Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New year roundup, WOYWW and a quilt!

No desk from me today I thought I would show you what I have been working on in secret for Christmas, after a quick roundup of my year.
Well, 2013 has finally come to an end and naturally one thinks of reflection.

2013 brought many changes and taught me a lot.  

Jan - March were hard as I was ill through RA and exhaustion due to long, hard hours at work.
 I finally collapsed and was signed off to recover.  
That was when I learnt I needed to sort my work/life balance and remembering that I have a chronic disease and I need to look after my health.

April saw the sudden death of my father.  As a real daddy's girl this was a total shock and took several months to actually come to grips with the fact that I wasn't going to see him again. He taught me crafting and I found it hard to craft-the one thing I used to help me survive.

Before I knew it, the summer had come and gone and September was here and my brothers wedding.  He met his wife, Zoe, in Ecuador where they both lived for 3 years before moving back to London.  It was the most beautiful day, complete with a volcano wedding cake that actually smoked!!

October-December saw me in hospital having an operation on my ankle and then the long recovery (having RA means I have a compromised immune system and take longer to heal....however, I have NO patience and this means I try to do things before I am fit enough!!!).

Then Christmas was here!!  This year we were determined to do it differently so that we would have different memories so hubby, mum and I went to a local Indian restaurant and had christmas lunch there!!  We are all veggie so it made it much easier, and it was  a very different day, but still enjoyable.  In fact I could get used to not having to do the food shop, cook and not having to do the washing up!!

I wanted to make a special present for my mum-after everything she has been through this year.
So, I made my first ever quilt!  

I decided to make this in December!!  Not exactly the cleverest idea ever I must admit.  I followed the Jelly Roll 2 hour challenge to make the top (it took me longer though) and 2 days later (alright, one of those days was a VERY long day) I had a quilt!

It was worth the time and expense (now I know why quilts cost so much, even the raw materials were expensive) just to see the smile on my mum's face that day. 

So this year has taught me a couple of things.  Firstly balance.  I need to ensure I find balance in my life (I think that will be my word for 2014) and secondly if it doesn't need to be done perfectly or by me then delegate or don't do it!!

I hope during the times of reflection that 2013 taught you something and I wish you all the very best for 2014 and beyond.


Monday, 30 December 2013

Oven Glove Joy

Hello peeps, another update on some of the Christmas pressies I made this year.

As well as Elderflower cordial, sloe gin and spiced sugar (which I LOVE) I also made some other pressies.  You have seen the jewelry I made, well this is a small gift I made my DH.

Back in the late 70's and 80's he (as was I, but I didn't know him back then) was a big fan of a band called Joy Division.  Probably their most famous album had a black and white cover:

Lots of bands over the years have cashed in on merchandise (cue Misfits and Kiss....kings of exploiting merchandise-you can even get a Kiss coffin!!) so another band called "Half Man Half Biscuit" brought out a song called "Joy Division Oven Gloves" about bands exploiting themselves (youtube it...its a great song!).

So I made him some!

I bought a black oven glove and painted a representation of the Joy Division album with white fabric paint!!! 

Making a gift for DH is hard, his gifts this year consisted of a LOT of vinyl records and a bass pedal tuner (he is REALLY into music and plays in a punk band) so I was chuffed when I thought of this one!

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Jewelry makes for Christmas

Hello peeps, I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas.

I made several Christmas presents this year so have not been able to show them on 
here until after the big day!!
 These are a couple of the presents that went out to my family in New Zealand

 This necklace and ear ring set for my aunt is red and amber (the red didn't show up too well in the photo).

These are cufflinks I made for my uncle.  Not Marks and Spencer (or even S&M!!) but his initials!

I got some lovely crafty bits and bobs for Christmas so am off to play.

Happy Crafting

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Hand carved Stamp and useups

Hi folks, I hope you are all well and are up to date with all your Christmas stuff....there is so much to do isn't there...pressies to wrap, food to buy, decorations to put etc, ironing, dusting etc etc etc...SO much that its hard to find any crafting time, let alone blogging time!

This weekend was extra special as my brother and his new wife came to stay.  They no longer live in Ecuador but (for the time being) have moved back to London.  So, Saturday lunch time we went to a local pub (owned by the local Bath Ales whose brewery is 10 mins walk from the house-sadly the pub is 10 mins DRIVE away!!) with hubby and my mum for an early Christmas celebration lunch.  During the evening the four of us went to watch a friends northern soul band play.  Lots of dancing, laughing and maybe a cider or two!  What's not to like!

Before they arrived I managed to grab some time in the craft room and I did managed to make a card from some papers from my scrap box.

This is a stamp I carved from drawing I did of a seed head (inspired by the wonderful Angie Lewin at St. Judes). 
 I stamped it onto some leftover lilac paper and matted and layered it on some silver card (I have lots of silver off cuts after my Christmas card making session the other night).

I am entering it into the snippets challenge over at http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.co.uk/ where they have some lovely entries each week.

Happy crafting



Friday, 20 December 2013

A mini me (of sorts)

Hello peeps, are you ready for Christmas? 

 I am amazed how it creeps up each year...it is 25th December every year isn't it?!!!  

Most of my pressies are bought, wrapped and already delivered to family and friends (yep...I am sat here a little smug for once-but not much a they say pride comes before a fall...and with my healing ankle I cannot afford that!) so this means I can indulge a little (only a little, I have a couple more gifts to finish!!) in some crafting just for fun!

So let me introduce you to dolly

This is the first one I have made-we all made them in the Coven earlier this year.  I took mine to show my dad just a few weeks before he died so I haven't been able to face finishing it.  But this week I finally did.

Isn't she lovely?  For those of you who know me will recognise the shot of white hair at the front of the fringe!!  Well, it wouldn't be my doll without that.

I am not sure where she will live, but at the moment she is sitting on the bookcase watching over me.

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


Hello peeps, its hump day again so that can only mean one thing-a legal snoop at desks across the globe as part of Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday!

After 3 months off work following an ankle operation I am finally back at work-which means I am having to schedule time in for crafting so was pleased I was able to do WOYWW as I need to keep my work life balance more in check - I think that will be my new year promise to myself!

So, on my desk this week...LOTS of different stages of Christmas cards.  

One thing I have learnt this year is that I need to do less.  It if doesn't need to be done 100% perfect and it doesn't have to be done by me (because I have the special skill set or liability at work) then I either ask someone else if they can do it-or...shudder....don't do it at all!!!

To make life easier, this is the first year for many years that I have supplemented my handmade cards with some shop bought ones.  I am not seeing it as a failure on my part that I haven't made them all, but a part of making my life easier-I was amazed how much less stressful it was, and I actually enjoyed making the cards this year (I just need to keep remembering this)!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Romantic Singer Weeps for Fans'-now considering these are random and X Factor (not something I watch but the girls at work do!) finished at the weekend this seemed quite fitting.

Happy Crafting

Friday, 13 December 2013

Frugal Christmas cards

 Hello peeps, I hope you are well and not freaking out too much over Christmas!

I decided to make a few clean and simple cards (not really my style)

 I drew a box around the card in a light blue pen and embossed some scraps of blue metallic card and die cut them with a die borrowed from a fellow coven member.  

These are frugal cards, not only is there no mat and layering, the blue card is from the scrap box and the ribbon is actually off a present I received and saved!

This bauble was too long for the card so I decided to snip the bottom off and add a point to make it shorter (and fit on the card!).

A couple of cards, didn't take too long to make and cost pennies.  What a shame I didn't think of this before I made my others!!!

Off to shake my sloe gin (bit late making it this year, but it should be ready new year celebrations).

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


 Hello peeps, its hump day so that means its time for a legal snoop at desks across the globe, thanks to Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday Queen Julia!

Now, I have kept something quiet for a while.  Yes I am embarrassed by it, but it is about time I came out and admitted it.......

I am addicted to googly eyes!  I have amassed tons of them!  I cannot wait until April 1st when I plan on sticking them to EVERYTHING in the fridge at work and waiting to hear the kerfuffle along our open floorplate!

I thought I would use some of them (ooh, my precious things...use them I did) on a card. 

 The design came from alltarynne.blogspot.com via pinterest (I like to credit people if I can) and I think its a great idea for an alternative Christmas card (can you spot Rudolf in the dark?).

On my desk, top left, if a small purse I just made from a kit my friend bought me from Simpleway.co.uk (I have a bag from them but have not attempted that yet), also a few bits and bobs the same as the other weeks as they have been sat there waiting to get tidied up-a job I am promising I will do today!!!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards read (sorry the flash was a bit harsh) 'Nurse Slays Tough Movie Actor'!!

Right, I need to stop procrastinating and crack on with cleaning my craft room!

Happy crafting

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sympathy snippets card

 Hello peeps, I hope you are all well and had a fabulous weekend.

It's that time of year again when I cannot show much of what I am making (it would spoil the surprise come the 25th!).

However, this is a card I made for a friend whose mum died recently.  Having lost my dad this year I really appreciated those cards I was sent that weren't black and white and didn't have words such as "sorry for your loss"...so I thought back to those cards and made one that hopefully she liked.

The great thing about this card was that it was all from the ever overflowing scrap box.  
I embossed some pearl card and punched a slim strip with my leaf punch.  I die cut some music paper with a butterfly die (borrowed from one of the coven!).  I used Tim Holtz tea dye DI to warm up the colours a bit and added a simple sentiment.

As its all from my scrap box I am entering this into the http://pixiescraftyworkshop.blogspot.co.uk/ snippets playground.

Happy crafting


Thursday, 5 December 2013

365 Challenge catch up

Hello peeps, I have FINALLY caught up with my 365 challenge pages over on the thekathrynwheel

For my November pages I sprayed Dylusions and created a firework 'burst' mask, over spraying with black Dylusions.  When dry I added glitter and pearl paint for that added sparkle.

For my December pages used Dylusion sprays (they really are my 'go to' spray at the moment), this time spritzing with water to add some layers.
I stamped snowflakes and added glitter and pearl paint, this time with a bottle lid to create circles.

I stamped some trees onto paper and coloured them with water colours then cut them out and added them to the page, outlining them with black wax to make them 'pop'.

Both November and December letters were made with my cereal box die cuts (see my earlier post for full instructions), coloured with pro markers and for December I added some foil for extra christmassy sparkle!

So, finally caught up so I can now crack on with Christmas cards!!
Happy crafting

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Hello folks, well its Wednesday again so time for the legal snoop at desks across the globe.

This is a little cheat, its taken on Tuesday afternoon and its not my desk!

That is because I am at a Coven members house and am making Christmas presents so its only a bit of what I am making that can be shown so there are no spoilers!!

I don't have the correct kit for what I am making so luckily my friend does..hence using her desk (thanks Jill!).

It was a fabulous day and we got a lot done....still much to do though!

"Man Bites Dog" cards this week are "Swinging Lover Bites General!" - a classic!!!

Right, I am off to check out some other desks.

Happy snooping!!