Sunday, 30 December 2007

Christmas holidays, New Year's dreams......


hope everyone reading this has had a lovely Christmas. Ours has been a house full of family and friends and has been lovely, extremely chaotic, really noisy but loads of fun. We have of course eaten far too much and not walked anyway near enough to compensate. Anyway I love New Year and the feeling it brings of fresh starts, new hopes etc etc and therefore the first of next years resolutions is going to be the old favourite - lose weight, eat less, move more!!! We'll see how long I can keep that one this time round.....

Next year the big resolution for me is to not get stressed about everything. I am one of life's stress heads I suppose, a natural worrier - I definitely inherited the worry gene from my mother for which I'll be eternally grateful - NOT!! Anyway next year will be different, and I'm going to try and not live life constantly worrying about the 'what if's'.

My third resolution is centered around craft. I'm always complaining about my job and the fact that I'd love to do crafty something/anything for a living rather than work in an office. Anyway rather than keeping complaining but doing nothing I'm going to look into what's out there. I'm realistic enough to realise that it's unlikely I'll ever be able to completely change my job but that doesn't mean I can't do other things aswell. I'm in the process of setting up a monthly card making club at my local church in Preston which I'm really excited about but at the same time really nervous. I've never done anything like that before and the pressure is on because there has been loads of interest for it. And I'm going to set up a shop on etsy and see if there's any interest in my things there. You never know and if I don't try then I'll always wonder won't I??. So wish me luck and to all of you out there who are'living the crafter's dream' I hope you have a fantastically successful 2008. xx

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Cards finished at last!!

hi, can't believe it's nearly a month since I posted but it has been a mad mad month. By lunchtime today I'd finally finshed the cards I've had left to do. Only the presents to wrap now and that's it officially ready for Christmas to arrive (apart from the chaotic shop to the supermarket over the weekend that is...).

Anyway the photos show three cards I've made for my husband, son and nieces this year and must admit I'm quite chuffed with them and think they're good fun. Looking forward to this evening as off to a Cheese and Wine evening hosted by some friends of ours from church. We are being entertained apparently with some italian christmas folk music from another mutual italian friend of ours and should be perfect for getting us in the Christmas spirit.
Jamie is so excited for Christmas this year it's infectious anyway and this year will be extra special as my brother and sister in law are driving up from Essex for the holidays so we will all be together. Neil's ordered a large full shoulder of Pork for Christmas dinner which he is going to roast (yes you've read right - my husband will be cooking Christmas dinner as he does nearly all the cooking and yes I know I am really really really lucky) ala Nigella Lawson for 24 hours. We made this a couple of years ago for a New Year's Eve party and it was fab - it's a really easy meal to make and great for large groups of people. Can't wait.
Anyway enough for today will hopefully keep posted a bit more regularly in future..
Happy Christmas

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Sunday nonsense

Well it's Sunday evening again and it's been a pretty busy weekend really. We decided to have a look around the industrial North this weekend....
First stop was Kirby Lonsdale, which is a lovely little town just over the Cumbrian border. I could spend hours browsing around the town which is full of lovely little quirky gift shops and coffee shops and also has a fantastic chocolatier which seems straight out of the film Chocolat - such a shame Johnny Depp wasn't wandering around or it would have been perfect.....
Next stop was Barnard Castle which again is a lovely old market town complete with ruined castle just an hour and a half North East of Preston. It's well worth the drive over as the view over the lake district mountains and the pennines is amazing. Anyone who still thinks that the North is just cotton mills and chimneys really ought to take a drive this way as the sceneary is absoulutely beautiful. Every time we do the journey I spend half the time imagining everything which has gone on in this countryside from the wars of the roses to Dick Turpin. It's fab.
Anyway, if scenary isn't your thing but crafting or in particular rubber stamping is then Barnard Castle really is the place to go. It's where the graphicus shop is which is chocca bloc full of rubber stamping stuff from unmounted stamps to stamp bord to great inks and embossing powders. They have a website which I've been on before and has loads of good things in the gallery but I just wanted to check out the shop and see if it was as good as I'd hoped. And yes it was so even with the petrol costs added to my purchase costs it was still a day trip worth doing.
Tomorrow I'm hoping to settle down at the table and get these cards for Christmas done, I've another 45 left to do to complete the orders I've got from my Christmas craft party and then I can start playing with my new bits and pieces and hopefully transfer the ideas in my head to the card and stampbord in front of me.
Watch this space......

Monday, 12 November 2007

I love Mondays!!!!!

I do love Mondays, I know I'm meant to hate them but I don't - I know why I love them so much it's because it's my day off, my own special day of me time. I drop Jamie off at school at 8:45 and then that's it a whole day - or at least until 3pm when I go to collect him from school again of time I can spend doing more or less what I want.

Don't get me wrong - I love Neil and Jamie and our weekends are so special to me when we can spend time together - ok it might be the weekly shopping trip, swimming lesson, football practice or taxi service to a particular birthday party but in the main we try to spend our weekends doing 'stuff'' sort of together. But on a Monday I generally get to spend the day doing what I want to do and it's fab. This morning was beautiful, check out the beautiful view from my garden in the photo above, it was freezing cold - I even had to de-ice the car for the first time this winter, but the sun was shining and everyone had woken up in a good mood.
After the best breakfast ever of crumpets and marmite - trust me I am definitely a 'love it' girl - unfortunately the rest of the house is in the 'hate it' camp but at the end of the day that's their problem not mine.

I decided to forego the card making for the day and headed off to skipton for the day. Skipton is one of my favourite places in England and only 40 mins drive over the Peninines from here. I went to one of my favourite craft shops around and spent much more than I ought to on bits and pieces which I had to have. Including an iris folding heart rubber stamp which I saw demonstrated at a 'make and take' at Hiway hobby and craft in Halstead Essex which was ran by the designer of the stamps Anna Stemplewska. Also bought 2 fat quarters of pirate fabric, one with pirates all over and one with a treasure map printed on, I bought a plain white single quilt and pillow case from Oswaldtwistle mill a few weeks ago for a couple of pounds so this material will be a perfect start for doing some applique on and making a new bedding set for Jamie. Can't wait to finish work tomorrow evening when I'll be able to have a play with all the bits I've bought. If I get chance I'll take some photos of the material and do a couple of before and after photos of the quilt etc.....

Friday, 9 November 2007

The weekend at Last - what a week

hi again,

it's been a great week and a not so great week. Had the busiest week I've had at work in months as we took on a new task which needed to be completed by 11 oclock this morning. That's fine except that I arranged my first ever party plan at my house for Wednesday evening. I sorted it out back in September when this new bit of my day job was never ever a consideration. Anyway the great week part was down to the fact that the evening was a great success. My friend makes beautiful jewellery and another friend makes gorgous knitted scarves and I had a collection of Christmas cards and sock monkeys (I like to be diverse). After an evening of wine (far too much wine) and food (greatfully provided by my husband - yes he can cook and yes I do realise how lucky I am cos he's fab) all three of us sold and took orders for loads - far more than I ever imagined I was amazed. Problem is now I have orders for nearly 100 cards to make before December - that's my spare time sorted for the next few weeks.

Not so great week started when I went into work on Thursday morning to find my initial deadline at work had been brought forward by 6 hours!!! Unfortunately I hadn't gone to bed until past 4am that morning and had been drinking wine since at least 6pm - Can i say at this point that I very rarely drink these days but somehow the adrenlin rush from having a party held at my house somehow meant that I stayed up at least 6 hours longer than usual and seemed at the time fine. Reality set in around 9am the next morning when I was sat at my desk back in the real world struggling to concentrate and wondering how on earth I ever managed to cope with so little sleep back when I was dating Neil and didn't have a care in the world.

We've been together 10 years, we have a seven year old son and I celebrated my 40th birthday in Seville last February. I've always felt quite young etc etc but I have never felt as old or as shattered as I did yesterday in my life. I struggled through the day - even escaped to the ladies loos for a frustrated tears break when I deleted the file I had been working on all morning from the computer - talk about feeling sorry for myself but hey ho got home at five and was in bed asleep by 8pm after deciding that going to bed at the same time as my son seemed like the best idea I've had in ages. Anyway thank goodness woke up this morning feeling much much more human and ready to face the world - and the bonus of a weekend (and more) of card making without feeling guilty for having to take over the dining room table awaits. Maybe these card orders will convince Neil that we really do need that trip to IKEA to sort out the furniture for the stury he promised I could convert to a 'studio' as my 40th birthday present. Watch this space.......

Monday, 5 November 2007

1st ever post....

hi, I've been browsing around a couple of blogs for the last few months and have finally decided to join this brave new world and start my own blog. I hope you find time to have read and enjoy. My hopes are that this is just a glimpse into my world through my ramblings. I lead a bit of a double life I suppose - by day I work in a city centre office but by night I am an avid crafter. I make things because I love to be creative and find making things really relaxing.

I'm currently in the throes of making Christmas cards. I read once that someone set aside the 25th of every month as a craft day for making christmas cards so that they could all be done in time without a problem. Great idea I thought but that was as far as it got, so here I am 6 weeks before Christmas (is it that long?) frantically making cards for my family and friends on top of the ones I have been asked to make for colleagues. - I feel there could be a couple of late nights in the offing. Next year I really am going to get my act together and start early. As for tonight though, my first priority has to be fireworks. My son was so excited about the prospect of fireworks that somehow I don't think there will be any peace in the house until they've all been lit.

Other than cards I love anything made with felt and vintage linens. I've got an ever increasing collection of corsages and am currently making a long length of personalised bunting for my god daughter. When it's finished I'll post a picture on here.