Hello 2017!

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Hello there stranger! It’s been such a long time since my last post!

I didn’t mean to stop blogging. I love my little blog and I love the community I have built up with it over the last 4 years. I’m made some amazing friends and I love looking back at old posts that have captured some wonderful memories. Somehow, life got in the way however, and we drifted apart a little. A lot of the faces have changed since we last caught up, and I’m sad to have lost touch with some of the amazing bloggers I got to know, but with the New Year I am looking forward to a new challenge and meeting some new faces.

2016 was an amazing year for me. I got to travel to San Francisco, Orlando and Seattle. I became an auntie, I changed jobs to become a Business Development Manager. I have thrown myself into voluntary work, including completing my 5th blood donation and spending my Christmas with an isolated elderly person in addition to my weekly volunteering with the Royal Voluntary Service. I also ran three 10k races for Macmillan Cancer Support. Oh, and I discovered a love for geocaching (but more on that later…)

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Christmas All Through the House!

 

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Author: Chris Malone

Genre: Non-Fiction, Crafts.

Published: July 2015

Pages: 48 pages

With Christmas quickly approaching, I’m sure many of us are turning our thoughts to decking the halls and putting up the tree – if you haven’t already! If you’re a crafter you know there is nothing more satisfying than hanging your own decorations each year, for you and your visitors to admire. This year, Annie’s Craft Store and Search Press have brought out the most irresistible collection of stunning quilting projects for all abilities, that you will love making and hanging year after year!

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November 2015 Goals

November already! Is anyone else finding they blink and a whole month has gone? We’re getting scarily close to Christmas now! I hope you’ve all had a good few months – sorry I missed my monthly goals again in October! I was only getting round to updating my goals by the middle of the month so I decided to hold off a couple of weeks so that it lined up with the beginning of the month again! Hopefully things will get back on track now! Anyway, here is the summary of how I faired with my September goals, and the goals I am setting for the month of November. Enjoy!

September/October Outcomes:

Once Upon A Time Sampler – I had really hoped to get that banner in but I have been so off cross stitching recently…I think the Barcelona Sunset took it out of me! At the minute I am just about keeping up with the monthly designs (not that it was finished when I took the photo but it is now, I promise!) which isn’t too bad, if the banner has to be added as a late addition then so be it!

November Sampler

Cut Thru’ Caravan – I was really hoping to make serious progress on this over the last few months but since I lost my cross stitch mojo it’s just not got anywhere! Sadly I’ve accepted that it isn’t going to be ready in time for Christmas (it would have been a tight squeeze anyway!) so it has been put to one side for now while I focus on other Christmas gifts and I will complete it for Christmas 2016 instead! Continue reading

Fancy Paperie Stationery Review

Hello!

I was recently asked to review some products for a lovely little Etsy shop called Fancy Paperie. They specialise in really wonderful quality paper good such as letter sets, postcards and greetings cards as well as a wonderful range of seasonal items.

You can see my review in the video below – let me know what you think! Oh and make sure you watch all the way to the end to receive your discount code to spend at https://www.etsy.com/shop/fancypaperie7

September 2015 Goals

Blimey, where are the weeks going??? Once again, we are in the middle of the month before my goals are going up and it’s been four weeks since my last post again! Time seems to be galloping ahead without me at the moment but I’m desperately trying to rein it in and get posts up more frequently! But for the meantime, here are the outcomes of my August goals, and the goals I have set myself for September.

August Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – In August my aim was to get the two remaining frames stitched in as well as the design for the month and I completed this so I was thrilled that it is almost up to date! I even managed to make a tiny start on the banner at the top…can you see it? Also, a sneak peek of the September design there too – this month is Black Beauty!

Sampler Edit

Cut Thru’ Caravan – I also managed to finish the page of the Caravan pattern that I was working on! It is coming together nicely but I am starting to realise that meeting my deadline of Christmas doesn’t look likely to happen – especially with all of the other presents I still need to make! Continue reading

August 2015 Goals

So sorry I’ve been MIA for a few weeks now! July turned out to be a really stressful month in the end and unfortunately something had to give to help me maintain my sanity (or what I had left of it anyway!) Blogging just wasn’t a priority for me while I had so many other things demanding my attention but luckily I now seem to be getting myself back on track. As always, while I was on my blogging summer break I have been busy with all sorts of things that I have ready to share with you! But for now, I’ll recap on those goals I set way back at the beginning of June! Plus I have risked setting some goals for the remaining two weeks of August (when did it get to the middle of August???) so we will see how I get on with those this month…

June/July Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – This one was a success! I managed to get the frames for June and July filled in with no problems…it stitched up really quickly! I do love working on the little design each month to give me a break from my bigger projects!

Barcelona Sunset – My aim for June was to finish stitching the lizard (achieved!) and to stitch half of the wall (not achieved.) However, although I didn’t get the wall stitched in, I did make a start on the backstitch. I know, I always go on about how much I hate backstitch! But in comparison to stitching the solid grey mass of the wall, backstitch seemed favourable! I have completed three quarters of the backstich for the whole project now which is really spurring me one! So I didn’t completely achieve the goal in June, but I did beat my overall target for the project (to finish by the end of August) by finishing it at the end of July! I never thought I’d see the end of it but I am thrilled with the result!

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June 2015 Goals

Hello!

I hope you’re all doing well 🙂 I can’t believe June is here already! Where is 2015 going??? Almost half way there already! Anyway, here is the roundup of my May goals so you can see how I did, as well as my goal setting for June – these lists seem to be growing and growing!

May Outcomes:

Once Upon a Time Sampler – In May my aim was just to fill in the square for that month and I managed that without any problems. I seem to fly through these at the beginning of each month then it gets shelved and almost forgotten until the next month comes round! It’s a shame because it is such a lovely project and I do want to dedicate more time to it to get all of the extra elements in but until the Barcelona Sunset is out of the way it will have to wait!

Storytime Sampler

Barcelona Sunset – This month I wasn’t too far off my goal. I still had some of the third quarter to finish off which I did, then I wanted to complete half of the next quarter. Ideally, I wanted to get the lizard stitched in so that I just had the big grey wall at the bottom to finish off this month. I didn’t quite make it there due to illness and various other things taking up my time in May, however, I’m really pleased with what I achieved. If I hadn’t been full of cold for the last five days I would have managed to fill in that grey section that I’m working on, and I would have felt satisfied with that, but I’m prepared to let it go because I still feel rubbish! Continue reading

While the boy is away…

Hello!

Sorry I’ve been missing recently…life seems so busy at the moment! Anyway, here is a summary of what I have been up to while I’ve been away, but it is also what I have been doing while James was away too! I had the house to myself for two weeks while he was away in the US at some conferences so I had some good quality time with my craft room in his absence!

Although, before I show you what I was doing while he was away, I just wanted to show you our last project together before he left…chocolate making!

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This year I am on a mission to make as many of my Christmas presents as possible, and after a trip to the York’s Chocolate Story I was really eager to have a go at making my own chocolates. I want to put together a variety box of filled chocolates to give as gifts at Christmas, so our first experiment was with these parcels filled with white chocolate ganache. This was actually our second attempt, however, we did perfect them and we were really pleased with the result! And they tasted VERY good! I have now bought a mold for some dark chocolate hearts with a strawberry cream centre, then next month I’ll be buying one to fill with caramel! By Christmas we should have a good range of recipes to put together a selection of boxes to give as gifts. We’ll just have to keep practicing and sampling in the mean time!

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Repurposing Christmas Decorations

Hello!

A little while ago I was inspired by Patience Brewster to repurpose some holiday décor! Patience is an artist and illustrator who designs, among other things, beautiful and unique Christmas decorations. I was introduced to Patience’s work, and challenged – how can I repurpose my Christmas decorations for use all year round?

Let’s face it, we all have lots of Christmas decorations which are beautiful, sometimes quite pricey and even handmade – and they spend 11 months of the year gathering dust in the loft or cellar. There is nothing more exciting than dusting off the decorations and carefully unpacking them at the beginning of December, but isn’t it such a shame that something so beautiful is packed away for the majority of the year? Now I’m not expecting everyone to keep their Christmas tree up 365 days a year (that would obviously spoil the fun…) but what if you could sneak a little bit of Christmas into your everyday decor? Surely the odd bauble here and there would brighten up your dark evenings when you get in from work? Plus you wouldn’t have to hide away those beautiful decorations all year to only see the (dim) light of December days!

Rising to Patience Brewster’s challenge, I have come up with a few projects to get the most out of my Christmas decorations, by incorporating them into decor that will last the whole year round!

Beads

 

The first ornament I opted to repurpose was beads. We have several strings and varieties of beads that we hang on the tree every year, and they seemed like a very versatile decoration to start with! I picked out a vase made from recycled glass and filled the vase with the beads. I decided to place a candle on top of the beads to decorate our dining table, but it would also be a great way to display artificial flowers. Continue reading

Recent Projects – A Catch Up!

Hello!

So, while I was on my unintended lengthy break from blogging, I did succeed in putting my time to good use by doing an excessive amount of crafting! I have recently been on a bit of a run in working my way through the projects that I have had lying around for a long time. Many of them were small craft kits that have been building up in my stash that I really wanted to complete and cross off my list. They have been a really good way to pass winter weekends when it has been cold and wet outside, plus it has seriously cut down my backlog of craft projects in my stash – which is always a good thing! I’m still on a purging spree and I’m trying to refrain from buying too many new craft supplies until I have put the ones that I have got to good use! So anyway, here is a summary of what I have been up to for the last few months while I have been out of blogging!

Christmas:

One of my very quick but favourite crafts over Christmas was this adorable Christmas bunting. It was a kit that I picked up on a trip to Rose Apothecary the year before and I finally got round to making it for Christmas 2014! It was really quick and easy to do because the fabric squares were already pre-cut, so I just had to pin and sew them to the binding. It was a project that only took a matter of minutes but the finished project looks really adorable and I’m so pleased with it!

Christmas Bunting

 

While we’re on the subject of Christmas, how do you like my paperchains? Probably not fully qualifying as a craft project, me and James still had a lot of fun putting these together! When I was younger I used to spend hours stringing together miles and miles of paperchains at Christmas, and I had bought a couple of packs of these waiting to put them to good use. It was fun to spend our first Christmas in our new house doing a project like this together in the run up to Christmas and I swear you are never too old to make paperchains! Continue reading