Friday, 28 December 2012

WRYWF 28 Dec... the last "Rocking" post for 2012.
If you don't know what a "Rocking" post is you need to hop over to Virginia's blog where you will find that she encourages us to look back at our week and highlight the things that made us happy, made us smile or just out & out rocked (in a good way) our worlds.

This last week has included Christmas and it has been lovely to meet up with friends and family but I have to say the thing that is top of my list this week has to be the wonderful song that is sitting at the number one spot in the UK charts.

"He ain't heavy, he's my brother"

I grew up listening to the likes of the Hollies who recorded this in 1969 but this version has to mean so much more as every copy sold helps towards the legal costs of all the families who lost folk in the Hillsborough tragedy - a total of 96 folk lost their lives that day.
Loads of well known folk came together to record this song and ti find out more you can visit the Liverpool FC website.

Over the years we have had silly songs, religious songs, anything produced by the X-factor hitting the number one spot for Christmas. Last year was the turn of the super Military Wives and as we have members of the armed forces in our family it was very topical. This year it is lovely to see that the 2012 'feel good factor' is still doing good - it certainly made my week seeing it announced that this was the song that had made the Christmas number one spot...and it has been playing on repeat in my car since I managed to get hold of a copy.

I'll link up with Virginia later (all done), in the meantime...I hope you all had a super Christmas, that 2012 was good to you and I wish you all the very best for 2013.....................................................

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A Christmas make...

...for Christmas Day.

I fell in love with this Apophyllite Crystal a while back and it was finally mine a few days before Christmas (a treat from my Christmas money).

However, I so wanted to wear it Christmas day and I really didn't have a suitable chain or anything else to wear it after nabbing some silver thread from Mum, I set about making a Kumihimo braid in silver & white.

I managed to get the braid finished Christmas Eve and this is what I did with it...
...a bracelet and a necklace.
The crystal is wrapped in silver wire...
...and although you might not be able to see from the photo, there is some pretty spiral wire decoration.
The braid came up just as I wanted (which is probably more luck than judgement as I have made another cord using the same thread layout and it looks nothing like this LOL)...
...I love the way it has turned out and although I was finishing it off late on Christmas Eve, I was glad I made the effort as I loved wearing it on Christmas Day.

The matching bracelet isn't quite finished as in the New Year I will need to get a small piece of Apophyllite to place in the wire cage but for now at least everything 'goes'.

Did you make yourself anything special for Christmas? I'd love to know..........................

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The last batch...

...for Christmas 2012.

Apart from my "special" cards for close family and friends, most of my cards were one of 3 batches that I made (I forgot to take pics of batch one but you saw batch two).
This batch consisted of 6x6 white card blanks that I 'off-set' stamped using the Clarity stamp Sprucescape. The first stamping was done with Memento 'Gray Flannel' and the second stamping (slightly off-set) was stamped in Memento 'Tuxedo Black'.
The trees were then given a generous helping of Crystal stickles.
Simply Christmas over at Kerryanne English's blog provided some lovely digi downloads this year and the wrapping paper was just perfect for some last minute gifts.

Have you enjoyed your Christmas?

Mine has been fairly quiet and I have avoided the sales like the plague...there wasn't anything that I could think of that would be worth the battle with all the crowds that they have been showing on the News.

Anyhoo, what few pennies I have left until payday have been earmarked for the Pinnacle Crafts end of year clearance sale (Sat 29 Dec) - if you live locally, I might just see you there......................................

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Seasons Greetings... one & all.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas......................................

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Shabbilicious Friday...

...the last one before Christmas (how did that happen - gulp!!!)

Over at Kerryanne's "Shabbilicious Friday" there are some amazing shabby, french-style, Christmas creations and finds that folk are sharing on the link party - do hop over and take a look.

My contribution to the party is my rusty birdcage frame...
...during the year I use it to display a collection of scrapbook pages before they get put into albums.
I decided it needed to be decorated for the Holidays... some holly tinsel was used to do the job.
The frame came with a selection of weathered old wooden pegs but I found a load of clear ones in the peg bag that I'd never used.
So with pegs in hand, I've hung Christmas cards all over it.

...makes a change from the lengths of string & twine normally used.

Are you all set for Christmas - I'm not but I will be, soon, I hope LOL...................................................

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I remembered this time... take some photos.

This is my latest batch of Christmas cards...
...quick and easy but still hand made rather than shop bought.
The stamp was a freebie from Creative Stamping magazine.
I used a selection of blue shades from the Distressed ink pad range and lots of crystal stickles.

The sentiment was a digi that I won from Lynne Salmon last year and after cutting it out it was coloured around the edge with a Distressed marker and mounted on the card using 3D foam.

With just a couple of days left at work, I have finally caught up with my Christmas stuff and should have all my colleague gifts & cards finished in time...............

Sunday, 16 December 2012

What's Rocking...

...your World this week?
Why not come and join Virginia's small band of Rockers & Rockettes and share the positive things that have happened in the last week...they can be tiny things that brought a smile to your face or huge things that made your World the best possible place to be - it doesn't matter because everything added together makes you feel good.

So what is 'rocking' in my world...
...our nibbles table at work
Everyone has been bringing in bits & pieces and we have even had contributions sent in by a couple of our ladies who retired this year... is lovely that they feel they still want to contribute to our little tradition.

My cheeky staff presented me with this...
Isn't it a super card.
...but that wasn't all.
Inside was another envelope with a WHS gift card...
...I got warned - "Don't cry" - but I found it difficult not to as the amount was so very generous. I'm now struggling to decide what to spend it on...I quite fancy one of those e-readers and the value of the card would cover the cost of the mini Kobo but I don't know much about them as everyone I know has a Kindle. (I've decided that the old eyesight could do with a hand and these gadgets allow you to increase the font size - something a paperback can't do). I need to look into this as I really don't want to waste this super gift and I would love to have something substantial to show my staff.

Heating is still a bone of contention at work but at least we now have some supplementary heating to help improve things.

Talking of heating...I had to travel up to Cambridge on Thursday for a meeting (don't even think about the un-godly hour that I had to get up - felt & looked like the middle of the night LOL) and my journey was uneventful until I arrived at Liverpool Street station in London. Services were disrupted and although I arrived at 7.24am I wasn't able to get a connecting service until 8.03am. However, the train that turned up was one of the superdoopa "Stansted Express" models - clean, comfortable, plenty of space (most folk are coming into Town at that time of day)...but 20mins later we were still sat there as an engineer had been trying (and failing) to fix the heating...the delay annoyed me but I did have to giggle at the fact that 'heating' seems to be a problem everywhere I go - Is it me, do ya think?

I have never travelled to Cambridge by train before and I really wish I had taken my camera as the views were wonderful - it was like travelling through a winter wonderland. A bit like scenes from the start of the Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe...

Got to play my new CD - yes, I gave in and bought "50 Shades of Grey". The CD contains all the classical pieces that are mentioned throughout the trilogy. I admit to being a bit of a heathen when it comes to classical music - I know what I like but couldn't tell you what it is called (even a piece from the Nutcracker is only known by me as the "Fruit & Nutcase" advert **hehehe**). The CD is a mix of pieces I am familiar with and others that are completely unknown...the very first one is the BA advert - see I told you, I'm a heathen **giggle**

Not long to Christmas now and I was so pleased that I had completed a batch of Christmas cards and delivered them...only to realise I hadn't photographed any of them - doh!

Anyway, what's been rocking your world this week....................................

Friday, 7 December 2012

Rocking your World Friday...

...has arrived again.

Our hostess Virginia lets us share all the positive things from out last 7 days over on her blog. It's surprising how good it makes you feel just to take a moment to think back over your week and find even the smallest of things that made you smile or put a spring in your step.

So what has been rocking my world this week...

Christmas lunch last Sunday with Mum. We decided to have some lunch whilst out shopping and it was lovely to have my very first Christmas lunch of this Holiday season. It really was delish...and so much more enjoyable because we didn't have to cook it (or clear away after).

The start of the "Nibbles table" at work. Every year I encourage my staff to bring small treats in throughout the month of December - a pack of mince pies, crisps, nuts, chocolates, cookies - in fact, anything that takes their fancy. Because everyone brings things in it doesn't cost any one person a lot but provides goodies that we can all share.

The arrival of the snow on Wednesday was not exactly welcome but it did give me a chance to get a few lovely photos...I was so pleased it all cleared before I came home from work.

Wednesday was our Team Christmas lunch and we had a lovely time. The food was fab, the service was great and it was super being able to share some time away from the office and catch up with some of our past colleagues who came to join us - we all had a lovely time.

Starbucks Christmas flavours...MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM...have managed a couple of Gingerbread lattes and even tried one of the Eggnog ones...I wonder why we don't get the pumpkin flavour that they have in the USA as it would certainly be something different.

Today I visited the staff at our Southend office as their manager has been unwell and off for some time. The staff made me feel very welcome. I did take the opportunity on the way home to have a wander round the shops (I so miss not having Clintons close to the office - it really isn't convenient to try and dash over to Westfield when I want a new diary or calendar so it was great to pick up my Deco lady ones at 'buy one get one free'). Southend High Street looks beautiful in the dark with the shop fronts glowing and the street decorations twinkling. The blue and white lights really look effective.

I hope you have all had a great week and that your Holiday preparations are coming along well. Do pop over to Virginia's blog and see what has been cheering other folk............................................

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Well, We had snow...

...and now we don't.

There is a small dusting left in shaded areas but other than's gone. However, I have proof that we had quite a bit...

...this little lot was after barely 20mins of snowfall. It was still coming down pretty heavily as I took these.

We don't "do" snow very well here in the UK.

An ex-colleague had a 4 hour train journey to come and join us for our Christmas meal - a journey that should take no more than about 50mins.

One of my staff had the most awful journey - after being stuck in traffic for ages, she and her husband were then stuck on a train because of a fire at one of the stations on their route - 6 hours of travelling - they decided they weren't going to risk a long journey home and are staying the night with relatives who live close to the office.

The forecast for tonight is minus temperatures and clear skies so it will be interesting seeing what we all wake up to tomorrow................................

Oh Heck...'s SNOWING!!!

No party frock for me today despite it being our Christmas lunch - I ain't that daft.

I'll be going out bundled up appropriately and hoping that I manage to keep upright as I'm sure I've told you all on numerous occasions - me and slippy, slidey things don't mix.

Should have some photos later.................................

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

It's beginning to...

...look a lot like Christmas - well it is at work.

I promised photos of the decs at work, so here they are...a lot of photos. Unfortunately, the lighting in the office is pretty pants but at least you get the idea.

This year's colour scheme for my section is White/Silver/Red/Black.

This is probably one of the better photos...
...the silver & white decorations show up really well against the black of the tree.

Anyone who is following "Simply Christmas" will recognise this... is the door hanger design that Kerryanne shared with us - I've used it to label the post wrapping area (seemed appropriate).

"Simply Christmas" followers will recognise this wrapping paper too.

And to end...
...just a bit of fun. I have several "Brentisms" dotted around (remember the TV show The Office) they always make me smile.

On the home front...the lounge is the last room where I need to change the curtains and then it will be full steam ahead with the rest of the home decs....................................

Monday, 3 December 2012

Still looking for ideas...

...for those homemade gifts?

Over at Catch the Bug they are kicking off their "12 Days of Gift Giving". Today's idea is a set of coasters and there is a link to the tutorial by Becky Givans.

Why not hop over there and take a look - you never know, there might be an idea for just the perfect gift over the 12 days of the event. If day one is anything to go by, I'm sure there are going to be lots of ideas that you will be wanting to try....................................

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Shabbilicious and Simply Christmas...

...all rolled into one.

The lovely Kerryanne English holds a weekly link party called "Shabbilicious Friday" where like minded folk can share their shabby/French style/Christmas makes and finds.
I found this jewellery stand whilst having a rummage through some lovely shabby style gifts at a local craft shop. I just adore the cracked paint effect and the little bird at the top is so sweet.

It was the perfect stand to show off some of my latest knitted makes.
A few ruffle scarves and one made from a new yarn that I found that has pom-poms along the edge.
I really want to try and give as many handmade items as Christmas gifts as I possibly can this year.

I have been following Kerryanne's posts containing gift and decor ideas which are part of her Simply Christmas event that runs through until Christmas Eve.

Christmas has become so commercialised that I really am trying hard this year to put 'Home' back at the centre of the Holidays. If you haven't paid her blog a visit I think you should. Not only does she have some lovely ideas but she has lots of her friends linking up and sharing their ideas too - hop on over and take a look.............................................

What's RYWF...

...has come around again - gosh the days are speeding by.
Yep, it's that time of the week to take a look back at the things that have made us smile, cheered us up or down right Rocked our worlds - in a good way of course.

The lovely Virginia hosts the weekly event over on her blog and I have to say, she is very patient with those of us (Me!!!) who arrive late for the party LOL

So what's been going on in my little corner of the world that has brought a smile to my face...

Christmas Decorations and £1 / 99p stores...I dread to think what the bill would have been if I had bought stuff from 'normal' stores. This week I decided it was time to take down the Union & George flags in the office and make a start on the Christmas decs. I like to have the decs up in the office for the 1st December and as that fell this weekend I needed to get things done by Thursday night as I had a day off on Friday. For several years we have had a purple & silver scheme so this year I thought it was time for a change (I'll share the photos later in the week when I've taken some). As I was given several black trees last year I thought silver/white/black with an accent colour would be the way to didn't quite work that way but you'll see when I get the photos sorted.

Recognition...I have mentioned previously how proud I was of my Team and the way they participated in recent training sessions. Well it was lovely that the trainers obviously thought so too and the Team received a voucher to share by way of a 'Thank you' - we have yet to decide whether we will put the money towards our Christmas meal on Wednesday or whether we will use it to buy nibbles for our 'Christmas Snack Table'.

Coffee/Chat/Friends...Friday saw the start of the last 'Members weekend' for 2012 and I caught up with a friend for coffee and a chat. Hilary is a lovely lady who I met through Andy's workshops. We don't see each other very often but we normally manage to grab a coffee and catch up.

Birthday Money/Vouchers...I had in mind what I wanted to get at the Members weekend so had saved my birthday dosh for the occasion. First item on the list was the Sizzix "Tattered Poinsettia" die as I knew the Spellbinders one had already sold out in the shop - I thought the day was going to be off to a bad start when I found that these too had sold out **glum face**. Next on the list was the Marianne clock face die - there were plenty of those **phew** and as I scanned the walls for any other dies that might take my fancy I spotted them - the Spellbinders poinsettias (new delivery) **happy dance**. Over the last month, Andy has been playing with the Stamping Gear and producing some fab creations. What a surprise to find that part of the shop's order had arrived so I grabbed the kit and extra stamps before anyone else could...and I'm glad I did. I heard a lady ask Joanne if there was any other items in stock and she was told that everything that had arrived was out on display (at this point there was one gear shape and just a couple of stamp packs) - I am one very happy bunny to have nabbed these as Joanne doesn't think the rest of the order will arrive before Christmas.

Home decorations...The first of the decs have gone up.

I didn't want to go OTT on the outside decs so I've just decorated at the top of the steps leading to the front door.

Net curtains...I finally managed to get the last of the nets for the house. Once I have these up I can get stuck in to putting up the indoors decorations.

Overall it has been a strange but hectic week and with Christmas approaching I doubt things will slow down any time soon.

If you would like to see what has been Rocking the worlds of some other crafting folk, why not hop over to Virginia's place and take a look...........................