Friday, 16 September 2011


Good morning Rockettes (I'm sure there are some Rockers out there too but they are mighty quiet)

Tis Friday I tell you which means

With two birthday celebrations this week it's been a lovely week - I was utterly spoilt on my birthday and had a fabulous day out with hubby!  So first up is to a day off work to enjoy my birthday.  This is how spoilt I was on the day in question - beautiful flowers from my Mum who is away on holiday at the moment

with a little card
 then gifts from my hubby and son - first up books

then big shot plates that I was in need of - managed to crack both of mine recently (don't ask) got to give a huge pat on the back to said 11 year old for keeping this one quiet, every time I popped into the shop would I ask him to check to see if they had them in and every time he would say no - why - because his Dad had already bought them!
 Now a duplicate gift - this pack is one I already have and I'm lost as to whether to hang on to it or return and swap it?  But given I still have a huge amount of the original stack still left I might return it this weekend...
 Now never one to turn down a bargain (you know me) I've managed to teach hubby well so this little bunch came out of some bargain bags he bought - do you think he did well? 

Now personally I haven't a clue what to do with these they are a little too bright and garrish for my liking - anybody got any idea?  Shiny green or blue paper with gold Christmas all over?  Is there a way of making these look classy? 
 then a pack of papermania paper
 Then things inside the bags everything from paint to dies to pens, to cards to embossing folders to gromlets to paper flowers to - well you get the idea 
then the paper - this is what was included in the packs - now can you guess how much this would have cost at full price?  Now guess how much at bargain price LOL - let's just say DH did good!
finally  my watch - I also got boots but I've not taken a photo of them yet!  However I can say they are mighty comfortable!
So as you can tell a pretty awesome birthday - another grateful is lunch with my sister which was brilliant, we had a good natter and a couple of hours chatting in the Meadowhall.

Part of the evening included the lighting of the cake (yes we almost set it on fire) we didn't have 39 candles so I had to cope with 31 candles and yes I managed to blow all of them out in one blow WTG me! 
The day after was said 10 year olds birthday who will from this moment be known as said 11 year old.  Given how many gifts I'd opened we spent some of my birthday just upping the stakes slightly, we managed to find some smaller gifts to add to his pressies so he felt like he'd opened loads - this however, was his main present as he opened it!
Yes that is Harry Potter Lego - the Hogwarts Express (with the flying Ford Anglia) he was extremely pleased with this!

Said 11 year olds birthday had a birthday tea which should have included his Aunty and cousin and his Uncle and girlfriend but unfortunately his Uncle (my lil bro) was poorly so the birthday tea gathering was a bit smaller but we thoroughly enjoyed it and he got more pressies to open (as did I) which included the world's longest nerf gun - not for me - what's wrong with you - why would I want a nerf gun - honestly - this house is a nerf war zone with hubby and said 11 year old!

My sister bought me some gorgeous gifts that she had obviously thought long and hard about, from the Charlaine Harris book I didn't have, to perfume from Lush, to massage bar that warms when you put it on your poorly shoulder and also manages to smell of Christmas, to a DVD - honestly I was amazed and all the gorgeous gifts and the thought she'd put into them - thanks Melanie you are an angel!

Plus there are the cards my niece did for me and said 11 year old - I'll photograph them to share because they are utterly gorgeous!

So this week has been predominantly thoughtful people and special family time to make me feel positive and happy, one of my other highlights was said 11 year old and his Dad playing nerf around the house, constant laughter - it makes your heart sing!


Last week I gave Carmen a friendly cajoling on the RIP Circle Journal front (it did me good as well however, I've still not made the book so that's this weekends challenge - should I choose to accept it).  Susie commented that she needed the same motivation on the Christmas Card front.

Now Christmas cards are those things that fall into one of the following categories

1 - Avid card maker so September Christmas Card making is your favourite time of year
2 - Scrapbooker/Art Journaller who makes Christmas Cards because you can - not because you want to
3 - Those crafters who stick two fingers up to Christmas Cards and just buy them from the supermarket like normal people.

Now which one are you?  I am most definitely number 2 on the list and I have a gut feeling that Susie is too, so the reasons that will be stopping you are along the following lines

  • It's September why am I making Christmas Cards
  • I've got some blank cards and a stamp just don't know what to do next
  • Shall I make similar designs or something different
  • How many do I have to make... really that many - wow!
Now what we are attempting to avoid is this

It's the 1st December, the Christmas Cards aren't made, the presents aren't bought I've given little thought to the day in question I'm so busy got so much to do - which leads to cut, stick, write send - cut, stick write send,  grrrrrrrrrr next year I will be more organised

So Susie this is the plan

Get your card blanks (now I'm tight so I buy A4 card and fold in half and chuck them in envelopes that I buy from the supermarket) but I know people sometimes buy card blanks and envelopes - so make sure you have a supply of them!

Second - what is the accent on your card going to be - now I know you've bought some steampunk stamps so get those out and at the ready

Now design - cards for me work the same as a Scrapbook page and need the following elements - paper, image (stamped image in the case of cards) - Title - that'll be your sentiment bit and the journalling goes on the inside.

So if you want multiple designs go and find 5 different layouts that you like, sometimes you can find A4 layouts for scrapbooking and these work great on rectangular cards, any 12 x 12 sketch works easily on a square card - or bend your brain and use 12 x 12 on a rectangular card and vice versa!  Now if you're doing the whole  - I need to make them from scratch then drawer a sketch - but the question is sketches always take on a mind of their own when you start using them - so cheat and use a sketch from a website or several as your starting point.  Now don't spend too long doing this - if it's taking too long, then go find a favourite scrapbook page and copy it's design

Stamp your images onto some cardstock - matt them onto another cardstock if you fancy.

Follow your sketch and apply some paper in line with the sketch to your card, stick image to card - attach sentiment to card - "Merry Christmas" or "Appreciate this card at Christmas it was 3 months in the making" type thing - mine this year include the statement "Dear Santa" ... "Define Good" - I kid you not!

Right you with me so far - brilliant - one card down a hundred and one to go - then make it a bit of a production line - if you do really have loads and loads to do, then set yourself the task of making so many per day or if you are fancying a mass making session grab a Christmas film to put you in the mental mood and go for it!  You'll be surprised once you've started what you'll achieve!

Finally - if you want to actually 'love' your cards and this year I for one can actually say I do - then find some aspect of your crafting that you love and include it in the card - many of my Christmas cards this year have handstitching on them, because it gave them that edge and I could sit and while away the hours enjoying making them rather than growling at cards like I normally do!  And for those of you who are thinking - how on earth have I got mine done so quickly - I do mine in January and February because then when it gets to Christmas I just know they are all done and ready and it's a great way to spend the dark winter evenings and it lets me hold onto Christmas that little bit longer!

Now for those of you who are still with me - WOW you are a seriously dedicated blog reader (or slightly nuts like me) so just as a treat and because you've been so good here's some crafting a double page spread with images from the Yorkshire Sculpture park, the large 'flower' on the right hand side was hand cut from a clip art image that I'd supersized, it fell in with the layout and broke up the busy background!  Right off to work - you heard me what am I like working on a Friday!

Hopefully you'll be joining us on our list of gratefuls - if so please leave a comment and your link so we can come and listen to your life too - don't forget everyone says that they have little to be happy about but if you think, really think about your week and the people who have been in it, the places you've been, the things you've seen there must be at least one thing that has made you smile! 


  1. Wow!!!! What a fabulous birthday...I'm seriously in love with your watch :).
    And didn't hubby do well with the bargains!!
    Great photo of said 11 year old - our Lego days are gone sadly (or not so sadly if it involved stepping on the bricks..ouch!!).
    Love the LO too - yes, I made it to the end!!lol
    And finally....thank you for the push and all the ideas....will be making first card tomorrow at a "make and take" with Lindsay Mason.
    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs xx
    p.s. here's my link..just in case...

  2. Ahh Susie hope that plan has set your juices going. Im afraid christmas cards are never a problem for me as I make them all year round but I can understand this is not for everyone :0) Wow Virginia what a lucky girl you are having such thoughtful family surrounding you - way to go for your hubby and the bargains and wow the said 11 year old is a star for keeping you from buying more plates! Hope the weekend is filled with love, fun and laughter xx Im at our Lovin ink craft retreat for the weekend so i know mine will be fun x

  3. What a wonderful week you've had! Giving and receiving, you've been able to enjoy doing both. Love that watch bracelet, and OMG - all that fab stash! I was going to say, "That'll keep you quiet for a while." but then I thought, "No it won't!" Said 11 year old looks very happy with his Lego HP Hogwarts Express (now that really should keep him quiet for a while, or you should ask for your money back!).

    Still in denial about Christmas cards but I'm very impressed with your organisational skills.

    Have a great weekend.

    ps haven't a clue what a nerf gun is!

    pps my Rocking post is here

  4. Love that watch Virginia and all that stash...gosh what a haul.

    Thank you for your comments and it sounds like you now have a use for that bright card.

    Have a fab weekend.

    Toni xx

  5. What an amazing post :D

    Love all your pressies the soap that heats up sounds faaaabulous - do let me know if it works!

    I'm afraid I make one Christmas card and then instantly fall into the number 3 bracket LOL with a few "stuff this for a game of larks" comments.

    Fabby, fabby, fabby post - the birthday cake photo is excellent :D

  6. happy Belated birfday fishies to yoooou.

    Your hubby did amazing with that haul, mine would not have the first clue.

    love your feltie monster too.

    Try alcohol inks on your shiny card, they should work well.


  7. hahaaa.. my son is banging on about Nerf Guns already 3 months early !!
    I too will be making Xmas Cards this year from my own photo's though.
    I've linked up with the gratitude bit on the recomendation from Joanna (Fiddlesnips). ;-)