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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Five Favourite Christmas Creations - Sunday 29th December

Hi there friends!

I hope you all had a great Christmas! We had a really lovely fact it continues, as we have some friends coming tomorrow. I had some super crafty pressies - Tilda books, dies and stamps.I have taken a little break from the craft room (papercrafts anyway, as I have made a sewn that item I'll post later in the week) and will be back properly on 2nd January. 

I also hope that you all escaped the gales and power cuts; I feel so sorry for those who have spent days without power. It was really bad here Monday night and we awoke Christmas Eve to discover the roof had been blown off the Chicken coop! I went to let them out and it was one of those moments when you know something is wrong but it takes a moment to sink in! I opened their hatch and they came trotting out as if nothing had happened. It's a big walk-in coop, so the roof goes right over their bedroom, which means that from whenever it happened they were left exposed. Tom's Dad came over to help put it back on and thankfully it wasn't damaged, so all's well that ends well!

Although no new makes to show today, I thought I would enter a challenge that Debby is hosting on her blog 'A Scrapjourney' 

The challenge is to post the five favourite Christmas creations that we have made this year...and these are mine...

Winter Wonderland

Reindeer Games

Gift box card

Poinsettia Wreath

Sleigh Bells

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and crafty New Year and look forward to visiting your blogs and seeing all your creations through 2014,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas to you all! - Monday 23rd December

Hello Friends!

Just two more sleeps! Thank you for all your comments on my sleigh did take a while and was quite 'fiddly', but I really enjoyed making it and was pleased you liked it!

I have one final House Mouse card I would like to share with you all to wish you a Merry Christmas!

I am feeling very festive now: the house looks like a really cosy winter wonderland, inside and out! A few years ago, we bought one of those Lemax Christmas Village Houses at our local garden we have a village! When we were over in the USA in September I saw them in the big craft stores, except they were mostly the Halloween one as it was a bit early for Christmas (loved it). We've gradually added to it, it's just a bit of festive fun.It's really hard to get a photo of it though, so this just gives the general idea! It looks really pretty in the dark at night.

Our tree is adorned with lights and decorations collected over the years and even dating back to childhood. I'm not one for designer trees and colour schemes. When I decorate the tree I just love the memory every decoration brings with it - from family, to holidays and decorations that not only I have made, but friends and family have made as well.

Today will be spent getting the house ready for our visitors - there will be 6 of us on Christmas Day and we are very much looking forward to it.

This year was far too 'busy'; my Christmas cards were all very last minute and I do I confess start to get a bit stressed over was all going back to three weeks away from crafting with the back problem (I'm happy to report that my doctor is a hero for suggesting a sports now regular visits to Hayley have made a world of difference to pain I have been prone to all my adult life)..the three weeks unable to craft were followed by another couple where Mr Mojo had decided that he wasn't coming back from his enforced sabbatical! Of course by the time this all happened, I was already half-way committed to making all those presents for my family we were soon off to visit in the USA. I do actually think that knowing I had to finish what I started, combined with the workshops I teach with my friend Amy actually forced Mr Mojo to get moving again! But thank goodness I had already decided to not take any more commissions for the  rest of this year.

Our trip to California in September was another break from crafting..over three weeks in total and right when I would be making Christmas cards! But when it all started to get stressful, I took a step back..wait a minute, this is meant to be something I to's a's fun..and do you  know it worked?

So I didn't finish my Tim's tags..which was a shame, but not the end of the world. I didn't make all the Christmas projects I had planned, never mind, they aren't going anywhere and crafting never stopped being fun!

However it has been a really good year on the whole, seeing almost all my family from San Francisco to San Diego was fabulous - I think in all my trips solo and our many more together, we both agreed that this was the best ever!

Thank you also to my crafty friends, the ladies who come to our classes and special thanks to my friend Amy, who with her Mum, Diane, runs the best shop in Chipping Sodbury! I am so looking forward to another year of our crafty workshops, thanks Amy for asking me to join you in delivering them almost 2 years ago and to Diane for helping with the very important job of tea and cake!

This will be my last post before Christmas and possible New Year, so I'd like to wish you all a wonderful time and a very Happy, crafty 2014. Thank you for visiting my little piece of blogland. I do hope you get a little bit of inspiration from my projects as I do from all of yours. I really enjoy my daily trip around your blogs, looking at all the fabulous cards, layouts and other projects you share and I look forward to seeing many more next year!

I am now up to 67 followers so a huge thanks to all of you..when I get to 70 there will be some more candi to give away!

The weather here this afternoon is dreadful, so much rain and wind - I hope you are not experiencing the same - or worse - but if you are, stay safe and dry!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Love and Holiday Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sleigh Bells Ring...Sunday 22nd December

Hello Friends,

Yesterday I said that I had spent an afternoon working  on a project that I had been wanting  to complete for some fact since I got these dies a few months ago and here it is...the dies are both Sissix dies by Brenda Walton: Reindeer and Sleigh. The sleigh is actually a favour box or table centre piece. My big idea was to create a much more grungy, Tim Holz inspired project, but I think I will be making that to post here next Christmas now!

Instead I made a far more traditional piece and it is now sitting on our coffee table!

It needed to be sturdy, so I cut out 4 sleighs with quite a thick card and glued them together to double the strength and because the card was white one side, to make sure that both the inside and the outer of the sleigh matched.

 I then cut 2 more sleighs in gold to decorate, but cut the bottom away, so that only the sleigh runners are gold.. The die cuts are really easy to put together, but do take a little time and care; I used cosmic shimmer dried clear.

For the reindeer I used so corrugated card - they needed to be even sturdier as they have to stand up on 4 legs between them! Once I had die cut them, I inked the card to change the colour to dark brown.

I then cut 4 more reindeer in felt, which I glued either side of the corrugated.

I made the bridles from red cord and hooked the end of the rein around a jewelled brad which I'd attached to the sleigh. To finish off I added ribbons and bells. Then I made a base from left over corrugated card, covered with a piece of fake snow sheet and cotton wool snow. I added a little icicle stickles for a final touch.

Next to fill the sleigh..of course as a favour box you could add little choccies - I kept thinking that all made in  white or ivory, wouldn't it be a lovely centre piece for tables at a winter wedding?..I digress...I decided to make some tiny parcels and boy did they take a while and were they fiddly! I also remembered some tiny decorations hanging on the tree. We got them at a Christmas market in Italy some years ago and the little rocking horse and train made excellent additions  to the presents in the sleigh.

Hope you like it! 

I will be back tomorrow, one more time before Christmas,but in case you have finished your blogging and blog hopping for the Holidays, a very very Happy Christmas to you and thank you for visiting my blog!! Hopefully 'see' you tomorrow though!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

I would like to enter this project in the current Country View Crafts Challenge with the theme of 'Bah Humbug!'

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ribbon decorated wreath

Good morning friends,

Today is my DT project for Fantastic ribbons: we were asked to create a  festive home decor project and you know how much I love creating wreaths! Nothing is being posted on the blog at the moment, but I had made it so decided to post it here anyway.

I started out with a plain vine wreath, which I decorated with twisted lengths of  traditional red and green satin ribbons, fixing them at the top, bottom & sides with wire. I then sewed buttons to the bottom & top to create a hanger. To finish I die cut 5 poinsettias (Spellbinders) and glued them over the wired ribbon.

This is an indoor wreath..good fun to make!

Whilst on the subject of wreaths, I haven't shared my front door wreath this year..and it's been up since December 1st! Actually for those of you who were following me this time last year, it's the same wreath. I usually will keep a wreath I've made for at least a few years, maybe make some changes, but as long as I still like it and it's still looking tidy, I'll keep using it. This one will stay up until the end of the month and then be replaced with a simpler winter wreath for the rest of January. I love having a seasonal wreath on my door and it's something I've done for many years.

Are you all ready for Christmas? I still have Tom's card left to make, but I'll wait until he's back in work on Monday and I can concentrate. However, after we had a lovely morning today...visited local garden centre, had a coffee, went to the hen farm to restock food for our girls...I had a lovely afternoon crafting whilst watching the horse shop from Olympia on TV! I made a table centre-piece from some dies I got a few months ago and have been excited to finally use...As long as I can get a decent photo, I'll post it on here tomorrow.

Bye for now and thank you for stopping by,
Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 16 December 2013

Blue Christmas - Monday 16th December

Hello Friends,

I hope you all had a great weekend, we had another that was a mix of  family gatherings and 'getting on with Christmas preparations'...and I also managed  a fair bit of crafting time, so it was all good!

Firstly, I would like to welcome my new follower, Donna Hanley - a crafter who like me, has a passion for everything House Mouse! Welcome Donna! Thank you so much for choosing to follow my little corner of blogland!

Today's card is a box easel: I have been making some of these in various designs lately as they are ideal for giving a little gift or some chocolates in the drawer.

I used my 'Zandra ' template, which I bought at Ally Pally in April;  adorable-scorable pale blue card to make the card, with Pink Petttocoat snowflake papers for the design base.

The stamp is from the Papernania Urban Stamps range, coloured with Promarkers. I inked the edges with Adirondack ink (Pool). The dies are all Spellbinders, but the holly is an old and trusty punch that comes out every year and does a great job!

I finished the card with ribbons and buttons from stash and added a printed sentiment.

I'd like to enter this card in this week's - week 237 -  Allsorts Challenge, which has the theme of 'Snowflakes'

That's all for today, thank you for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 13 December 2013

House Mouse Love! - Friday 13th December

Good evening Friends,

Well I'm being a very bad blogger of late; simply a case of lots to do and little time to blog I'm afraid!

It has been a busy but good week; I've been in the office most days, but Tuesday I invited all my office and my website volunteers from work, around for a coffee morning. There were 7 of them and we had a lovely few hours natter. A few of them are new and normally two of them work on the days I'm not there and one works with me, so it was a nice chance for them all to meet and catch up.

Today's card is another House Mouse Christmas card:

This is a simple card, just using some backing paper from stash,matting and layering on gold mirri. I printed the image from the House Mouse Christmas CD, using glossy paper, matted and layered on gold and tied with a pink ribbon. I then die cut some poinsettias using Pink Petticoat 'berries' paper in pink.

I've now finished, written and posted or delivered all my general cards and just have a few friends and family special ones left to make, plus there are a few little projects I need to finish over the weekend and next week, but it's finally all coming together!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 9 December 2013

Baby Girl - Monday 9th December

Good Morning Friends,

As we start another week, I hope you all had great weekends! We had a really lovely one, nothing too much to do, so I could get on with those final 40 CAS Christmas cards and Tom could do the jobs he had lined up, including a repair to the ramp on the chicken coop!

I did manage to finish the general Christmas cards, a mixture of the Pink Petticoat designs and some of the smaller images from my House Mouse CDs...I just can't make too many exactly the same as I get bored easily. Nevertheless they were quick makes and all are written and stamped ready to post or hand deliver. I have made about 100 in a few half- days crafting, so it can be done when the pressure is on! I was going to take another 'group' photo of them, but was half way through putting them in envelopes before I thought of it!

Yesterday, no crafting (well maybe an hour die cutting some poinsettias for another project) - some ironing after breakfast and then a trip to our local garden centre for a few purchases and a lovely coffee (they make lush cappuchinos in their cafe). In the afternoon we went back up to Highgrove House, the home of Prince Charles (no we didn't have an invite to tea!). If you remember we did a garden tour in the summer? Well yesterday we went to one of their Christmas Shopping events and afternoon tea and it was lovely.

On arrival we were given a glass of bubbly, it was very nice and I had to drink Tom's because he was driving...oh dear poor me!(Poor Tom more likely!) The Christmas decorations and atmosphere was second to none, I just wish we were allowed photos. 

There were a lot of people, but as with the summer it was well managed, as you are ticketed certain times and the staff are lovely. It was really dark when we left at about 5.30pm though, no lights along the drive and the policeman on duty could have done with wearing his high visibility  vest because he could barely be seen. On the way home we passed the local arboretum where they have a 'winter wonderland' of lights through the forest. We are members and I had the cards with me in case we decided to go in.It was a lovely evening, so we seriously thought about it, but there was a bit of a queue of cars so we decided to give it a miss this week.

Now to my card...a break from Christmas today! My cousin, Brianna and her husband Jon in the USA have just had their second child, a little sister for their 18 month old son, Micah. We didn't see them whilst we were over there as they are currently living in Florida. Jon is a pilot with the Coastguard so they move around every few years. I made this card for their new daughter, Hayley.

The stamp is from the new LOTV releases: I can't believe ho quickly they arrived! I ordered a few on their day of release and they were through my letter box the next day; can't ask for better than that!

I'm not going into detail today, it wasn't a difficult card and the image is coloured with Promarkers. The polka dot paper is by Pink Petticoat and the other snippets from stash! It's another 7x7, I really am liking this size!

I'm off to work, happy Monday everyone and thank you for stopping by!

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Playing Rudolph Games!- Sunday 8th December

Good Morning Friends,

Today's card is another House Mouse creation - I love these little meeces all through the year, but I seem to be having a proper 'House Mouse' Christmas this year and have been making lots of cards with the festive images!A lot of this is thanks to the CDs that Joanna Sheen has produced in partnership with House Mouse Designs:stamping is my first love, but there are so many stamps that having CDs with so many images and papers as an option has been a great addition to my House Mouse out there will be plenty more here before Christmas!

Today however, I have used a stamp; I  love this fun stamp! It is quite large  and was also lovely to colour - I used Promarkers. To finish I added Wow! embossing glitter, which I heat dried to give a thick coating.

The card is 7x7: I've made quite a few in this side lately and I like it, not too big or too small! The backing paper is by Pink Petticoat and I matted and layered with  red card and silver mirri card.To finish I tied with candy stripe bakers twine and added a button and bells.

For the inside I used a greeting from Pink Petticoat and added another little House Mouse stamped image.

I'd like to enter this card in the House Mouse and Friends challenge

"It's beginning to look like Christmas" Challenge HMFMC159

Sorry the photos aren't brilliant...hate the lack of daylight this time of year!

Thanks for stopping by and hoping you are all have a great weekend!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 6 December 2013

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Friday 6th December

Hello Friends,

From CAS cards yesterday to one that took a bit longer today! To make this vintage design card, I used one of Crafty Individuals' recent releases 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland'. I really like the image of friends walking in the snow - it reminded me of childhood, when I actually liked being out in the snow! Not any more!

For this 6x6 card, I started off with some holly backing paper from stash: I used a holly mask around the image and inked through very lightly with sage green distress ink, so that it is barely visible, then I coloured the image with intense pencils and then using a versamark pen, I sprinkled a think layer of white puff twinkle, mixed with sparkling snow embossing powder over the image, especially on the umbrella and around the image. Once the glitter is heat embossed a think snow is created!

The stamped image is matted and layered on kraft and red card and I also added a length of lace to the side. To finish off I added some punch holly leaves, gems for the berries and glittery wired ribbon.

I would like to enter this in the Crafty Individuals Challenge   'Something Festive'

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas CAS cards - Thursday 5th December

Hello Friends!

I can't believe it's Thursday already, I have no idea where the time is going at the moment!  Yesterday I decided to sit down and write the CAS cards I had made...there were more than 50 - it took ages  and I still need to make about 20 more of them, plus more than 10 'special' ones and the last few family very special ones...that does it, next year I carry on making Christmas cards all year, lol I say that every year!

I also finished putting up the decorations yesterday, so the house is now looking like a bit of a 'winter wonderland'...I just love the twinkly lights!

This is just a quick post before I head off to work...

The photo is of my CAS card designs I used for the majority of my Christmas cards: they are all 5x5 or 6x6 and although all of these in the photo have backing papers, most were just plain white with glitter, ribbon and a topper.

The papers are all from Pink Petticoat, as are the digi stamps: I coloured some of the stamps with pencils and some with chalks. They are small and easy to colour and I hadn't used my chalks in a very long time, so that was fun!  I used a mixture of a scalloped circle punch, Spellbinders dies and just plain tearing with my hands to create the toppers.

Well off to battle a very windy morning soon..getting the hens up and then off to work!

See you all later and have a good day! Thanks so much for stopping by,

Love and hugs,

Carole Z X

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Get well soon! - Tuesday 3rd December

Good morning Friends!

I hope all of you are well and not in need of a Get Well card! I have tried to keep up with commenting on all your posts, but sorry if I've missed you! I'm still playing catch up with Christmas cards and makes and not getting the time to blog in between. I didn't get anything done at the weekend, we were in Tetbury most of Saturday and up in Oxfordshire Sunday, visiting some of Tom's cousins. They live in a lovely village, with an equally good pub just a few yards away, so we all strolled up for a wonderful Sunday lunch.

Today's card is my Design Team card for Emergency Crafters December challenge, the theme of which is 'Anything but Christmas'. I have finally (very late I know) gotten into Christmas mode with my crafting and it was actually quite hard to snap out of it, but I decided on the other type of card we might send more of this time of year..get well!

I have been very much in House Mouse mode of late, but this time instead of a stamp I chose an image from one of the project CD's..the House Mice 'nursing' this not so 'Happy Hopper'!

I decided on lavender colours to make this easel card, choosing some gingham ribbon from my box. The papers are printed from the CD and the little buds are die cut using a Britannia rose die.

Hop on over to Emergency Crafters  to check on the other DT examples and find out how to enter..there are prizes to win!

Thanks for stopping by,

Love and hugs,
Carole X