Friday, 31 December 2010

Less than an hour to go...

...and we will be in a new year, the start of a new decade.
No parties for me tonight but I will be watching the fireworks on the TV. If it wasn't such a pain to get there & back I would love to be in the centre of London as the Big Ben chimes start to 'bong'. The atmosphere on the TV looks fab. We also seem to have finally got to grips with large scale firework displays - for those who remember the damp squib of a showing that we gave to see in the new century (oh it was shameful compared to the rest of the world) we do now put on a pretty damn fine show.

2010 - did you call it twenty-ten or two thousand & ten? - was a strange year...lots of change at work and at home and boy did the year fly by. There were some sad moments too - an Aunty and an Uncle passed this year so the family has shrunk a bit more and someone I managed for more than two years also passed (early 40s, young family - such a shock).

Despite the rotten cold that I have at the moment I have to say this year has been relatively healthy so I shouldn't complain.

So 2010 has been and will shortly go...there are photos and memories that will gradually appear in my scrapbooking (don't hold your breath - it could take a while LOL) and items that I have made for myself & others. I have found new blogs & websites to visit - increased my cyber friends - learnt a lot of new techniques - and enjoyed my crafting.

One of my favourite stores - Artbase - is no more. Margaret & John decided that this was the year they were finally going to retire...I do so miss the Sunday workshops and my weekly visits. Have a wonderful retirement both of you. I look forward to Emma getting going with the on-line store and wish her all the best for 2011.

Well, 2011 (think this will be "two thousand & eleven - twenty/eleven doesn't sound right) will be arriving shortly. There will be more changes ahead - that is the nature of things.

I don't make resolutions as they are never kept and then I feel guilty - so I don't do them. I do hope to continue to learn more things, craftwise, as the new year progresses. We will also be counting down to the arrival of the 2012 Olympics and as I work in East London where the bulk of this event will take place I will continue to see the preparations taking shape.

I hope you all have a wonderful evening, whether you are having a quiet one at home or out for a full blown celebration. Enjoy yourselves but take care - be safe.

I wish you all - health, wealth, love & happiness for the coming year and hope you get to realise some of your dreams

Welcome 2011!!!

Love Toni xx

Last day...

...of the old.
I will be seeing out the old year very quietly as I still have this rotten flu-like cold. It really has mucked-up my sleep pattern with all this coughing so I don't feel like partying or any such like.

As I look out the window everything looks dull, grey, dirty - typical aftermath of having snow. At least it has warmed up a bit.

For those of you having parties tonight - have a great time!

I'll pop back later to wish you all a Happy New Year...............

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Wishing you all...

...a very Merry Christmas.

Well despite my plans to be more organised this Christmas, time ran away from me. I didn't get lots of homemade goodies done and my home does not resemble a photo shoot from one of those glossy mags.

What I did manage was to complete all the Christmas cards that I wanted to make (a bit close to the wire with the last few but they got done). I also have my own "Tim Holtz" style Christmas wreath made at one of Andy's fab workshops and the gift shopping is done. What hasn't already been delivered is sitting wrapped and waiting for me to take to their final destination.
I'm not sure if I have felt very Festive this year but I have enjoyed the crafting that I have undertaken for this holiday period. I have done a lot more stamping this year as I am soooooooooooo loving my Copic & Promarker pens...grown-up colouring in sessions are so relaxing. My Martha Stewart punches have been well used and I've had some great fun with miri card and embossing folders.

Christmas seems to have arrived with a rush...just like most of 2010.

Craftwise I have been a bit more adventurous this year - I've actually participated in 'messy' stuff (not something that I naturally feel at home with). I've played with inks, shaving foam, glitter and grunge...

I've tried to be a better blogger this year and in my blopping around cyber-space I have found some super new blogs that I now follow in addition to my long standing favourites. I have found some amazing artists out there and have been inspired by their work and ideas. I do try and leave comments when I visit folk's blogs but life does sometimes get in the way so I apologise now if I haven't been as good as I should be about this...there are just so many amazing folk out there I sometimes just get carried away trying to see as much as possible in the short time I have available. I have been blessed with some wonderful comments throughout the year and I ackowledge how encouraging this can be for any crafter - I will try harder in 2011.

Since having a blog I have "met" some wonderful folk and learnt about their lives in different parts of the world - it is so lovely to feel a part of this and look forward to this continuing in 2011. There are some crafters out there whose work I so admire and it is an amazing feeling when these folk drop by and comment on my crafting efforts - can I just say a very big thank you for all your lovely comments and encouragement throughout the year.

The next few days will probably pass in a whirl so I doubt I'll be getting any crafting done. Let me take this chance to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful Christmas and hope that 2011 brings everything that you could hope for.

Merry Christmas everyone...

Love from Toni xxx

Monday, 20 December 2010

That's all folks...

...for another year (at least I think so).

After a bit of a mad rush I have finally completed my Christmas cards and delivered them - Yipee!!!
I just loved the colour of this miri and the fact that it came in plain and patterned/embossed versions was even better - just wish I could get the hang of taking pics of it LOL...lovely picture of my lounge net curtains; don't you think **rollseyes**
Some Forever Friends easel cards and some foil decoupage added a bit of variety to the mix.
Some more foiled decoupage toppers and my trusty little Kanban bear and that is me done for this year.

It has been a bit of a slog - despite getting lots of bits prepared well in advance I just don't seem to have had the motivation to actually put the cards together...never mind; all done now.........................phew!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Two & a half hours... travel less than 5 miles - grrrrrrrrr!!!

Okay, so we had a bit of snow yesterday but not that much. Pavements were icy but the roads were clear and the forecast said that further snow wouldn't hit until later today...I need to remember my own advice about not trusting weather forecasts...

In the space of less than an hour we went from cold winters day to GRIDLOCK. Traffic was bumper to bumper and the police had closed off a stretch of the A13 (main London to Southend road in south Essex).

I passed some very lovely sites which if I had been the passenger rather than the driver I would have been snapping away at (I did get the pic of the footbridge whilst I was stuck going nowhere) but to be honest, I'm just glad to be home safe & sound and I don't think the car will be moving again for some time (unless the snow goes, that is). These are a few quick snaps of the garden that I came home to.

Hope everyone out there with this weather is tucked up in the warm - take care folks......................

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Three of a kind...

...Yep, more cards.

These three were variations on a theme - white card, co-ordinating embossed miri & ribbon and a matching coloured stamped image.
The polar bear stamp is a real fun image and I have coloured quite a few of these since I got the stamp and as you can see - another little Kanban bear.

No matting & layering on this batch...edge of cards attacked with my Threading water border punch ("Martha" decided not to 'play' last night as the card is almost 300gsm) a 1" strip of embossed miri card attched behind to show-off the punching, some 2cm wide satin ribbon tied in a knot and the coloured image.......Voila!!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Glitter card, miri & Winter light...

...equals - naff photo!!!

Sorry, can't wait for more daylight as there is a lot to do today and I wanted to get a pic of this card before it is given away.
Glitter card & miri are not the easiest of things to photograph at the best of times but I hope you can see enough detail on this (whilst trying to ignore the glare LOL).

Very simple card - 5x5 square cream card base, gold miri matt just slightly smaller. The top miri card was cut slightly bigger than 3x3 then embossed in the Sun Rays folder - matted onto cream hammered card so just a small border of cream shows. Two brown glitter card reindeer (were cut for me so sorry don't know which cart was used). Everything attached to the card base with DST except for the deer which were mounted on foam pads. A sentiment panel from hammered cream card - mounted on foam pads...and there you have it..............................

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

And there's even more...

...Christmas cards, that is LOL

Just a few more cards completed and would you believe it - these were the ones that I remembered to take pics of **rollseyes** You can probably tell that I'm starting to panic a bit now...time is flying and I just don't seem to get done what I need to get done. I was in such a rush to get some of the cards written and distributed that the envelopes were written and sealed before I even gave a thought to photos...and NO!!! I was not going to open them all up again (strange that LOL).
So here are what remained of the latest batch. I had actually done a few B&W cards using some monotone decoupage toppers that I had come across - only one remained for the photo-call.
Another of my Kanban bear images coloured using Copic pens and a bit of stickles to add some bling. This is a basic white square card with a matt of blue miri card, then a matt of white card embossed with the sheet music design folder from one of Tim Holtz Alterations sets. Some more blue miri embossed with the Craft Concepts 'Sun Rays' folder and then Ted attached on top with some foam pads.
The idea for the Penguin cards came from Helen over at It's All Fiddle Fart - I found a sheet of puff stickers so adapted one of her 9-square designs...this was the result.

I still have a way to go - I keep looking at my card list and thinking that it is growing instead of reducing. Better get off here and get some more done..............

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Are you sitting...


Here are some pics of what I've been up to lately...
There is no real order to these as I was more concerned in trying to get some reasonable photos to post. This time of year is especially difficult with the poor light quality (and my lack of photography skills don't help LOL).
Dawn's Christmas workshop was another great day of techniques & engineering - I would never have thought to glitter spray vellum to cut holly from but it works beautifully.
Fabric stuck to acetate is also something a bit different and provided the basis for a lovely hanger on a 'K' card. The muted gold card was a lovely change from miri.
This lovely Santa makes you feel as if you are peering through a window. A beautiful card that is more like a gift as it has its own lovely box - these images were from one of the My Craft Studio Christmas disks (must make more use of mine).
I have so enjoyed using my Copic & Promarker pens this year...unfortunately, I got a bit carried away LOL I have a lovely collection of coloured images but have yet to turn them into cards and my mind seems to have gone blank for ideas.
This cutie little bear is a clear stamp from a Kanban set. Easy to colour and a bit of bling helps to bring it all to life. I am also loving the 'sun ray' embossing folder that I got a few months ago - not specifically for Christmas but it certainly does the job.
This little group is just a selection of some of the Christmas cards I have finally put together this week. The card that I used for Mum's card is beautiful - pale green with a snowy effect, slightly pearly and embossed - I thought it made the perfect background for the traditional red/green Magnolia image that I had coloured.
This little cutie was a card I made for one of the Cybercrop challenges, last weekend. The polar bear stamp is so sweet and again the sun ray embossed miri card works really well.

I have used a mix of PPs on my cards, many are off-cuts from other projects (Paula, you will be proud of me - I've actually used some of my scraps LOL). In most cases there wasn't a need to worry about make or range...I already have the images coloured so I'm just looking for PPs & CS that will co-ordinate.

Although I've been busy I think I need to speed up a bit as we are now only 13 days to Christmas **groan**........................................

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Decorating for Christmas... on the blog.

Thought as there are only 14 days to go until the big day I should give the blog a bit of Christmas cheer...what do you think?.............................

Yes I know...

...I have been a bad blogger this week.

I have been crafting...honest!

Last weekend was fun with the cybercrop and Andy's "Ink" workshop but boy was I tired by the end of it. I do have a few things to show you but I really do need some decent light to get some photos.

Promise to get some pics taken tomorrow.....................

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Winter's Tale...

...well sort of LOL.

I really liked the look of this class over at the UKS cybercrop but I didn't really want to do another snow Layout. So this is what I came up with...

There have been so many berries on the bushes this year that I just had to take some pics.

I was rather pleased with the way this came out as I do love the Autumn colours..........................

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Letter to Santa...

...Cybercrop class.

I have been able to combine one of the CC classes with the use of a template by Kerryanne English. Her Santa letter template was just what I was looking for and I meant to sit and colour one in a few days ago, then guess what - one of the CC classes needed a 'letter to Santa'...sorted.
I was quite pleased with the way this came out - I was able to use the photo of "Santa" that I took on my recent visit to Harrods.

One of the problems I have with loading pics to the UKS gallery is that the pixel size makes it quite small so I normally prefer to load here and place a link on UKS. Unfortunately, that can't be done during a CC otherwise I can't claim the points for the things I've completed...never mind, at least the pic here is a bit clearer LOL....................................

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

What more can I say but...


In the space of two days we have had far more than we got last year and it hasn't stopped yet.
As you can see, I've taken a couple of these pics from indoors - I'm not's cold out there LOL
The walk to the station yesterday wasn't too bad but not very good light for picture taking. The walk back on the way home from work was a different matter - very slow.
The snow has continued since Monday night and hasn't let up. We have had a variety of snowflakes from the very fine powdery stuff to the large 50p size flakes but whatever - it hasn't stopped.

I'm off today because I was to attend the Christmas card workshop that was postponed from November but weather has stopped play - fingers crossed the weather will have improved enough for it to go ahead next week.................

Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas card... Germany.
Not exactly the best pic in the world but at least I got a chance to take one LOL I normally forget until I've sealed the envelope...(I did forget to take a pic of Kristy's birthday card which was also finished for her to take back with her).

It was all a bit of a rush getting this finished so that Kristy could take it back with her to Germany and ideally I would have liked to tinker a bit more but hohum!

When I got it finished I found that the batteries in my camera needed charging and then the light wasn't very good - all in all, considering the circumstances perhaps it's not that bad a pic afterall LOL.......................

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Cold enough to...

...freeze the ***** off a brass monkey - well bronze lady actually LOL
We may not have snow round here but it sure is cold. The Mother & Child fountain that is the symbol of Basildon Town centre looked very cold and bleak today with the water frozen and the icicles hanging. I was in Town with my niece who is on a brief visit from Germany to grab some much needed shopping and we both grabbed our cameras as we saw the fountain.

Basildon can be pretty cold at the best of times as the centre tends to be a bit of a wind tunnel but this only went to prove just how cold it was today.

I don't normally venture into places like Basildon on a weekend this close to Christmas but this was an emergency. There were so many things that Kristy needed but has been unable to get over in Germany that there was little choice. I have to say, despite the crowds - we managed to get around and she obtained virtually everything on her shopping list.

After Basildon we HAD to do Barleylands, afterall, it is members weekend and who can pass up 30% off their stash shopping LOL She now has some more goodies to play with (thank you so very much Andy) and got to say "Hi" to all the lovely folk over there.

Next stop was Tesco and she managed to get herself a winter coat...although from the stories that the Squadies have been telling her she probably needs something along the lines of the coat that Annette (Voodoo Vixen) has had to buy herself out in Canada - still, it is better than her existing coat so should do her a good turn.

A flying visit to Grandma and then back to her Mum's (with a car load of Christmas presents & general shopping) for a lovely bowl of fresh Spag-bol. Tomorrow it will be a drive to South London to meet up with her neighbour who drove her over here and then we will be back to telephone calls and emails.

I'm glad she managed to get over even if it was only for a short visit.

Safe journey home sweetie, and I hope you manage to avoid the snow..................

Christmas Charity Night... Barleylands.

This weekend started with Barleylands opening 'til 9pm on Friday so that they could host their charity night. The Village was pretty packed and there were Farmers Market stalls, hot food, mulled wine and an evening of entertainment. It is the first time that I have managed to get there for this event and I have to say the atmosphere was great.

The entrance to the Village was pretty magical with fairy lights and lots of these little deer dotted amongst the shrubs...
Despite it being sooooooooooo very cold it was a great night and everyone enjoyed themselves. By all accounts the two local charities being supported by the evening will be doing very nicely out of it too......................

Friday, 26 November 2010

Stories are Gifts...

Don't you think that is a lovely thought - not mine I hasten to add, it is the current slogan for Starbucks - I still think it is lovely, made me think of all the time my Mum spent with my sister & I telling us stories and then later the time she spent with my niece.

Mum was a Brown Owl when I was young and I can remember her surrounded by a pack of Brownies all listening intently to the story she would be telling (there was always a meaning behind the stories but at the time we thought they were just stories). A couple of years ago a young woman and her children stopped Mum when she was at the shops..."Brown Owl? - it is Brown Owl, isn't it?"...she had recognised Mum and wanted to thank her for all the wonderful stories she had heard and that she now shared them with her own children. Mum was amazed that the young woman had recognised her after so long but was even more amazed that she remembered the stories.
Because of the memories it brought I just had to buy one of the Starbucks Christmas Mugs...
oh, and of course I just had to have a Gingerbread latte 'to go' LOL............

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Driving Home for Christmas...

...well, pre-Christmas actually.

My niece is paying a flying visit next weekend from Germany and we will be hitting the shops c",)

She couldn't have timed it better as it is members weekend at Pinnacle Crafts which means she can stock up on crafty stuff and save 30% whilst doing so LOL

It sounds like this visit will be to try and grab some essentials for the party season that she can't find over there or are just way too expensive to even consider.

I'm awaiting the email listing all the places we need to visit..............

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I'm a...

...Jingle Belle.
No I am not mad (well, no more that usual LOL) I will be part of the Jingle Belle team over at UKS for the coming cybercrop.

We'll be jingling all the way...........................

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Happy Dance...

...and a very big grin.

The lovely Lynn Stevens at Trash to Treasure has drawn her 2-year blogaversary winners and has added a lot of RAK winners too

So why I hear you ask am I doing a **happy dance**, well, I was chosen to be a RAK recipient...oooooooo, so exciting.

If you haven't stopped by Lynn's blog you really should - she does some amazing things with stamps and all sorts of stuff.

Thank you Lynn for your kind thoughts........................

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Another 11th hour of the 11th day...

...of the 11th month is soon to be upon us.

I found this lovely poppy picture whilst browsing the 'Net and thought it would be just right to represent Remembrance Day.

I will be paying my respects at 11am today and will not only be thinking of all those brave souls who have fallen protecting this Nation but also all those lads & lasses who are continuing to lay their lives on the line.

"and in the morning; we will remember them"...........................

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A more grown-up version...

...of the calendar from Wednesday's class.

As I said in my earlier post, I loved the idea but the style of the calendar I made in class was a little too cute for me so I have come up with my own version. Here are some brief instructions for anyone interested in having a go.

The materials used were; 1 sheet of A4 black card, 1 sheet of A4 silver foiled black card, images from a Deco lady decoupage/topper sheet, piece of ribbon, slimline note paper and a purse-size calendar.
I have found that different brands of paper/card despite claiming to be standard A4 all seem to vary a bit measurement-wise so for these instructions I will not give any specific measurements. I measured the short end of my A4 card and then measured the same distance along the long side - scored and folded so that I would have a square.
The foiled card was cut to provide a square for the front and a panel for the back. The notepaper was cut down to fit and the "Deco" images cut out.
The back of the calendar has a pocket made from the flap created by the scored fold. This was stuck down using Redline DST (very strong) at each side and the panel of foiled card was stuck on using DST to decorate and add a bit of strength to the pocket. The panel was cut to leave just a small black border. The small Deco topper was stuck on - to one side just as a decorative accent. The remaining narrow strip of foiled card was stuck across the top to hide where the ribbon for hanging is attached. Again, this is slightly smaller than the black card so is attached leaving a small border from the top and sides.
The front of the calendar has a square of the foiled card attached with DST - this is slightly smaller than the black base card so there is a tiny border all the way around. Leaving a small border of the foiled card to the top/bottom/right side, the notepad was attached. The larger Deco image was attached leaving a small foiled card border to the top & left side (ensuring the top edges of the image & the notepad line-up evenly). The calendar was then attached with DST at the bottom of the image - leaving a small border of foiled card showing at tne bottom.

And there you have it...a bit more grown-up but still quick and easy to make and could be made with little effort to help with sales for the Christmas fayres. Hope you like........................


...Tim Holtz day.

Andy always makes his classes fun and yesterday he had rather a big class for the amount of stuff he had lined up for us to do. As a result we had the fun of cutting out a lot of the pieces needed and slight chaos as dies/cuttlebugs and A/B/C plates got passed around the class.

Although we made the wreath first, I thought I would show you the tags to start with as they are very much a 'work in progress'. There was lots of inking & embossing involved but they were intended just to give folks a chance to play with some of the "Tim" type techniques.
I think some of my tags will need backing as the embossing folders were a little harsh on the PP used (from Tim Holtz Holiday stack) and won't stand up to much decorating otherwise. I will link them all together with a book ring when finished.

The wreath involved lots of inking, die cutting and embossing before construction could even start to take place.

We used a 7 petal 'poinsettia type' Nestie for the flowers - cutting them out of Grunge paper and then colouring them before embossing them to give texture (doesn't really show in the photos). With 12 folk in the class each needing 8 flowers that was a lot of cutting so we kept to a single layer but the flowers could have been more detailed with an extra layer if required (a couple of ladies decided to make do with just 4 flowers so that they could double layer them).
The leaves were cut from Bazzill bling using the Tattered Leaves die. Again, 8 cuts per person were required so that we each had 8 of the 3 different leaves on the die. These were then inked to 'distress' and give a bit of tone before being curled over the edge of the table to give more dimension.

I thought about adding some more leaves and some ribbon when I got home but seeing it actually hanging on the door I'm quite happy with it as it is.
This angled close up might not be as clear as I would like but it does show how much depth there is to this project...Pinflair glue is marvelous for these occasions.

I really like this wreath idea and I have loads of ideas buzzing round my head of how I could adapt this...I just need to find some more time....................

A Cybercrop... a coming!!!

Note your diaries, the next UKS CC is on 3/4/5 December - oh what fun............

Wednesday class...

...the calendar.

Pauline (Andy's mum) took the class and the idea was to make something quick & easy that could also be used as a gift. This idea was certainly quick and the result is a useful calendar.
Although the basic construction was quick we also got to play with the new dies from the DoCraft "Woodland" range. This bit was time consuming. The results from the dies are beautifully cute but there are just so many 'bits' to put together - many of which are very tiny and fiddly. I decided to use the hedgehog although I still think it looks like a teddy being hugged by something big and furry LOL
The back of the calendar has a pocket for holding a few general cards - great to have them to hand for those last minute occasions that you have 'almost' forgotten.

With the Christmas season approaching at a rate of knots this idea would be great for the kids to make as gifts for teachers or items to sell at their school/Brownie etc. Christmas fayre. Perhaps a pretty pic or a bit of decoupage would be easier for them and certainly a lot less fiddly - but something to be considered.

I liked the basic idea so I've cut out some bits to make my own take on this...I'll try and take some step-by-step pics later today..................

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lucky me...

...I attended two classes this week.

On Wednesday I attended a calendar making class at Pinnacles (couple of hours) and came away with a completed hanging calendar and a card - the format has given me some ideas so I'm currently putting together my own take on this.

Today was a full day of Tim Holtz style playing with an 'Andy' twist. Fab, fab day and veeeeeeeeeeeeeery messy LOL

We made grunge paper poinsettia flowers, coloured them with Adirondack inks and blinged them up a bit with embossing and the new gold Flower soft. Cut loads of 'tattered leaves' out of Bazzill bling and distressed them a bit with ink - then made the whole thing into a Christmas wreath.

We also got to have a play along the lines of "Tim's"...12 Tags of Christmas. We got to play with tags so that we could see the effects that embossing, inking and distressing can have on PP & CS as well as acetate.

A very busy day today - and as promised, very messy but I went prepared with my apron & gloves.

Hopefully the light will be fine tomorrow to take pics of the projects as they are but the wreath and tags are a work in progress and I'll have to come back at a later point with the finished goods.

Another class next Wednesday - Fantasy Film - we warned Andy that we weren't going to be doing his ironing (crafters don't "do" ironing, now do they - be honest LOL) so he shouldn't even go there......................

Friday, 5 November 2010

Oooo, Candy alert...

...quick, go look see.

The lovely Lynn over at Trash to Treasure is celebrating 2 years of blogging with a lovely giveaway - I won't post a pic here of all the lush loveliness up for grabs as you really do need to go look for yourselves................

Thursday, 28 October 2010

My feet are killing me...

...after a wonderful girls day out.

Last year I couldn't go because the date clashed with something else but there was no way I was gonna miss out this year...a visit to Harrods.

I haven't been to Harrods since I was knee-high to a grass-hopper so all I had in mind was the images that I had seen over the years on the TV. It wasn't as packed as I thought it might be so myself and 3 friends from work were able to have a lovely wander round without losing each other LOL

None of us had a huge amount to spend but I was determined that I was gonna come home with a Christmas decoration from Harrods.
There was so much to see and the staff were wonderfully helpful. We just had a lovely day wandering around the store.
I loved the Christmas World section where all the decs were but was disappointed that they didn't have anything suitable for my colour scheme...never the Vintage section they had some decs with images from past years and I managed to get one for the year of my birth - result!!!
The food halls are amazing and it would have been so easy to splurge a load of money without even batting an eyelid.
Would you believe that this 'Palace' birthday cake was £4,000.

I really must make the effort to go into Town more often. I have always loved the way the large London stores prepare for Christmas.

I have had a wonderful day despite being shocked by some of the prices - £7.50 for a tiny cup of coffee and a coissant - now I'm about to put my feet up and just have a lazy evening........................