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Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Hello everyone

At this very moment the sun is shining!  Amazing.  I thought it had forgotten how to shine and had decided to go away for the winter.

Henry is at the vets today for his chop and chip session.  I did wish him good luck because it wasn't too long ago that I had a stay at the vets for a similar operation.  I think I am getting used to him now and I do spend time looking at him through the glass door; he talks a lot which is good because I don't.  No chance with Jazz and Daisy around!

Jill has persuaded me to put a photograph of Henry on my blog post - so here he is:

He does have a white tip to his tail, but you can't really see it in this one.

Anyway, that's enough about Henry because I need to tell you about my adventure.  I haven't been out officially, but I did sneak out on Monday.  Jazz was on his way in and quick as a flash, I darted out of the open door.  I ran down to the bottom of the garden, over to the left, to the right, into the field at the bottom, behind the summer house and the greenhouse.  I had a great time.  Jill was calling me, rattling a bag of biscuits and tapping a food bowl - was I interested?  No, of course not.  However, my downfall came in the shape of a screwed- up paper football.  So embarrassing.   Jill threw it through the open kitchen doorway and I rushed in after it - I am a big football fan and I just had to chase this one.  I will go out again, but Jill and Richard have said it will be when it is warm enough to leave the back door open for me.  In the meantime you two, watch out, watch out, there is a Milly looking to get out.

One final thing before I get back onto the warm window sill, have a look at the Woking Cats Protection website and you will see some lovely news that lots of grown up cats have been adopted.  There are still more so if you are looking to home a cat rather than a kitten, please do have a look at the website - there is even one cheeky girl with my name.

I will be back next week with more news of my life in Christmas Pie.


Sunday, 24 March 2013


Hello everyone

Yesterday's weather was a big shock!  I hadn't expected to see snow this far south and and was very surprised to get up to find nearly 2" of the white stuff had landed during the night.  Even more surprising was that Chilworth, where I was taking part in an event, had no snow!  What went wrong?  Did someone shake the snowy blanket in Surrey and send it to our side of the A3?

We woke up to a light scattering of snow this morning, but no more has settled during the day although it has been 'sprinkling' all day long.  If you are in a snow-bound area, I hope you are not suffering because of it and if you are I hope all services are either being maintained or will be switched back on very soon.

A friend and I went to Wisley this afternoon as they had some plant demonstrations taking place as well as a Plant Fair.  Gardeners are hardy people - it was very busy and the car park was nearly full.  Mind you I think we found most of them in the cafeteria where we had to visit as it was bitterly cold outside.  Lots of lovely plants for sale, but this time around I bought some packets of unusual seeds: orange aubergines, black carrots and something I am really looking forward to tasting the results of, Samphire.  I love Samphire and wonder if it isn't farmed from the sea what will the taste be like?  I will let you know in a few months time

It has been a very busy week for one reason or another, mainly working on new things for Christmas Pie Crafts as well as making lots of new stock for yesterday's event.  It wasn't a great success - very well attended by mums, dads, grandparents, toddlers and babies (the event was to raise funds for the village play group) but they were not in a spending mood.  I have one more event on 6 April, then I will be back to sticking to my guns and not doing many events at this time of the year.  However, I do have some wedding fayres on my list of to-do's.

Here are a couple of pics of some of the cards I have made this week:

Most of the new stock will be added to my wall at Bourne Mill Centre tomorrow.  Stock levels are reasonable there, but I like to ring the changes bringing in new stock and moving the remainder around a little.  Makes it look as though the whole wall of cards has been replaced.

Another busy week beginning, making stock for the next event, planning the next workshop, brain-storming on joint-ventures with Linda, my cake-making friend, and catching up with other friends over the Easter weekend.

I hope you all have a good week, keep warm and don't forget to whiz over to Handmade Monday to catch up with everyone and read about their week.  I will be back next Sunday (mustn't forget the clocks will have gone forward) and Milly will be here on Wednesday with more stories from a kitten's point of view.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Hello everyone

She has done it again!!  Despite throwing all of my toys out of my furry igloo, stamping all of my paws on the floor, Jill has brought home another kitten!  Yes, I know he is cute and yes, I know he is a kitten, but there is only room in this home for one cute kitten: ME!

His name is Henry and he is tabby and white, well white and tabby really because there is only a patch of tabby on his face and his tail is tabby.  Jill says he is lovely because he purrs when she picks him up, sits on her lap and cuddles up to her and talks to her too.  I purr.  I sit on her lap.  I cuddle up to her.  OK, so I don't talk a lot - but I don't have to, my eyes say everything.

Jill is trying to get some photographs of him - he wriggles a lot so difficult to get a picture of his face.  Do I care?  There should only be photographs of me in my diary.  I must remind Jill to take some more of me - I am so gorgeous the world needs to see lots of photographs of me.

I have had a busy morning checking up on Henry, so I think a short snooze is needed.  I will be back next week with more 'tails' of my life - in the meantime have fun and let's hope we don't have any snow.


Sunday, 17 March 2013


Hell everyone

It has been a hectic week leading up to my pilot card-making workshop on Thursday evening.  Despite spending 20 years teaching and millions of hours preparing material for my courses, I had forgotten how exhausting it all was - and it wasn't that long ago that it was my day job.  The pilot workshop went very well and Linda and I feel we met the two specific aims of the event: the guinea-pig card-makers had a great time and we received valuable feedback to enable us to plan and move forward with this joint-venture.

It is very easy to forget what it is like to make one's very first card, and I did.  I had planned for at least two cards to be made during the evening - this was to be in addition to a demonstration by a Stampin' Up Expert.  However, once an explanation regarding the format of the evening, safety issues, and the first demonstration had taken place, it was clear that my 'lesson plan' was going out of the window.  But as is my habit, I had prepared about ten packs of cards for each person - a habit of over-preparing that I find very hard to break.

The first card the group made was an Art Deco locomotive decoupage.  I chose this as it had simple straight lines and was less likely to put novice card-makers off of the beautiful art of decoupage:

Everyone enjoyed this and it was a great start to the event.  The next card to make was an Easter Bunny card, but we ran out of time so this was some 'homework' for everyone to take away with them.

Here are some photographs of the event in action:

The calm before the fun

A much needed cake and coffee break

Completing the feedback form for us

The workshop was enjoyed by everyone and I am sure there are some budding card-makers out there at this moment make cards.  I would like to say a BIG thank you Lauren Huntley, who stepped in almost at the last moment to be our Stampin' Up demonstrator.  Everyone enjoyed Lauren's session and thought her cards were lovely.  Lauren runs workshops too and I am sure some of the participants' in the evening's event will be in touch with her.

Now it is feedback review time - what worked, what didn't, what was very popular and what should be left out of the next workshop.  Exciting times and I am really looking forward to the next events, but in the meantime thank you everyone who took part in our pilot one.

I have several card orders to complete, plus a range of cards to make for an event I am taking part in next Saturday: the Chilworth Community Play Group Easter Fair.  I will be back next Sunday with more news and pics, and Milly will be here on Wednesday with her next diary post.  But before then don't forget to visit the crafters taking part in this week's Handmade Monday to catch up with their posts about last week's events.

Have a good week everyone


Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Hello everyone

What a chilly week!  Yesterday's wind nearly blew my whiskers off!  Well,  if I had been outside it would have done.  I did escape this morning though - Jazz was on his way in and I took the opportunity to nip out.  I didn't really know which way to go, so was very glad when Jill picked me up and took me back in.  She has said that when it is a bit warmer and I am a little bigger, then I will be able to go out - so exciting, I can hardly wait.

Now, what have I been doing since my last post?  I helped Jill with her accounts on Monday - she entered receipts onto the computer and I 'filed' the receipts for her.  I don't understand why putting them behind cushions, under pillows or in my food bowl is wrong.  She is always saying she could do with an assistant - well, here I am!

Jill has been getting ready for her pilot card-making workshop this Thursday - I have helped, but again my assistance has not been welcomed.  Jill puts something on one pile and, tidy-minded kitten that I am, I  move it to another pile where it looks much better.  You just cannot help some people, can you?

I have had a busy morning helping Jill, playing with Jazz, chasing Daisy, throwing my furry mice around, so I think a snooze is needed.  Yes, I know I snooze a lot, but I am only a little kitten and kittens get tired easily.  Before I nod off though I will have a quick look at the Woking Cats Protection website - I like to check out the cats needing new homes and read their stories.

See you next week


Monday, 11 March 2013


Hello everyone

Snowing again, just when I though spring had arrived.  A whole two days of it - wonderful.  Double figure temperatures too.  Back to normal now?

Last week was spent preparing for my pilot card-making workshop - feeling nervous about this.  I am starting with a simple decoupage card, following that with a 'large letters' one and time-permitting a third one with punched flowers.  Can't get out of the habit of ensuring I have stacks of material ready in case there are fast-learners or people attending with existing skills.

I had hoped to have a friend who is a Stampin' Up (SU) demonstrator join Linda and I at the event, but unfortunately he is working.  However, this is just the beginning so fingers crossed plenty of other workshops for the three of us to do.  I have been lucky to find another SU demonstrator who lives 'just down the road' and is free on Thursday evening - I am really pleased as I want to add something extra to the workshop.

The work packs, samples and demo bits are nearly ready, just need to concentrate now on making cards to display, produce the feedback forms and the million and one things I have no doubt forgotten!  Linda will be baking cakes and icing them on the day.

Here is a photograph of one of the cards I have produced to demonstrate - don't want to show too many as some of those attending follow my blog and I want some surprises left for them:

Before I get back to workshop preparation, now is a great time to visit the bloggers taking part in this week's Handmade Monday.  Always great to catch up with what everyone has been doing.

My pottery course has nearly finished for this term and although I have lots of work in progress, here is a photograph of one of my pieces.  It is made of porcelain using a mould (sadly the sides sagged a little when it was fired).  I created the finish by sponging three layers of slip, having first added a template of the leaves.  Finally I used a transparent glaze and it was fired at 1250 degrees.  I am pleased with the finish the sponging has created and the colour is lovely too.  It is odd looking at the picture as it sometimes creates the impression that the dish is inverted.

Back to work now, but a quick cup of coffee first I think.  It has stopped snowing and the sun seems to be trying to shine.  I hope you all have a good week - keep warm.  I will be back next Sunday with an update on how the card-making workshop went and Milly will be here on Wednesday with her diary post.


Wednesday, 6 March 2013


Hello everyone

The good news is that one of the kittens has been homed already - she went to a lovely new home on Monday.  More good news, the other two kittens have a family visiting today.  I might just get my home back all to myself - er, sorry, I mean we might get our home back to ourselves.  However, Jill is looking over my shoulder while I am writing this and telling me that 'their room' will not be empty for long.  Huh!  I am going to have to have a word with Woking Cats Protection.  Yes, I know that is where I came from, but there are limits to my gratitude.

I have been up to my usual high jinks of 'borrowing' and 'burying'.  I brought Jill a duster the other day - but she didn't get my subtle message, perhaps a tin of polish next time?   I stuffed the toe of one of her boots with a paper football - I had such a lot of fun watching her try to put her boot on!  She never learns, she leaves her boots where it is easy for me to get at them and she makes me lots of paper footballs.

I am still hiding Richard's cigarette papers.  We had a delivery of cat food the other day and once the box had been opened, I buried some cigarette papers at the very bottom of the box.  He is on to me though, coz he tries to hide them from me, but it is hard to get one over on me as I still manage to find some!

As you bloggers know, it is tiring writing a regular post so I think it is time for a nap.

I will be back next week, but if you love cats, don't forget to visit the Woking Cats protection website.  They have lots of gorgeous cats all waiting for a new home.

See you all next week.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Hi everyone

Writing this rather later than usual, but this gorgeous weather makes me feel very cheerful and not at all worried about being behind.  Isn't it incredible what a little bit of sunshine can do for us?  Lots more enthusiasm, get up and go, stop putting things off - roll on spring and summer.

As always a busy week and I need to check back through my diary to see what I have been doing.  I have taken to writing as much as possible in my diary or notebook as it is so easy to forget everything I have done or need to do.  Rather like tying a knot in my hankie (not the same with tissues though) and forgetting what the knot represents.

A busy week for orders.  I finished off the Titanic/Railway set one mentioned last week, and am currently finishing off an order for a Mother's Day card:

I have some more decoupage roses to add, wording and the insert and some trimming to complete. The plan is to finish this one today as I have two others to complete by tomorrow morning.

In addition to Mother's Day, I also had an order for Evening Invitation Acceptance cards.  The brief was fairly open with the only request of the main colouring to be light green.  I have checked with my customer and they are happy for me to display an example here:

The base is a 4" square card, with a pale green sheet added to the front.  On top of this I have added a white frame around a similar green sheet on which I have printed the required information.  Simple, effective and my client is very pleased with their order.

As my 'weekend' post appears to be getting later and later, I will make this a very short  one, but please drop in on the Handmade Monday bloggers to see what they have been doing over the last week.

I will be back next Sunday - hopefully on time.  Milly will be blogging tomorrow with news of the kittens I am currently fostering.

Enjoy the week everyone