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Thursday 29 December 2011


Hi everyone

Well, where did it go?  Christmas Day whizzed by, closely followed by Boxing Day whizzing by almost as fast. We had a lovely time and I hope you did too.  Lots of gorgeous presents - some of which were lovely craft-related goodies.  The mountain of mince-pies are gradually reducing, the turkey has been dispatched to the stew-pot and frozen for another day, the recycling bin is full to over-flowing (as is the bottle one!) and one of my New Year's resolutions to lose weight and get fit is moving further up the list.

I did a bit of sales shopping yesterday for craft items.  I went to a local out-of-town site that has several well known stores and was very surprised at how quiet it was.  Even the drive in to the town wasn't as I had expected - - it was a very easy run.  Perhaps all the massive shopping bonanza's we hear about on the news are only taking place in London.  However, I had clearly missed most of the bargains (perhaps everyone was there the day before me?) but managed to get some things for one of my new 2012 projects.

The biggest surprise was that I also made a start on my website yesterday!  Incredible?  Amazing?  A New Year's resolution begun early - that has to be a first for me.  I am still working on the Home Page, but I have got the colours I wanted, which has always been a bit of a problem (well, a weak one I know), set up some pages so now it should be all systems go.  When it is 'going live' I will post a blog about it here - there will be a link on my website to my Blog and from this Blog to my website.  Plan to spend some time each day adding photographs and text - I haven't decided upon a publication date and know that if I put one in writing and miss it I will be kicking myself, so think it best to use the slogan of a shampoo from many years ago - 'wash and go' or rather in this case 'publish and go'.

Back to the website now.  I hope you all have a fantastic New Year.  We are spending our New Year's Eve here with good friends - they all live in walking distance so transport, when needed, will be Shank's Pony.

I will be back in 2012 and look forward to sharing blog news with you then


Saturday 24 December 2011


Hi everyone

A brief Christmas Eve blog post:

Happy Christmas and Season's greetings to all of my blog followers, blog comment-posters, my Facebook followers and my Twitter followers.  Thank you everyone for taking part - I have really enjoyed your contributions throughout 2011.  I hope you have a great Christmas and an even better 2012.

I will be back after Christmas - hope you have lots of fun in the meantime


Wednesday 21 December 2011


Hello everyone

The usual weather forecast from Christmas Pie Crafts: it is mild, sort-of spring like, not Chrismasy at all and getting a little warmer every day.  I think the last two years at this time have been how we expect Christmas to be - snowy.  Not as bad as it was last year, but some snow around makes it just that little bit more seasonal.

A hectic week - the week before Christmas always seems to be crazy doesn't it?  No matter how many shopping lists I make, or trips to the supermarket I do, I always seem to manage to forget something.  Last food shopping trip today though - unless, of course, I forget something!  No, no, if I do, that's it we go without - now have I got the turkey...............  Last food and veggie shop completed this morning (and of course enough cat food to feed all of the cats in Surrey).  Very surprising how quiet (in comparison to previous years that is) the supermarkets are.  I will be interested to hear the sales figures once the Christmas period is over.  The economic forecast for next year appears to be all gloom and doom.

Although I plan on doing as little as possible over the Christmas period - apart from eating, drinking and being very merry, I would like to do some crafting,  So, in preparation I want to nip out to Art of Craft and buy some bits and pieces and also nip into the fabric shop next door to buy some material for the beginnings of next year's new projects. 

I prepared  a handout to go with my cards this year about card-making workshops that I would like to start in 2012 - I heard from two keen card-makers yesterday that they would like to take part in one of my sessions.  That's really good news and I am looking forward to setting these up.  I will be checking out venues in early January, so keep an eye out in future blog posts for more information.

'Have you finished all your Christmas shopping, Jazz?'  'I think so Daisy, how about you?'  Yes, everything bought, just a few things left to wrap up but I am having a problem tracking down mouse-flavoured stuffing for the turkey.'  That's perhaps a good thing, Daisy, as I don't think Jill and Richard will be very keen on that - they like the boring old sage and onion stuff.'

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone and I will be back with a very mini post on Christmas Eve.


Monday 19 December 2011


Hi everyone

How are you?  Exhausted I am sure, but looking forward to the BIG day.  Not long now - the number of days left are into single figures.  I still have shopping to finish (as well as the fresh food stuff that is) and a few cards to write (and post). Very impressed that with all the preparations at the end of last week, we managed to get the majority of our cards written and posted.  Phew.  Next year we will be so much more prepared and will get them out early (er, yes, said that this year).

A mad but great weekend - always great to see friends and family, especially at this time of year.  Nice to have a fairly peaceful day today though - plans for today changed slightly and now have a hectic day tomorrow instead.  Seems the norm at this time of year - catching up with friends and family that we may not have seen for a while.

It is Handmade Monday and I haven't got anything handmade to show - well not of mine that is.  I recently bought a gorgeous peel-off Christmas tree from Ali's Craft Studio and this is it in-situ on our conservatory door:

It is lovely and the picture doesn't do it full justice.

I have been doing a little Christmas decorating around our place, so can definitely class them as hand made.  We are in the process of replacing a fire in the dining room and discovered that this will also involve replacing the whole fire surround.  So as it is the current one's last Christmas, though I would decorate it with holly and other leaves, branches, etc from the garden.  Added a length of wire decorated with roses and it looks Christmasy.

I recently bought a gorgeous red Poinsettia and wanted to do something about its container (a brown plastic pot).  At the same time I also bought, a half-price bargain, s large red vase.  I took the plant out of its pot, put it into a thick plastic bag, half filled the vase with red baubles and added the plant - not a great pic, but I am pleased with how it looks in reality.

Lastly, we have a big balloon-style candle holder that seems to sit around not doing much.  I filled it with red and white glass baubles of various styles and shapes and added a bunch of battery operated lights - more sparkles!

So, I can claim them as handmade although not under my Christmas Pie Crafts business banner.

Have a great day everyone and don't forget to hop around the blogs of my fellow crafters taking part in this week's Handmade Monday.

I will be back on Wednesday for my mid-week last pre-Christmas post.


Tuesday 13 December 2011


Hi everyone

Well, perhaps not every day - just a bit too expensive and all that card-writing and present wrapping would be exhausting   Christmas is lovely, but once a year is enough I think.

Yipee, my white Christmas tree arrived and is now decorated and standing proudly in the porch - minus a top embellishment though. I haven't seen one I really like and I know in the spirit of Christmas Pie Crafts, I should make one, but think I will keep looking in the shops.  Not sure if I want a large red star or a fairy dressed in red.

Here is a pic of the porch - a little wonky, but think it gives the idea - may try one when it is dark to see the tree with the lights on.  Problem is as soon as you open our front door, the sensors kick in and the porch light goes on!  I will have to try to creep up on it and get a sneaky in-the-dark picture.

A busy day today - must get those cards made, written and posted.  Would you believe I actually wrapped some presents yesterday?  Little and often I think is my plan.  Couple of deliveries and a visit from a gas fitter today - we have been trying to get hold of a registered gas fitter and it seems to be proving pretty nigh on impossible.  Have emailed 6, only 2 replied - clearly the recession has not hit the gas fitter world.  Perhaps I should re-train.

Have a good day everyone - card-writing, pressie wrapping and big weekend get-together permitting, I will be back with Handmade Monday.


Sunday 11 December 2011


Hi everyone

Exciting, isn't it?  Less than two weeks to go to Christmas Day.  So much still to do before then - I have only written two cards and have about 40+ to write and post and apparently today is the busiest day for the Post Office, so perhaps I should help out and leave mine for one more day.  Nearly all presents have been bought, but none wrapped.  Must get them done this week or it will be Christmas 2012 before I get my act together!

It has been a busy week - both work-wise, socially and planning.  Things I have made during the week have pointed me in the direction for how my business will go in 2012.  I won't give up making cards as I really enjoy that part of my work, but I do know that cards are not enough to sustain a small business - so there will be some additions to the Christmas Pie Crafts range next year.

Spent Thursday with a friend - went to her gym and I managed to burn up 72 calories, then we had lunch!  Went to the Wisley Victorian themed event on Saturday with another friend - very surprised at how quiet it was.  Those of you that know Wisley, know they have a fabulous gift shop as well as the plant centre.  All very quiet - perhaps a sign of the times?

It's Handmade Monday - I am sure there are more Mondays in the week these days coz it comes around very quickly.  I never seem to be ready for it and despite planning to write my blog and photograph my makes ready for posting on Sunday evening, think I have only managed that about twice.  My make this week is the wreath I mentioned in my last post (courtesy of RoseMadeMe tutorial).  I made my wreath in red and white striped material and added a few red and white baubles.  I may have overdone the material quantity but like nature I abhor a vacuum, so had to fill in any spaces I could see.  I like it and it fits in with the Christmas red and white theme in my porch.  Well it will when my white Christmas tree arrives!  It was supposed to be delivered on Saturday, but sadly it wasn't.  Perhaps today...................

A mini-blog post today as have loads to do.  I still have cards to make, as well as loads to write, parcels to wrap (and two pressies still to buy), housework ready for the Saturday get-together here.  Hope you all have a great day and I will be back on Wednesday with my mid-week post.  Don;t forget to check out the other Handmade Monday bloggers - great things to see and read about.


Tuesday 6 December 2011


Hi everyone

No, not a typo - our new sofas were delivered today and very smart they look too.  We sold the old big sofa about 2 months ago and have been squashing ourselves into the smaller one - very cozy, but not great if you want to loll and stretch out.  These have arrived just in time for Christmas entertaining.  Jazz and Daisy have checked out the new sofas - Daisy isn't so sure yet, but Jazz thinks they are great and just ideal for cats and has given his seal of snoozing space approval.

Just hope the old small one goes quickly as it is getting a little cramped here.  It's on Ebay and if not sold by tomorrow evening, we will free-cycle it.

A busy-ish week so far.  Had an extra card order following on from another card order - always nice to get repeat custom.  Enjoyed lunch with a couple of friends on Monday - even better as we had a voucher for 20% off the meal.  My kind of bargain.  Out tomorrow with another friend for a Spa Day, which I know will be good fun.  Still haven't started our own Christmas cards, despite promising we would - perhaps this coming weekend...................  Today I began making a wreath following the Ros Made Me Ragtime Christmas Wreath tutorial - great instructions and my wreath it going well so far.  I will add a pic, or some pics to my next post.  Fingers crossed it turns out well.

Need to post my mid-week blog now and get back to my wreath making.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone - I will be back for Handmade Monday.


Sunday 4 December 2011


Hi everyone

I did my last Christmas Fair on Saturday and Father Christmas was there too - with his 'busiest day' looming, I am amazed he finds the time to be in so many places this month.  Mind you, he does have 11 months to get ready for his one-day-a-year-job - I couldn't his job though.  All that lugging around of great sacks of parcels, stopping at millions of homes, in and out of the sleigh (constantly thinking 'have I locked it?), exposed to the elements (you would think sleighs these days would be enclosed) and at the end of the night getting home to find there is still one present left in the sack and the home it should have been delivered to is half-way across the world.  Decision time: do I deliver it now, leave it for next year or pop it in the post?  Too much to cope with in one night - think I will stick to what I know best.

I won 12 gorgeous cup-cakes in the Christmas Fair's raffle - very tempting, but I am trying really hard to avoid sweet things, but I could see they were calling me when I went to the prize table to collect them.  However, I decided to hang out until Christmas for sweet things (I wish) and as we have cake-loving neighbours, they shared in my win.

Last week was a busy week in Christmas Pie Crafts: a card order plus getting ready for Saturday's event and also producing some stock specifically for my wall at Bourne Mill.  I want to have a sort out of my stock there and move things around - I remember one of the centre's traders saying to me that moving the stock around is a good sales tactic - it works too.

A busy week this week too (work-wise and me-wise) - have a card to make, plus promised myself  this year we will send our own Christmas cards out early (normally it is a last minute thing), out for lunch with friends today and off for a Spa Day with a friend on Thursday - no pamper treatments booked as I have my toes painted regularly at a local salon, but I know lots and lots of talking will take place.

Handmade Monday is here again and frightening to realise that there are only 2 more before Christmas  .  My 'show' today is a card I recently made for a specific order.  I have blotted out the words/names on the front as the card has not yet been posted by my customer.  The card is a step design and I have used papers from the Popular Crafts magazine website.  I used the larger printout for the background and then cut out several snow-covered trees to add to the front section.  It isn't a great photograph - found it tricky to photograph something that in effect is 3-D but I hope you like it.  Don't forget to visit the other blogs taking part in Handmade Monday - lots of lovely crafty goodies and great blog posts too.

Must get back to card-making - one order to complete this morning and I want to get it into the post before I meet up with my friends at lunch-time.  Enjoy the week everyone, I will be back on Wednesday with my mid-week blog post.