Friday, 29 December 2017

Last December days

Hello, I have emerged from the other side of Christmas, such a wonderful family time. We ate, drank and made merry with lots of laughter and games around the table. We have not played Cludo for years and forgot just how much fun it is.  The last of our family went home yesterday and I now have some time to sort out my crafting plans for the new year.

Before I say goodbye to 2017 I wanted to look back at some of my seasonal photos from my garden or local surroundings from the year and look at how Mother Nature influenced my crafting palette.
I chose 4 photos from each season.....
I have made over 300 cards, 12 calendar pages, 20 Moments, some mixed media 3d pieces and dozens of tags in 2017 so I would find it impossible to share my favourites, as there are far too many to go through.
As you well know I love playing with styles and techniques so I thought I would just share a collage of some of the pieces I made this year.

My last card challenge entry for this year is a card I made for a new baby who arrived on 20 December..just in time for winter and she is most appropriately called Winter! I used stamps and stencils by STAMPlorations and even managed to mask off and use her  name from one of their fab stamps.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Pixies's snippets playground #313/14 I used lots of little snippets for this card.
Double D 3/3 baby it's cold outside/ Winter
That's Crafty 2/3 anything goes
Die cut divas 2/3 winter time
Emerald Creek Dares anything goes
Fashionable stamping 1/3 celebrate

We will be seeing the new year in with Daisy and Co and I just wanted to close with this photo of me and my darling grandbabies taken just before they went home yesterday..precious memories were made.
I will be back bright and breezy on New Year's day with my DT card for our 1st challenge of the year for Country might need sunglasses for it if you have enjoyed a heavy Old Year's night 😂. Thanks so much for stopping by and for all you visits and comments you left here during 2017. I hope you are enjoying some down time post Christmas and looking forward to what lies ahead in the new year.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 24 December 2017

All is calm

Here we are, it's Christmas Eve. 
My very favourite day of the year. I love the whole of the Christmas period but to me Christmas Eve will always be such a special day. Everything is ready. The fridge is full, the presents wrapped and delivered and of course Santa will be loading up his sleigh to make his dash across the world.
I always like to reflect a little on Christmas Eve and remember all the 50 plus Christmases that I have had the pleasure to celebrate with my family. Over the years some faces have passed away from our table but new ones have appeared. That is life and life is to be celebrated. 
I like to keep lots of old traditions alive, including opening my last advent calendar window and playing my festive music very loud! Tonight my Hb and I will go out for a stroll before some of our family arrives on Christmas day. Over the 2 days we are fortunate that we will be seeing all our little family at some point.

This is a time of the year when the days are so short and darkness appears very early but there is still such beauty in Mother Nature. 
I took these photos on my last walk to Dotty's Tea house with my latest cards to sell. Despite it being the rush hour there was such a sense of peace and tranquility in the dusk.
 The colours and shadows were a joy to marvel at.

Even the swans came over to say hello.
I have a last Christmas card of 2017 to share with you all and to send virtually to you, my dear blog readers who stop by and take the time to read my posts. It was inspired but this lovely lamp which shines out bright over the ponds and it's wildlife. It's a place I often sit and reflect, even when life is so busy. 
I used all Tim Holtz products to make my card, just topping off the lantern with some gold edged ribbon. 
I would like to enter it into the following challenges;

A vintage journey winter wonderland 
Winter wonderland anything goes
Double D 2/3 baby it's cold outside/ Winter
Deep Ocean jingle bells
That's Crafty 1/3 anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas challenge anything goes/use the word Christmas
Die cut divas 1/3 winter time

I would also like to share one of my favourite Christmas poems...

The merry family gatherings-
The old, the very young;
The strangely lovely way they 
Harmonize in carols sung.

For Christmas is tradition time
Traditions that recall
The precious memories down the years,
The sameness of them all.

(Helen Lowrie Marshall)

 Whether you wave or comment here I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for the support and kindness you give me. May your days be bright and may your Christmas memories bring you peace for the new year.

I will be back before the new year but for now I am closing the pages of Jane's Journal to enjoy time with my darling family and to raise our glasses and celebrate the memories of Christmas past, present and those yet to come. 

Lots of love,

Jane x

Friday, 22 December 2017

Crackers for Christmas 2017

I know I'm like an old London wait all year for a post from me and then you get 2 in as many weeks.
Yes it's me Billy, firmly back on my green chair now that Bear has been returned home. If you missed all that caper when Norman the Tree arrive do have a look at my last post here.
I have also got a sweet pressie, well it's Jane's really but it was sent by her sweet Finnish friend Mia who makes wonderful things. How cute is this.
The button even has B for Billy...I checked that closely.

Jane has got some last minute Christmas prep to get on with so she asked if I would share not only the latest about Old Choc but also something called Christmas Crackers.....I think they are those things she puts on the table and then proceeds to tear to pieces. I see them each year and they explode too. A bit dangerous I think but then at this time of the year I am surprised by nothing. 
Old Choc is back in his rightful place although there are whispering's that he might be getting so old that he is on his way to the big Christmas tree wood in the sky after this year. He's had a good innings and rumour has it that like the Dr Who regeneration Not so Old Choc is out there somewhere.
 He has Jane's vintage ornaments displayed like a Chelsea Pensioners medals and of course now that Bear has gone home is also full of chocolate.
Us cats aren't as daft as dogs and would never dream of pinching a choc from Old Choc.
But they do look pretty and Jane doesn't know that I give them an occasional bat with my paw as I go past. 
So onto these cracker things....Jane has bought these serviettes for her Christmas table.
Goodness knows why they don't just use their paws to wipe their mouth with, it serves us cats perfectly well.
I digress.....she took this pile of things

and rolled them all together into tubes, stuffing them with little presents and tying them up with shiney strings.
Then she disappeared upstairs and started putting together these papery things. Jane never sits still like me...
She then emerged with her Crackers for 2017
 She has made 10 in total. Although some of the family won't be here until Boxing day she still likes to make them a cracker. Even little Jack has one although I think he will tend to try to eat his rather than open it. Perhaps I'll give him a hand. Babies do need a bit of help don't they.

So there we are, it's a wrap then from me and my posts. It is so tiring for my paws to write them,  and the keys on the computer are a bit slippery for my claws. Never mind it's all hang on...I'm being given more instructions apparently Jane wants to enter these into challenges;

Here we go;

A vintage journey winter wonderland
Winter wonderland anything goes
Deep Ocean jingle bells
Fussy and fancy 3/3 Christmas
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas challenge anything goes
Lil patch of crafty friends 2/3 anything goes
Sparkles Christmas
Simon Says stamp Monday party
Simon says stamp Wednesday party time
Double D Baby it's cold outside/winter
Moving along with the times 1/3 anything but a card

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018....I have had a peep under the tree and there is something with my name on there..that makes we one very happy pussy cat. When I have a chat with the man in the red suit when he pops down the chimney on Sunday night I can tell him that I'm sorted!
Jane says that she is back on Christmas Eve with her very last countdown to Christmas post.

Before I close I must just share one of the jokes she put inside the really cracked me up....

What does a cat on the beach have in common with Father Christmas?

Answer;  Sandy Claws.........

What's that,  can I hear you groaning, OK then
I need to get away from typing and back to what I do best..

It's a cats life I live here 😼

Thanks for stopping by.

Bye for now,

Billy x (and Jane x)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Deep and crisp and even

There are just 5 more sleeps until the man in the red suit pops down our chimneys. The weather has been very wintry and so dark and tomorrow is officially the first day of winter. 
We have to make the most of these crisp frosty days as it's all change again and the forecast for Christmas day is quite mild.
There was ice on the ponds as I walked down to Dotty's with some new cards  yesterday.
The leaves were frozen within.
 Mr Heron was keeping out of the freezing water and watched me from a tree.
Back at home my violas were still smiling at me despite their frozen petals.
My card today is a very unusual Christmas card I was commissioned to make. It was for a window cleaner who is an avid fisherman!
Now at first I didn't know where to start  but I then remembered that I had a fab Designs by Ryn fish stamp which I won a few months back.
 I stamped my fish and then
 used some frosty distress ink colours to create the icy water. I also used the bubbles and pond weed from my Visible Image stamps to create a winter wonderland under water scene.
Here is my card.
I coloured the fish with silver pen and added a LOTV sentiment and some Tim Holtz die cut snowflakes.
Here's a close up. It was great fun in the end making it as I really had to think "outside the box" for such an unusual Christmas card request. 
I heard that the young man this was made for was delighted with it.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

A vintage journey winter wonderland (mine is an underwater winter wonderland!)
Winter wonderland anything goes
Happy little stampers anything goes with dies

I am taking a day off from my Christmas preps today to have lunch with my Hb in a lovely local tea rooms in nearby Woodcote. I hope you are nearly ready for the big day but are still able to take some time out to enjoy the excitement and festive spirit of my favourite time of the year. I have 2 last posts to share before Christmas day. Billy has busy typing up his post and will be here on Friday.

Thanks as always for stopping by and leaving your kind comments particularly at such a busy time.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 18 December 2017

Bibbidy bobbidy boo..

Today is my last design team inspiration piece for the year for Visible Image. Helen and Mark are having a well deserved break starting on Wednesday until 2nd January. The next time I am back with some Visible Image inspiration will be in January when we will be starting to showcase their totally awesome new stamps!

For today I thought that I would weave a little Christmas magic and share a final post of our wonderful Disneyland Paris trip with Daisy. This is the second art journal "Moment" I made to remember this magical holiday.  If you missed my first Moment you can see it here.
For this art journal Moment I chose to capture the memories of the Princess lunch we enjoyed...
A real bibbidy bobbidy boo Moment...
 As I mentioned before Daisy adored Fantasy land and the castle.
The Princess lunch was hosted in a purpose built restaurant in Fantasy Land.

From the moment we walked in Daisy was just enchanted. We saw not 1 but 4 princesses which she genuinely believed were real.
I think my photos show just how spellbound she was.
We were visited by the gorgeous Cinderella,

Snow White
and Belle

. Daisy was totally entranced and honestly believed we were in the company of the real deal. The princesses were so professional and treated our darling sweetheart like a real princess.They really took the time to talk to her, sign her autograph book, pose for photos and admire the Princess Anna dress she was wearing.
The food was fine dining and unlike a lot of the Disney food fare we sampled was about these for deserts.
I decided to use the photo of Daisy with Cinderella for my focal for my Moment as think it shows the the pure joy on our little sweetheart's face. I fussy cut it out as I wanted it to become part of the background.
I added some infusions and distress oxide ink to my mixed media card to start to create a magical background. Salty Ocean is a great Cinderella colour, perhaps I might rename mine Cinderella Blue!
I added some gold ink through the strobes stencil
 to create some star bursts

I stamped and gold embossed the clock swirl from the Ahead of our time stamp set several times

 as a reminder of that moment in time with the Princesses.
I also stamped stars from Universal
 to add a little more magic
and also some celebratory bubbles using those from  the dare to swim stamp set
The 2 quotes I used were
Make a wish from Own it!


So here is my finished Moment

I hope that when Daisy is older she can look back and remember the day she met her real Princesses and remember the Moments I have stored for her in Jane's Journal. You can see just how versatile Visible Image stamps and stencils are for everything, including art journalling and mixed media work. We made a wish and made memories which  really are,

"special moments that tell our story"

I would like to enter my Moment into the following challenges;

Crafty Catz 2/3 anything goes
A bit more time to craft 2/3 anything goes
Creative Artiste 3/3 anything goes mixed media
Craft stamper 3/3  anything goes
Lil patch of crafty friends anything goes
We love to create 3/3 anything mixed media
Emerald Creek Dares anything goes
Happy Little stampers mixed media challenge December anything goes

All the Visible Image links can be found here;

Visible Image group page on FacebookOur friendly Group can be found here would be lovely to see you. You can add work to the "Show and Tell" album where one randomly chosen winner each month wins a £25 coupon to spend on the website.

The main Visible Image Facebook page is here; there are weekly stamp world wide!

And the shop web site is here; where all these gorgeous stamps and stencils can be purchased. 

You can also follow via:

I have finished off  the last of my last Christmas makes. My crackers for Christmas 2017 are ready for the table and I will be back to share them very soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and taking the time to leave your kind comments, especially at this very busy time of the year. I hope that you have nearly finished all your Christmas preps too...this time next week we will all be opening up our pressies to see whether we have been naughty or nice 😉... I wonder?

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x