Friday, 31 October 2014

Birthday Wishes

Playing with some spritzing ink.
I've heat-embossed Personal Impressions stamps, the sentiment is by Waltzingmouse.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Let It Snow

I've been busy clearing out my old craft club's stash pile. We won't have as many spare tables at the new room so it's been a good excuse to thin out the supplies.
Whilst doing so I found this stamped image, no idea where it came from because it's not one of my stamps, no idea where the sentiment sticker came from either!

I've coloured with distress inks and added a wee bit of glitter.
The bow die is by Memory Box.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Craft Club

No cards today but a bit of a story instead, feel free to skip it:

For over ten years now I've run a craft club, 99% card-making because that's what my members wanted to do. At one point I had two clubs plus a healthy waiting list.

Fast forward a few years and we had people leave, once the novelty had worn off I guess, unfortunately some others left due to ill health; their own or their spouses.
I made the difficult decision to close my evening club, members did not want to come out once the nights started pulling in or the weather turned. The biggest issue I faced was that members usually came with their friends or relatives or neighbours; if one of them decided not to attend one week then more often than not their 'pack' did not come with them. One member down is not a problem on a week-to-week basis but five or six at a time means a real struggle to cover costs.

So, I had one daytime club, we had a lovely venue and a really nice bunch of ladies attending every week. The venue was seven miles from where I live and they appreciated I wasn't making profit as such, the fact that I was providing something for their community, and so the care-taker let us pay a very reduced rent.
Two years ago, with hardly any notice, we were told the venue was closing down completely, I was on holiday at the time so it was all a bit of a panic.

I needed somewhere close to the old venue but it's not an area I am familiar with really. Anyway we found a community centre and agreed to rent it every Thursday for two hours.
Our rent had now trebled and also within weeks a couple of members stopped coming. A few more months in and we lost a couple more, then another two.

What I was facing was that if every member came every week, or thereabouts, I could cover the running costs, I think that only happened about twice in two years! I advertised in the community centre, the local media, and on-line. We just couldn't get anyone else to join.

At the start of this month, after another phone call; "Sorry I'm not coming to club this week" I sat down and properly looked at the problem. Covering the rent was hard but not impossible but the price of materials has gone up year on year, then there was the refreshments and a few smaller costs. I calculated that just driving the seven miles there and back every week was costing me £100 annually in fuel, there's nothing else for me in that part of town so the only reason I was going there was the club.

Having people tell you they aren't coming next week, then another, then another...anyone who runs any kind of group or club or class will tell you; it is soul destroying. The only thing that kept me plodding on with it for at least the last year was the thought of disappointing my ladies, but realistically it could not carry on.

Because so many community centres have lost their government funding it is a real problem finding somewhere suitable with affordable rents. You can't keep putting up your weekly subs because people will just stop coming if it's too expensive.

A couple of weeks ago I was told about a new venue, a mile from my house, plenty of free car-parking, even free tea and coffee. And the best bit? no rent to pay!
How amazing is that?

There is a cost and that is you have to pay for and organise your own Public Liability Insurance. I've just paid that and it's less than one-tenth of the annual rent we paid at the previous place. 
Organising the new venue felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders :)
The only (big) downside is that some of my ladies are unwilling to travel to the new place which is fair enough. I know how much hassle it's been for me driving across town for the last nine years so I don't blame them for not wanting to do the same in reverse on public transport.

The thing was it was either move to somewhere nearer my home or just shut the club permanently. I will just have to advertise the new one and fingers crossed we get a few newbies.

The name of my new venue?
As in the supermarket.

There are around fifty (I think) Tesco stores across the country that provide a community room for not-for-profit groups just like mine. Not surprisingly they are very popular and we are so lucky to have grabbed one of the last weekly daytime slots in ours.
Free rent, free car-parking, free tea and coffee, we don't even have to carry our equipment in; just put it all in a shopping trolley and wheel it through the store!
I am so grateful to Tesco for providing us with this fabulous opportunity. If anyone has a group like mine and your local superstore is being renovated get in there quick and get your name down.

The pile of ribbon and glitter card here? that's actually from Tesco, children's craft section.
Ten sheets of A4 glitter card £3, twenty lengths of bright satin ribbon £1.20
No need for us to run out of stash, we can just nip out of the room and buy some :)

Now I just need a couple more ladies (or gents) to come along and craft with us, fingers crossed, our first session this week...

Saturday, 25 October 2014


I started playing round with a scrap of lace, some blue card-stock left on my desk...and together they reminded me of a bridal garter.

Forever die is by Papertrey Ink
Button die is SU/ Sizzix

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Art Deco

box for the card

I was asked to make a special card for a silver wedding anniversary, the theme to be Art Deco.

I had some very thick chipboard glittered numbers in my stash but they were pink so I re-glittered them with silver and a coat of Glossy Accents.

The lady who ordered the card provided the toppers (I think they are Papermania) and I used a Martha Stewart punch for the fan border.

I used an 8" x 8" card blank but was concerned about the weight of the chipboard numbers pulling the card over. To balance it out I attached another card blank and decorated that too.

I used "Andes" font to add a personalised greeting, I've just blanked their names out here for privacy. The card seemed more special for having the tri-fold aspect so it's something I might do again. Happy to say my friend was very pleased with it, phew :)

Monday, 20 October 2014


My latest stash purchases from Waltzingmouse. Love the font on the stamps and couldn't resist the snowflake die.

I haven't used the stamps yet but did some test die-cuts and whipped up this Christmas card.

Peace die is by PTI

Friday, 17 October 2014

Happy Birthday

Another quickie made with Grace Taylor die-cuts.

I haven't felt much like crafting recently, hopefully I've turned a corner now. Negativity related to my craft club had left me feeling a bit deflated I think.
Today, I have made some huge changes, necessary for me but probably disappointing for some others. It was a case of make the changes or stop the club completely. I'll just have to wait and see how things pan out (ever wish you had a crystal ball?).

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


A mega-quick one I cobbled together with Grace Taylor die-cuts (Hobbycraft)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Birthday Box

Card and gift bag I made for my mum's birthday yesterday. I was actually still sitting staring into space at 11am and had no idea what design I was going to do, I think that's why the gift bag is so plain!

Thursday, 9 October 2014


I'll be back to regular posting tomorrow, hopefully.

We've been away for my other hobby (fell bagging) and I had enough scheduled posts to keep the blog ticking over but since we've been back life has just got in the way of crafting somehow.

I have made a few bits today at craft club but it's way too dark to photograph them. I can't believe how quickly the nights are pulling in...soon be Christmas and I've only made two cards.

Saturday, 4 October 2014


Sentiment is Craftwork Cards.
Snowflake die is Memory Box

Thursday, 2 October 2014


Cheap notepad from Tesco, covered with scraps and an image from Lili of the Valley

The Works sell packs of self-adhesive magnet strips, four strips for £1. I've cut a strip in half here so enough for eight or so notepads from one pack.