Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you See it?

The Funky Hand show on Create and Craft yesterday, that is?
We recorded it (twice - once on the Humax and once on the dvd so that I could keep a copy on disc hehe).  The new "Craft the Year Away" (I'll call it CYA from here on....) CD is absolutely fabulous, I really love the way it works - and watching the show yesterday I learned that the new functionality built into CYA will also work for the other Papercraft Factory series - duh!  I hadn't even thought of that!  
Anyway, well done Anice, it was a great show and that display of DT samples looked sooo pretty!
I know it's sad, but you just can't help but get a thrill when you see the things you've made appearing on the screen, and as my new wordbook got a good airing yesterday I thought I'd add some pictures here today
. These papers are from the "November Rain" set on the CYA CD and they are soooo pretty.  You can now buy ribbons and buttons that match all the collections on this CD perfectly too, and I've used those on some of the pages in this book.
I made a little photo-montage of the pages rather than add them all individually, I hope you can see them ok
As well as the Funky Hand button and ribbon stash I've used several of the digi images from the new CD; the trees, bird and hearts.  All of the papers are from the collection, and of course the wordbooks themselves are all ready just to choose your own papers, letters/numbers and colour combinations and print out.
I printed all the letter pages out on card, then put the card back into the printer and printed more designs on the reverse of each sheet before cutting the pages out.
If you were eagle-eyes, you might have seen this little box too
The top and bottom pieces are cut with one of the Nesties Labels dies and I made a simple box to fit between.  The ribbon is one from the Funky Hand Stash matching ribbon sets (November Rain).

If you missed Sunday's show or want seconds (and thirds for that matter), Anice is back on Create & Craft screen TWICE on Friday 4th Feb with 2 different shows (the second is not just a repeat of the first).  You can watch the shows via the pc as well as on TV.  I'll check the info and add links etc later in the week.
Anyway, the new CD and all the stash is available now from the Funky Hand website
I have got more crafts to share, so hopefully I'll be a better blogger this week.  
Thanks for visiting today, please call by again soon.

Friday, January 28, 2011

China Rabbits

Last week's challenge on the Daring Cardmakers was to make a card for yourself making use of all your favourite bits and pieces - it was great fun to do and it was wonderful to visit all the blogs of those who'd joined in.  We're hoping that Lynda's dare this week will be just as much as fun to do - Lynda is even giving a couple of options for how you approach it.

The Year of the Rabbit

3rd February 2011 will welcome in the next Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rabbit. So this week I’m going to let you have TWO options to choose from:-
Make a card with an Oriental feel to it
Make a card that features a rabbit.
It’s entirely up to you.

I've always struggled with Oriental themed cards and projects, they are really out of my comfort zone so obviously I took the second option (and breathed a sigh of relief! Thank You Lynda....)
My little bunny is a version of a Robo template I made ages ago - I think it might even have been a DCM challenge it was made for.  It's been used a couple of times since so definitely worth the time spent converting the free colouring page I used to make it.
My Craft Robo had a good workout for this one.  The bunny is cut in layers, and the various pink paper flowers are also Robo cut.  There are a couple of flower designs which I cut in various sizes to layer up.
I used:
All papers sei Juliette 6x6 pad (Craftz Boutique), Nesties Eyelet Circles, 
Outer frame for the Nesties shape, sentiment, bunny and flowers cut with Craft Robo,  
Small stamen punch (Nellie's), silver brad topped with burgundy Stickles,
American seam binding (3 colours) used for the ruffle and the three rosette flowers, 2 gorgeous wired flowers, beautiful white lace formed into outer rosette (right corner) and bead cup in centre of deep pink rosette all from the new-look  Creative Treasures - Tracy is still in the process of loading everything but it's all looking very fab already.
I had a lovely time making this card - especially making those flowers!  The seam binding is so soft and easy to use - not at all like the much "harder" seam binding and bias binding we're used to here, this stuff is whisper soft and as a bonus there are loads of colours available - I think Tracy has 19 colours of the stuff in the Creative Treasures Shop.
Hopefully there'll be loads of lovely cards to see again this week.  I know that unlike me lots of people love making beautiful Oriental style cards and I can't wait to see them, and bunnies are always a fab and fun image to use for all sorts of reasons - I did think about making this as a baby card but tbh I'm a bit bored with baby cards as I've done a few recently, then it was going to be an Easter card....but the first paper pad I spied was the sei one and it matched so perfectly with the seam binding and the wired flowers that the deal was done.

Please pop over to the Daring Cardmakers BLOG to see the cards the team have been making - and to add a link when you've made your own card of course.

Finally, just a quick note about the launch of Funky Hand's "Craft the Year Away" CD and matching goodies.  This will take place on Create and Craft TV on Sunday 30th January at 10am.  Everything about this new release is fab - lots of beautiful papers and images as usual, but this time there are some fabulous brand new features which have had all the DT raving since the beta copies landed on our doormats!  Here's a sneakpeek of some of the things I've been making for the show
It's been a busy week, but at last I think I've made it to the bottom of my to-do list!  Yesterday I even had time to do a bit of blog-hopping.  I've missed soooo much and it was lovely to wander around and see what's been happening in the land of the crafty blogger! Looking forward to doing a bit more of that over the weekend too.
Now I'm off to check my calendar to see what birthdays need cards made for - and hopefully not discover that I've missed a load :(
Take care, stay warm and have a great weekend

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Not a New Radley....

 I made this handbag card yesterday, I think it has a rather "vintage" handbag shape.  It's my offering for the new style Get Funky challenge blog - as from January 2011 new challenges will be launched on the  Funky Fifteenth of each month.  A catchy title to help you remember!  
Instead of us all adding our projects in one go at the start of the challenge, we'll be adding them over the whole month - and we'll be giving some hints and tips, or instructions on how we made them - a new post appears every few days, if you add Get Funky to your "following" list it'll pop up at the top every time something new is added.
Allison is our hostess and challenge-setter this month so started off the whole shabang announcing that our challenge would be called "Going Round in Circles" and sharing her project., closely followed by Jules, Lou, and Anice,  today it's my turn and over on the BLOG you can find the instructions on how I made my little handbag.
Now that the new challenges are announced every Funky Fifteenth of the month, you have till the day before to make sure you've loaded and linked your projects and be in with a chance of winning a free cownload of your choice from the shop.
You need to use at least one Funky Hand product on your project to qualify, it was always easy to do that as there's a Funky Freebie set available from the shop, but now to make it more fun Anice will have a brand new freebie every month - only available for the duration of that month's challenge so don't forget to pick it up before it disappears...
This month's freebie ties in with the Circles theme and is the paper I used on the lower section of my card.  
To find the instructions for making this card, plus to see the rest of the projects so far click .HERE  We'd love to see your Funky Circles projects, so please join in with us this month.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crafting For Me!

Over on The Daring Cardmakers this week it's Asia Wu's turn to set the challenge and I think we've all been looking forward to this one since she suggested it. This week we're crafting for ourselves; in the style we love, our favourite techniques and bits of kit and using the stash we love - and maybe have kept back because we can't bear to see it leave our possession.  This is a great opportunity to indulge yourself and in the end you'll have something that you've had a ball making, and get to keep for yourself.
For me it was another chance to reach for those wonderful "Paris Nights" papers from GCD.  Oh, and some lace....and would you believe <> some flowers.
To start with I used a 15cm sq card blank and used a gold Acrylic Paint Dabber around the edge, then a little black ink to "age" it a bit. I'd planned to use one of the flocked papers but it didn't look right, so I ditched that in favour of the shimmery spotty one, backed by a plainer black paper.  I distressed the edges of the black paper and gave them a bit of random Krylon gold pen before gluing both papers in place.
This black rose has been sitting on my desk since before Christmas - I made it to decorate a Christmas gift, but then forgot about it.  It's made from black glitter paper - it's fab snuff, I bought a pad last year and the paper is really thick and strong, but still has enough "give" in it to allow the moulding of the petals.  I suppose it's a bit like grungpaper in weight and pliability.  The the glitter is really intense and rich.
I had to get those lovely Prima Artful flowers in here somewhere!  The turquoise jewel brad wasn't quite a perfect match so I added some Diamond Stickles to bring it more in line.  The central rosette is made from - well I'm not sure what this stuff is called but I've had this in my scrap box for ages and it was perfect for this!
By very good luck a new MS punch arrived while I was making the card.  It's a sort of doily pattern and the punched shapes are about 4cms in diameter.  I cut about 6 or 7 from some vellum, scrunched them up individually, opened then out, piled them up and speared them through the centre with a brad. Added a Cuttlebug slower shape and another Prima then fluffed up the "carnation" style flower after the whole thing had been glued into place.  There's a few touches of Stickles on there too.
Obviously I couldn't do a "favourite things" card without a few coiled flowers, so I made some tiny ones to blance out the left corner. There's a wired pearl spray in there too.
Materials etc:
Paint Dabber (Metallic Gold), Black chalk ink pad ,  Papers (GCD "Paris Nights" 8x8" pad), Tim Hlotz paper distresser, Gold Krylon pen, Lace (black, cream), Quote is pc generated (Nesties Labels 1), Scraps of thick chipboard on reverse of quote section, Black glitter paper, Prima Artful and Essentials flowers, Wide Cream "ribbon" for rosette, large jewel brad, Turquoise vellum, MS "Vintage Doily" punch, Cuttlebug flower die, Small black brad, Scrap of curly ribbon, Wired pearl spray, Coiled flowers from scrap GCD papers dabbed with turquoise ink and Stickles, Prima flat-backed pearls (turquoise, gunmetal)
Phew! That's quite a list isn't it? hehe.  I tried to give everything in the order I used it.
I really hope you'll join in this week - it's almost therapy to make something with nothing but pleasing yourself in your mind.  Doesn't matter what anyone else might think, this is for your own pleasure - you don't often get to do something like that, do you?  
Please head over to the DCM BLOG and see what the rest of the team make when left to their own devices!
I'm going to stick the two bits of the card together, maybe add a backing of chipboard and stick this above my desk - it's about time I had a change of "background"!
I thought I'd show you what my desk looked like after I'd finished having all this fun!
(click for a closer look at the mess I managed to create!)
Before I shut up waffling - a quick note that over on Get Funky! challenge blog, Lou has added her project to the "Going Round in Circles" theme for this month.  Remember there's a prize on offer at the end of the month  - just don't forget you need to use at least one Funky Hand product to qualify.  There's also this month's "Funky Freebie" there which anyone can download to use.  If you've got the "Colour Me Happy" CD, you'll find the January freebie matches the Blissful Baby papers on there.
Right, enough of the waffle, I'm off to make a coffee and then I might even get some crafting done - quiet crafting though as hubby works from home on Fridays. 
Oh - regarding the silver thread fiasco - I fished it out of the gluepot with my fingers (gooey!), when the flow of glue stopped  falling I took the reel to the sink and gave it a good rinsing.  Fingers crossed I got rid of most of the glue and the thread is still usable!
Thanks for visiting

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bon Voyage.....

I finally finished the "emigrating to Australia" card I've been wittering on about needing to do for ages! I'm not sure why it took so long to actually get done, but I'll blame the after-Christmas lack of mojo.
I used some clipart to make the Robo template of the Australia-shaped flag, it worked pretty well, even if some of the red bits on the flag were rather skinny and easy to lose....hmmm!  Never mind, got there in the end.  I used the Cuttlebug Stars embossing folder for the white background but it doesn't show up on the photo - of and the brad on the bottom right is a red and white one, not at all pink as it looks here!
Materials and Equipment:
Bazzill cardstock, red, blue and white
Aussie flag paper from Craftz Boutique, Long red pin (Creative Treasures) with red ribbon , beads and pc generated banner , Brads are a mix of shapes and designs in red, white and blue , Craft Robo template, Cuttlebug Stars embossing folder

I seem to have been making New Baby cards a lot recently - I'll show them on here eventually ;) but something I can share is this little box. Inside is a tiny, baby-sized TT t-shirt. We bought it when we were on the IOM back in October ready for when the baby of one of hubby's motorbike-loving workmates arrived.
 Materials etc:
Handmade box covered with papers by Little Yellow Bicycle. Bow made with lots of lengths of ribbon (I have a huge reel of this stuff), Large blue button, Stork charm from Creative Treasures, Nesties Die for tag

I had a bit of a disaster while making this.  The little box I keep reels of thread and wire in "jumped" off the shelf above my desk - I caught it before it landed, but what I didn't realise till later was that the reel of my favourite very fine silver thread escaped - and landed in the open pot of bookbinding glue I was using......! I will leave your imagination to picture the mess hehehe

Just finished my DCM card ready for tomorrow - if you'd like to see that, plus the state of my desk by the time it was finished, please come back tomorrow!  As I write this I'm trying to decide which of the things on my list I should tackle next.....Thank you for visiting, please leave a comment - it's always great to read them

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January Crafty Templates

The first set of Crafty Templates of 2011 are on the loose and there's a bit of a retro feel about some of them this month.  You'll find glamorous designs for dresses with a 50s/60s feel and some fab retro household items.  There are also cute birdies, fa un bunny and some fab flowers added to the mix.

I loved this stylish posh frock design and adding lace and pearls to the card just seemed "right". I converted the template for cutting on the Craft Robo, then cut all the pieces separately to layer them up
 Paper: K&Co., Bazzill Bling Black, scraps of yellow and white card, Skin-tones Promarkers, Black Lace, Flat-backed pearls, paper frill cut with MS large border punch, 
Prima Artful flowers, yellow wired rose (Creative Treasures), 
A layer of Stickles  was added to the bag for a bit of extra bling.
I headed into the kitchen for these  next two cards. The apron template is cute and leaves lots of room for adding your own bits and pieces.  I added a little pocket edged with lace to the front of my card, then I used the bow design from the card above to make the bow for the back of the apron.

 All papers on the card above and below are from the Bo Bunny "Crush" 6x6 pad 
(Charmed Cards and Crafts)

I have one of these mixers in my kitchen - it was a Christmas pressie a few years ago and is fab!  Mine is white but I went for a nice bright red when making this card. Again I converted this for Robo cutting and layered it up so there's lots of dimension on this one.  I then used another template - one of the Cutie Pie designs - from the January set to make a cupcake to add to the card.
Also used:
Kraft card blank, red, black, silver card for the mixer,
Tiny buttons topped with Stickles to decorate
For all the info about Crafty Templates, click HERE, you'll also find info about the Crafty Goodies Kits that Leo puts together each month.  I didn't use one this time - thought I'd try to make a dent in my own stash collection ;)
That's all for this time.  I'm off back to my craft desk where I have another baby card to make and a lot of lovely DT stuff to get on with too.  Thanks for looking

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jules on Get Funky

Do pop over to the new look Get Funky challenge blog, where the fabulously talented Jules has added this wonderful card, plus instructions on how to make a circle shaped easel card.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's the Funky Fifteenth!

First exciting piece of Funky Hand news is that this week we've welcomed FIVE new members to the design team.  It's always sad to see members leave the team, but it's usually because they have exciting new things  (crafty or otherwise) going on in their lives which makes it a bit easier to wave them off to "pastures new".  Over the last few weeks we've had to do a fair bit of "waving goodbye" but now we're saying "hello and welcome" to Faye, Jenny, Amanda, Paula and Jackie who have been recruited by Anice to join the team and a really really exciting time - there are lots and lots of new things on the Funky Horizon....

The first of these "new things" is the re-launch of the Get Funky! Challenge Blog.  Over the last few weeks the Gang have put our heads together and come up with a new way of using the monthly challenges.

To start with, the new challenge won't be issued on the first day of the month any more.  Instead you need to ring the 15th of the month - the FUNKY FIFTEENTH to be exact!. No longer will there be a new challenge followed by a whole long post filled with the things the Funky Hand Gang have made - from now on one of the team will be the "hostess" for the month; she'll issue the challenge and start the ball rolling with her project - then every couple of days one of the other girls will show the project they've made for the challenge and maybe even give a "How to", or some hints and tips or a useful link.  All this will hopefully keep you coming back for more and keep the Funky Hand challenge in your sights - there's always been a prize on offer and that's not going to change - some lucky person will still receive a Fab and Funky voucher to spend in the Funky Hand shop each month.  Oh, and there will be a new FREEBIE every month too.  Head over to GET FUNKY! to find out all you need to know....
The second "new thing" also happens this weekend.  Our very first Funky Fifteenth sees the release of Funky Hand's very first Acrylic stamp sets - they feature "Our Betty" and she's fab!  There are four different sets of stamps to collect, you can see them all HERE.
There's a different Betty image in each set plus lots of useful and fun images and sentiments too
You all know by now that stamping and colouring in stuff really isn't my "thing" (crikey, I even had to go and buy my first ever promarkers to use with these!) so you'll have to just ignore my poor efforts at colouring - just remember that if they look OK when I use them - they are going to look just FAB when you do!
I've been playing with the "Your Special Day" stamp set over the last couple of weeks, if you take a wander around the blogs of the other team members you'll see more of this set and the other three sets too.
I totally chickened out of the whole colouring thing with my first Betty cards
For the first I just one stamped her with black ink and used the fab "Darkness Lifts" papers from the "Dreams Come True" CD.  I thought a bright pink ribbon would work well with this one
 Still in the B&W with a Dash mind-set I used the gorgeous gift box stamp with the same papers. I stamped the image on the two papers, then cut out the lid section from the darker version, and with a bit of scrap chipboard between the layers, glued it in place.  I did actually use a green pen for the ribbons, but I went over that with some lime green Stickles - I also added some Stickles to a couple of the buttons.  The simple Happy Birthday stamp is also from the "Your Special Day" set .  
So, that's quite enough for one day - and there's still more exciting stuff to come for Funky Hand! I bet you're saying "ohhh surely not!, I can't take any more excitement...." but you're going to have to wait a bit longer for the next BIG news, so you'll be able to get your breath back hehehe oh, and check out the Funky Fifteenth on Get Funky! (don't forget the freebie....)
Thanks for visiting, please pop back soon

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Recipe with a Prize

The Daring Cardmakers are being sponsored by digi company Robyn's Fetish this week and we have a great prize from them to give away at the end of next week - as always our prize winners are chosen at random from all who join in and qualify (there are 3 rules to follow).  Head over to the BLOG to find out more. 
Robyn sent the team four digi images and one of her downloadable paper collections to play with, and we came up with a card "recipe" for this week's challenge - here's what you need to use when "cooking up" your card
You need to use
1 image (stamped, digi or other)
2 pieces of ribbon
3 papers
Here's my card:
I resized and printed the image and coloured in parts of it.  Next I converted parts of the design for cutting with my Craft Robo.  By measuring carefully the height and width of the printed image I could resize the template and cut the pieces to fit exactly.  The umbrella and fro were made this way.  The frog is cut in several layers and all the tiny pieces were inked around the edges before building up the little chap.
I've used:
  Coney Island Summer paper collection and the "Don't Rain on my Parade" digital image.from Robyn's Fetish.
Orange and green ribbons, buttons and flowers from my stash,
MS border punch,
Promarkers for coloured-in areas
I hope you'll get a chance to join in and if you do - then good luck for the prize draw next week!
I'm gradually catching up with my list now - but it's meant less time blogging and blog-hopping, unfortunately - but it's good to get to the bottom of the list at last.  Mind you, new and exciting things have just been added.....(note to self: must not start on the new things before finishing the existing ones!). 
Have you visited Funky Hand recently? Anice has been even busier than usual and there's a new product launch to be announced this weekend.....and as if that's not enough, there's even more fab stuff to come in the next few weeks....ooooh what a tease I am!
Right, I'm going to make a cup of coffee and then finish off the customer's card that's sitting on my desk - and then make the New Baby card that's likely to be needed by Monday.  it's all go here, don't you know :)
Thanks for visiting

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First WOYWW in Ages

The Bad Fairy of Procrastination is sitting on my shoulder this week.  I have loads to do but so far I'm getting nowhere.  Once I've done this blog post I really really will get on with some crafting.  Deadlines approach so quickly, don't they?  
Okay, so I'll probably make a coffee once I'd done this BUT THEN I'll start the crafting.  I really will.....
I thought it was time I joined in with Julia's desk-sharing fun again - especially as I had a bit of a tidy up yesterday afternoon (yes, I was procrastinating then, too).  It must be the first time in at least 3 months that I've seen the surface of the desk.   Photos can be clicked on for a closer look!
 As we've had the spare room set up as another guest room over Christmas and New Year I moved my little photo studio into the study, next to my craft desk.  I'm wondering whether to leave it there or whether it's going to be in the way too much.  Anyway, as it's here atm I thought I'd add a photo of that too.  I started off with some small lamps and the studio cube in the photo and used the whole studio just on the floor.  The lamps and cube were upgraded for my birthday but as the new cube is HUGE I'm still using the old one most of the time.  Besides the new one is one of those tent things which you can get up easily enough, but flattening them again is a skill - which I've not learned yet :0
 To finish with, here's one of the few cards I've managed to make lately.  It's a commissioned card for a little girl.  Mr Mojo is AWOL just now so I fell back on the circles teddy to make this one.
 I used:
sei papers, Gingham ribbon, Glitter card in pink and yellow, Various Prima flowers, Sentiment is pc generated, Circles and child's name are cut with Craft Robo

Hopefully I'll get around lots of the WOYWW links and see what everyone is up to this week.  Hopefully too, I'll actually get a couple of things ticked off that crafty to-do list....

Thanks for popping by today, please visit again soon

Friday, January 07, 2011

The return of The Daring Cardmakers!

We're back after our Christmas Break and as we so enjoyed the monthly series of birthstone dares last year,  we've decided to do something similar this year too. 
For 2011 we'll be setting aside the first dare of each month for a Flowers series of challenges and we'll be taking inspiration from the flowers associated with each month.
The flowers associated with the month of January are the Snowdrop and the Carnation, so we have some fabulous flower inspiration to start off the year.
That said, it was only yesterday afternoon that I managed to come up with an idea for my card and even then I changed my mind halfway through making it!
The background image was printed directly onto my card and is one of the photographs we took on a visit to Benington Lordship (did you watch "Just William" on TV over Christmas?  The house at Benington Lordship was used as Violet Elizabeth Bott's home in the first episode...) at snowdrop time a couple of years back. I'd planned to find a quotation to use and add another photo of two snowdrops as the main focus.
Instead, I found this legend about the flower and thought it was perfect - at this time of year we're all filled with hope for what the new year will bring, aren't we?  I then decided to see if there was some simple clipart out there that I could make into a Robo template.

I've cut the leaves of the plant in several layers and glued them together only in the middle so that the leaves can splay out from the card.  The snowdrop flowers have four or five layers and some are raised on tiny pieces of chipboard to get the dimension.  I love snowdrops, somehow they really lift the spirit when you see them bravely peeping through the ground in the depths of winter - they really are a sign of hope that Spring is on its way.
I used:
Photographic image resized and printed directly on to a smooth white card blank, The legend was found on the net and printed onto the same type of card
Wide grosgrain ribbon (Ribbon Oasis)
Snowdrop Template made for the Craft Robo and cut from Bazzill card
Gems in corners of the card (Kaiser)
If you would like a copy of the snowdrop template, please contact me via the email link in the sidebar
Please check out the beautiful Snowdrop and Carnation cards over on the Daring Cardmakers blog and join in if you can as we love to see what everyone makes each week.
 Just before I finish, a quick note about the Funky Hand Design Team - Anice is currently looking for new members to join us working with her wonderful products.  Funky Hand has some exciting new developments in the pipeline so it's a great time to get involved.  he deadline for being considered is today, so you'll need to be quick - check out Anice's BLOG for further information - and Good Luck.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

First Post of 2011

Happy New Year!
I hope all your Christmas and New Year celebrations went well - don't forget, it's Twelfth Night  and you need to finish getting those decorations down today!
Most of ours came down on Monday after the last of our visitors had left for home.  I've struggled with the whole festive thing this year so tbh I was quite glad to start getting the house back to normal. I've not really had much pc time over the holiday period so my blog has been very neglected and it's about time I got back into the blogging habit.  I thought a quick clear up of the Christmas bits and pieces would be a good place to start. 
I'd like to show you my completed "tis the season" journal, but as you probably guessed, it's nowhere near being finished - I wonder if I can get away with making up some of the daily entries.  Ah well, if nothing else it's proved to me that there was no way I'd manage to keep up with those that did the 365 journals last year hehehe
OK, so here's a pictorial round up
First, the card I made for hubby:
 Thank you to all those crafty friends who sent a Christmas card - I displayed all the handmade ones I received together on the lounge door and they looked just wonderful - I made this photo bigger than I usually do so that you can get a closer look!
 And now some photos from Christmas Day
My hubby likes to surprise me with some unexpected gifts - like the pink hammer that was in my Christmas Stocking!
 Another big surprise was the envelope with a voucher for us to go on a segway off road rally experience!  That should be interesting! (you can see video example here)
We had a power cut on the afternoon of Christmas Day (great, eh?) I discovered that whilst we've loads of candles, we've not many things to put them on/in!  Still it made for this pretty photo oportunity!
Sometimes I think my man is completely nuts!  Somehow he managed to hide this parcel behind the tree where I didn't spot it - I think I might have guessed what was inside.....a lovely new purple Radley handbag, of course!
 I've been looking around for a more feminine sort of camera bag for ages.  Doing some googling over the last few months, I discovered that I'm not the only woman looking out for something nicer to hold a camera than the usual ugly bags and which also has room for the other stuff we like to cart around with us. Sadly, there's not much available in the UK, but over in the US there's a company called jill.e 
who are addressing the problem - you can find a few of their bags over here, but the choice is limited and hubby ended up ordering mine from the States.  For those who are interested, this one is the small size and is plenty big enough for my camera in the middle and lots of space for my other junk too.  There are lots of padded velcro'd  dividers inside and extra pockets at either end and on the front and back.  As well as the two straps you can see (long enough to go over your shoulder) there's also a detachable long shoulder strap included.  The wide zipped flap has room for filters etc.

 Right, I really must get started on my already long to-do list. Hopefully it won't be long till I actually have some new crafty stuff to share - and hopefully it won't be too long till I get some blog-hopping time too - I know there'll be lots to catch up on from all my crafty blogging friends - it's going to take ages!