sensations 3/3 winter sparkle
Simon says stamp Wednesday Christmas

 Thanks so much for stopping by. I met up with my daughter and Jack yesterday for our last get together before Christmas Eve. Time is really racing by now and this time next week it will be Boxing day!

Back again on Friday,

Bye for now,

Jane x