Friday, 28 August 2015

Coming along....

Slowly, slowly the room is coming together, some snippets to show you. One of the things I am most happy about is that my fuse machine now has a permanent place on top of the Alex chest of drawers - I love this machine, with the adapter plates you can cut and emboss all sorts of dies, even wafer thin ones and big steel rule dies. So my Big shot has been retired - after all I don't need two machines that do the same thing....

and the adapter plates, big dies and the Fiskars dies sit nicely in the drawer beneath the machine....

My Kallax units now have drawers or doors...I chose the bright teal colour on a whim, but I am happy with it. The other units hold some paper trays which are perfect for all my cardstock 

To be honest, I find the drawers more useful now that I am beginning to put things away than the cupboards with the doors, I don't have that many tall things to store, so I feel there is more wasted space...I should probably have gone with just a couple of cupboards and had drawers in the other units. Never mind...

and at last my sewing machine has it's own space, all hooked up and ready to go so expect to see a lot more sewing on my cards. I debated about slotting another drawer unit underneath, but thought I would leave it until I see how I get on with the unpacking, if possible I would like to leave the space, so that when the wood floor is eventually laid, I can scoot across on my chair and start sewing - the Fiskarettes design team come up with some beautiful sewing projects, I am even tempted to have a go at some of their projects 

When I am totally sorted I will take a few photos, although it is going to be a while before the window and floor get sorted out, so I will just take a couple of shots in the next few days

Sharing the first card made in the still chaotic room, a simple hexagon patchwork card, made with the Fiskars hexagon punch. 

A facebook friend tagged me with this video after my tales of Ikea visits - watch to the end, I get a mention! It made me laugh......I hope it raises a smile. Mind you, if he is like that all the time, I think that sweet girl will get pretty fed up rather quickly!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

It's coming along.......

So the Ikea van arrived......

with rather a lot of boxes -

and a very jokey sort of driver....

Now for a bit of assembly.....

by the next morning, my room was starting to take shape.....

and a parcel of gorgeousness in the mail from my very good pal Kath

and just look at this fabulous wall hanging she sent me, it is supposed to be for my craft room, but it is the perfect colour for our bedroom, and so beautiful I just want to lie in bed and gaze at it, so I'll post a photo when it's in place...

I love it so much. Thank you Kath xx

So all those Ikea boxes didn't quite fit the bill, I had to go and buy a couple of shelves. That was a bit of an ordeal adventure. You know how they have this very clever marketing design that means you are forced to start at the top of the store and work your way down, meaning that you have to pass every single item of furniture en route? Toting a big yellow bag on your shoulder that you fill with all sorts of rubbish stuff you can't live without. Well I was almost done and ready to go down to the floor where you give yourself a free hernia tugging hefty boxes off the shelves, when sirens, very loud sirens started. Staff were rushing around telling everyone to evacuate the building, it was an emergency. We had to drop our yellow bags on the floor and trail down dozens of stairs. Outside, we all milled around like a disconsolate crowd of football fans who failed to get a ticket for the cup final. 'Blow this' I thought (or words to that effect), 'I'm going home'......but they wouldn't let me into the car park to pick up my car. A handful of burly guys in yellow high viz jackets were guarding the entrance and talking urgently into walkie talkies.
Eventually, after 75 minutes, we were allowed back in. The evacuation was due to a faulty smoke alarm or something totally banal. So off I went again, my yellow bag hitched over my shoulder. Trouble was, I had forgotten by this time exactly what I was looking for,(my list was in the abandoned yellow bag) and got down to the floor that they call Marketplace and I call the Jumble Sale floor, only to find that I had to get the lift back to the top and start all over again, third time lucky....
I paid, and was almost at the car after struggling to get my unwieldy cart into the lift, when I remembered I hadn't had my car park ticket stamped, so back into the lift I the picture?
Totally exhausting. I don't want to see another big yellow bag or a Kvissen, or Fjordan or anything with an incomprehensible name for a long long time
See you tomorrow, I may even have some photos of the almost finished room.... 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Happy Post

Isn't it lovely when you get something totally unexpected in the mail? I got this gorgeous card made just for me by Maxcine Etherington who is on my design team for Fiskars. Such a lovely card, and such a lovely surprise. Thank you Maxcine x

Meanwhile, back at chaos towers............ 

but today is a bit of a red letter day - the Ikea van is due to arrive, bringing various boxes of incomprehensibly named flat packs of furniture for my 'En's Den' 

So that will keep Mike busy for the foreseeable future, and watch out for blue clouds rising over Solihull as he loses the little metal key assembly thing  for the tenth time in so many minutes - I will keep well out of the way. Thinking about it, with decorators in the house, Mike in the conservatory assembling furniture (he can't get into my den, it is now full of furniture again from the rooms being decorated....), there is nowhere to go, I may just take my coffee to the shed and ponder for a while about my 'to do' list, which is now about ten pages long........

Monday, 17 August 2015

Making Slow Progress.....

Nothing to report here on the crafting front - all the supplies are still languishing in the garage, but I'm checking in anyway.....

Sharing a couple of photos, we have some double doors leading off the dining room, into the sitting room and the room we have started calling 'the den',  I hated the wavy 1970's glass, so we have had them changed to clear glass, what a transformation, it opens up the entire house.....still a work in progress, with horrible door handles and unpainted, and furniture all over the place,  but getting there, inch by inch..I'll take a photo when it's done

So we have found a plumber, lovely chap. We needed to check out some supplies he was telling us about 'go to my suppliers showroom' he said 'in Island Road. We have lived here for a few years, never heard to Island Road, so when we were ready to set off I googled it. No Island Road in our town. Light bulb moment, perhaps he meant Ireland Road? Googled again. No results. So I called him. Where did you say that bathroom supply showroom was? 'Island Road' he replied. Can you spell it for me? 

A flying visit to London this weekend to babysit Max and Milo (although they don't like the term babysit these days). A couple of random conversations with six year old Milo

Did you used to have a mummy Ma?
Yes, of course
Where is she now?
She died before you were born
Are you wearing her jacket?
What? (startled) Why?
When people die you get all their stuff, and I thought you may have got that jacket 

and a bit later.....

You're not very good at Lego are you Ma?
Not very, no
That's because you are old, and old people are not good at a lot of things (he said this in a kindly voice, giving me a reassuring pat on the knee)
What sort of things? (I asked, all ready to take umbrage on behalf of 'old' people everywhere)
Well you aren't any good at Lego or climbing trees

He rests his case!

Game, set and match to Milo I think

See you tomorrow x 

Friday, 14 August 2015

There was a shed......

A shed with aspirations above it's station in life. This shed, in my wild dreams would become a craft studio, a wondrous warm and cozy place. A vision of planned loveliness that would be seen on thousands of Pinterest boards and where creativity would flow and beauty would be created...

This was the dream

The reality turned out to be a shed that would need £££££££££££££££££££ thrown at it to make it habitable. Reality slowly sank in, reinforced by my incredulous son who gave me a brutal reality check. 'Are you finally crazy Mum' he spluttered 'how will you keep it warm? The door doesn't fit, there are gaps around the windows.....there are patches of damp on the walls, you would probably get mould on all your stuff, as well as families of mice'

Mice? I looked nervously around. Hmm, a few things looked a bit chewed. In the photo above, the carpet looks quite respectable. Believe me, it's only fit for the dump..Secretly I began to agree with my son - although I was reluctant to admit it. (In my experience, children, even when they are grown, can be quite insufferable when they can prove their mother is wrong about something!) I had visions of sitting shivering in the winter, a couple of hot water bottles strapped to my anatomy as I tried to keep warm. I know that the reality would be that I would secretly migrate back into the nice warm house, carrying various bits and pieces with me each time, so that eventually, once again, we would be living in a giant craft room, with a place for nothing

So even though it looks really pretty from the outside, the shed is going to stay doing what it was presumably built for, a great place to store the garden furniture in winter, somewhere to dump the lawn mower, somewhere where the grandchildren will have fun building forts and playing shop or doing messy things where nobody will shout at them if they drop something on the carpet!

Luckily we have a spare room on the ground floor, and with a bit of juggling around with furniture, it is practically empty now, or will be soon, before a giant lorry of Ikea furniture arrives next week. It's a bit of an odd shape, tapering like a wedge, but should be practical enough when it's kitted out. It's just been painted in a restful neutral taupe colour and has a door so that nobody need see the horrible mess I make when I'm in full flow. It has heat, is just across from the kitchen...what more could I want. There is a lot more space than there was in the crafty cupboard in the old house, and  it is also gnome and mouse free, which is a bit of a bonus

So in the end, as seems to be a recurring theme in my life, all is well in the end, after a fair bit of drama along the way....

I'll be back tomorrow with the next episode of my quest to become the next Martha Stewart, bringing you the latest home decorating disaster news from here. See you then x

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A moving tale......

Well, here we are at last...........thank you all so much for your patience while we have gone through this moving process, and for all the emails and good wishes

Needless to say, it didn't all go to plan. The day before the move, the removal company that we had booked announced that they were double booked and couldn't move us after all. Panic stations - at one stage I had my mobile (cell) to one ear, and the house phone to another, yelling down both of them simultaneously. In the end, we found another company, and they were great.
I had spent three weeks prior to the move scrubbing and cleaning every last inch of our old house - paintwork, windows, tiles, they all gleamed. So it was disappointing to say the least to come into the new house and find it less than pristine - what am I saying? Let's be honest here, it was a few exhausted tears were shed, before I pulled on my big girl panties and broke out the bleach - again!

Small disappointments also helped the general feeling of doom. We had bought the light fittings with the house. I didn't even like 90% of them, but there were two really super fittings that I loved, just what I would choose myself, and the others could be replaced over time. Trouble is, the people selling the house also loved them, as they took them down and replaced them with some rubbish fittings that I wouldn't choose in a million years - I would rather see bare light bulbs than these monstrosities. A quick word with the solicitor told us that even though it was written in the contract as a general 'light fittings included' we had no come back on this unless we sued them. Lesson learned - if you want a particular item badly, make sure there is a specific reference to it in the contract. 

Most of the boxes, apart from the great pile of craft stuff have been unpacked, including a couple of carefully tied black sacks, deposited by the removers in the utility room - they sat there for a week, until it got a bit pungent and when I investigated, they had carefully placed the sacks of rubbish from the old house that should have been put in the trash :)

Luckily the weather has been kind to us. Today the tree felling guys came and hacked and chainsawed their way around the garden which needed a good trim - this is the before photo.....  

 and looking back towards the house.....

and a little secret gem - at the bottom of the garden is a little gate, then some steps leading down to a little deck overlooking the Grand Union Canal

and the place is overrun with wild life. Mainly of the brightly coloured plastic variety, like this plastic heron perched on top of a tree - heaven knows how they got him up there, it's a big tree!

I have a friend in Oklahoma, who lots of you will remember from the old Cricut message board where everyone know her as Okieladybug. She has a passionate hatred of gnomes, so would have run screaming to the hills in this place as I have found about 20 - so far......I have a theory that they are getting up to no good in the shrubbery and reproducing overnight, as every time I go out, I find a few more!

Battered metal owl anyone?

or a plastic hedgehog?

You will notice that not a mention has been made in this post of 'En's Den', the long awaited and longed for craft room. That's because there have been huge problems with that plan. Huge, more of that tomorrow! 

It's so good to be back. See you then x

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Loo Rolls and Light Bulbs - oh my!

I guess you really don't want or need to see more photos of packing cases, but that is really all I have to share with you - unless you would like to see this photo of a perfectly bare and clean crafty cupboard, as never seen before

Yes, that's it, every last craft item has been packed, who knows when I will see it all again, and when I do, I will probably be pulling stuff out and saying 'why on earth did I pack this, I've never used it, and probably never will' - I can sense a bit of craft supply selling coming in the near future. I did unearth a few treasures that I thought were lost forever - stamps that had got stuck to the undersides of drawers or fallen into cracks in the floor!

So we wait................and wait............and wait...........while the solicitors barrage each other with a flurry of last minute questions, some of which sound quite ridiculous to us, but I suppose they are doing their job, you would think we were buying and selling ancient mansions instead of perfectly ordinary houses. In the meantime, three light bulbs failed last night, and I have packed all the new bulbs, so I was wandering around in a murky dusk, tripping over boxes as I tried to get to the loo. All the loo rolls have been packed as well, that could be awkward.....but there is a bright side, the oven is gleaming, and I have no intention of cooking anything and risking a spill, so I am having a break from the kitchen. Thank heavens for Marks and Spencer

The name that popped out of the hat for the surplus cardstock is:

Anne Jaques

Email me with your address Anne, and I will get your parcel in the mail

Thursday, 16 July 2015


Who doesn't like free stuff! On one of my many recent visits to B & Q (DIY store for those of you who don't live in the UK) I found these sample sheets of woodgrain card in the laminate flooring aisle ......cut into strips, they made a realistic little fence on my card....

and to pretty it up a little, I punched flowers from some paint chips....

layered them up a bit, and cut a few petals from the green punched flowers to look like leaves...

Ta Da! one almost free card....

Max and Milo came up with a couple of corkers yesterday. Milo (6) had to be picked up from school yesterday morning because, as he announced to his mum, he had 'vominated'
Then Max (8) was anxious to explain to his mum on the way home from school how important 'profiterole vision' was when you play basketball....


See you tomorrow x 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Need Card?

I've been a very bad blogger just lately - I seem to have so much on my plate at the moment........

The trip to Ikea went well, Mike managed to stick around  for an hour, but got restless when I looked at the Expidit units for the twentieth time - incidentally Ikea have inexplicably changed the name of these iconic units, beloved of crafters all over the world,  to Kallax or some other hard to spell word, but I think they will be playing a big part in my life very soon...I really fancy having everything tucked away pretty much out of sight.  Packing up has made me realise just how much stuff I have, and also how long it is since I even looked at most of it, but I can't just dump it, I may need it someday.....

I also liked the look of this chair, and it's really comfy as well, I just love the colour...

So as it was just an exploratory visit, I didn't actually buy anything, but now I know exactly what I want when the time comes, my first priority will be to get my craft room sorted, needs must, it's my job!

In my sorting out I came across this great pile of 3 x 12" and 2 x 12" strips of cardstock in every colour under the sun - I cut them off 12 x 12 sheets ages ago so that the cardstock would fit into a cabinet I use for cardstock. When Jo-Ann's and Michaels had their cardstock on sale when I was in America, I used to dash there and buy cartloads of the stuff - well, at 5 sheets for a $ it would have been rude not to!  They are strips of Bazzil, Core-Dinations and DCWV

So does anyone want them? They would be perfect for punching borders and flowers, die-cutting or matting smaller images. Free to a good home, UK and Ireland only because of the cost of postage I'm afraid, they weigh a lot. Just leave a comment if you could use them. If more than one person would like them, I will draw a random name on Sunday.

I even managed to find the brown paper to wrap them in - look, the parcel is already to go.....

 See you tomorrow x

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Getting a bit ahead of myself......

So my packing frenzy uncovered this blank blackboard, then the white vinyl showed up...................well, I had to do this didn't I? A quick fifteen minutes with my Cricut, and here's what I came up with.......nothing fancy, but as you know, I don't really do fancy.....

So now I have a sign for the shed that I don't actually own yet, with non existent furniture to work on, so today will see me dragging Mike along the dreaded Ikea outing, just to see what storage solutions I can find to tempt me. I have no intention of going down the route of hauling huge boxes into the car as I have found out that you can now get stuff delivered. So tomorrow is all about spotting what I think will fit the bill at the lowest possible price, then I will shop from the comfort of an armchair. Mike's attention span on such outings is limited to about ten minutes, so I will have to be pretty speedy following those yellow footprints you are forced to follow.......

I'll tell you how it went tomorrow, see you then x

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Oh Dear, Oh Dear - and a winner.......

Sorting out stuff that hasn't seen the light of day for years does make you wonder exactly why you need it. I know with certainty that if I throw out some obscure paint/bottle of unidentified pink stuff/spray bottle containing something that looks like the contents of a newborn baby's nappy, that the minute that stuff reaches the black sack, all of a sudden someone will discover some clever new technique that sweeps through the craft world like a virus. All of a sudden, everyone is searching everywhere for bottles of pink stuff. You can't find it for love nor money, it fetches huge sums on Ebay.................yes, that's the stuff I just threw in the garbage. Happens to me all the time

I was obviously in some sort of craft buying frenzy at the NEC craft show when I bought these letters which were going to be beautifully and artistically altered, then displayed on the bedroom wall (except that I forgot I bought them - until now.......)

LONE? I thought in my feverish craft crazed brain when I battled the crowds at the MDF man's booth at the show that I was buying the letters to spell out LOVE! But no, LONE is not a sentiment many people would want on their bedroom wall I suppose. All is not lost,  I could do EN for my shed ! Or NOEL for Christmas.....or there again, they could just be put into a cupboard again for another few years

And I don't care if I'm boring you - I want you to feel my pain

On to the winner of the FlexMarkers. The name that came up on

who said:

 Thank you for the chance Enfys (I love your name by the way) have a great weekend too. Hope to craft a bit but jobs around the house need to be done, sad face! Love Jane x

Congrats Jane, email me with your address and they will be on their way - be quick before I pack them!

I hope all my friends from the USA had a great 4th July xx

Friday, 3 July 2015

Painting - and packing

Some boxes have arrived - the removal men are packing up the house for us, but I asked for a few boxes so that I can pack up my craft stuff - they bought two dozen large boxes. Surely I won't need all those.............or will I?

Then, as if I haven't got enough to do, I clambered up into the attic again and found this old chair that we have had for years. I know just the spot for it in the new house, so down it came, and the first coat of grey chalk paint is done, just a second coat then a wax and it will be ready to be used again after years of neglect

The problem is, that at an age when some of our friends are downsizing, we are upsizing a bit, the number of times over the past few days that I have thought 'why on earth did we get rid of that'............the truth is of course that this house has been perfect while we needed to lock-up-and-go during our years of owning a second home, but now that we are here in the UK full time it seems a bit cramped  - and I love moving! I love the planning, seeing rooms coming together, hunting down the perfect paint/blinds/accessories

See you tomorrow x

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Ombre Butterflies...

Those of you who follow the Fiskarettes page on FB will have seen this, but I'm sharing it again for those of you who haven't seen it

First I took some paint chips, and a butterfly punch.....

I stamped some of the butterflies with background stamps to add interest....

Then just added a flight of ombre butterflies to a white background and framed in a simple frame

The house move is back on track, but the legal guys are taking their time, so instead of this Friday, we don't have a definite date yet, maybe two weeks? Maybe three? Who knows.....

But in the meantime, I have lists of lists - enough scraps of paper to wallpaper a room, and I am knee deep in paint colour charts and samples of curtain fabric. So in the near future, I reckon this blog will morph into a home decorating frenzy - there isn't going to be a whole lot of time for cardmaking that's for sure!

I will have a dedicated craft space though - in the new house there is a shed in the garden, one of those pretty sheds painted a pretty duck egg blue and with window boxes. It has light. It has lots of plugs (outlets), It is insulated. It measures 10' x 16' - it is perfect......I think I will make a sign for the door. Any ideas? I am thinking 
En's Den...............but one of you will have the perfect sign I'm sure

Ikea, here I come......

See you tomorrow x