Friday, 31 January 2014

A book a month for 2014

I'm proud to say I lOVE books! I can't imagine my little world without books, libraries, bookshops, etc without breaking into a cold sweat!  Everyone needs a little escapism, comfort, love, support, friendship, laughter and even tears and as long as you can always lay your hands on a good book you'll find all theses needs covered and more (although you probably should take some time out to experience these emotions in the real world too!)

Anyone who knows me well will know I'm surrounded by enough books to last me if I lived to be 300!  Finding the time to read can be a little tricky, and as someone who finds it almost impossible to just do one thing at a time, just sitting and reading is difficult for me!

Whilst I was procrastinating about what next book to read next and feeling guilty that I wasn't preparing the dinner or some other tiresome but necessary task...I took a wander around through blogland seeking inspiration.  I popped over to Lazy Daisy Jones (one of my top favourite blogs please visit if you haven't already)where I was drawn to a new blog Circle of Pine Trees and there I found my answer to motivating myself to sit and read more often - The Year in Books!

I truly believe the universe will always provide the answer to the most simple of questions, it might not always be the answer you want nor provided as quickly as you would like but it will answer.  So I took this as a sign.

I'm a Christmasholic & find it quite difficult to let go of Yuletime with all it's gorgeousness and warmth and this is the one time I really indulge my love of reading, there really is nothing like a good Christmas book, I even take part in my guilty pleasure of reading a Mills and Boon!

I also always treat myself to a new secondhand Christmas book...or two each year.  I find January extremely dull (and I don't just mean the weather).  So I decided to keep Christmas alive for a little while longer this year by deciding on this Christmassy book for my January read...
Publisher: Sphere

In my next post I will review this and reveal my February choice...

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Recycled Wreath

My parents bought this lovely Yule wreath for hubby and I which, being superstitious, I took down on 6th January but I couldn't bear to part with it.  It festered in the spare room for a few days and as I watched it turn greyish and fade I thought it looked more like an icy winter wreath.  Light bulb moment...I stripped it of it's decorations (naturally keeping the ribbon and baubles and adding them to my stash), made and fixed some grey satin ribbon roses to it and hung it on a silver ribbon...what do you think?

I'm addicted to making these.

What's the best way to say thank you...

with cake of course!

My hubby has spent a lot of time running me around to places recently and has been very patient with me so I thought he deserved a treat, and then I thought I would share it with you...

well a photo of it at least!

This is my hubby's favourite cake, Spicy Fruit Loaf.  It never lasts very long and he never shares it.  If I bake one for anyone else I have to smuggle it out of the house!

I better put the kettle on now as I know someone who will want a steaming mug of tea with a slice...

Saturday, 4 January 2014


Hello All

Hope you are having a super weekend so far.  In keeping with the British January tradition I have my own little sale going on at my shop Dilettante Dallyings on the MISI website.  (I shall be closing my shop on MISI around February time with the view to opening a shop on Etsy with some new handcrafted items.)  All handcrafted items and supplies are now listed at sale prices with many items being half the original listing price.  Please do take a look and if you wish to purchase more than one item don't forget to contact me so I can combined your post. 


Friday, 3 January 2014

Why didn't it SNOW instead!

First it was sunny, warm and bright,
next it rained, slow, steady and light,
then it thundered, loud, low and full of fright,
finally it came down, hard, heavy and white,
but it wasn't SNOW it was HAIL instead!

Yes, I know I'm not a poet but it just popped into my head and I had to get it down.

It's not about the gift...

it's about the wrapping!  OK so may be it is about the gift, but I think the wrapping has to look enticing.  There are two reasons for beautiful wrapping, firstly you can sit stare at the prettiness, secondly it's gets you thinking 'If the outside looks that good I wonder what the gift inside is like!'  Until recently my wrapping has been somewhat dubious with bulky ends and enough tape to hold a house together!  Then I discovered this online wrapping course!  I considered carefully, I'm a little sceptical about online courses but it provided videos to loads of wrapping ideas and with unlimited access and half price offered for a limited period I hit BUY!  Any I'm so glad I did, to be honest sometimes I am easily pleased, especially by prettiness but it was worth it just to learn the skill of making a flower out of a length of ribbon!   I was delighted with my gift wrapping for 2014 and had so many lovely comments my favourite being 'Wow, that's it I'm not accepting any gifts unless they are wrapped just as beautifully as this, you've set a standard.'  I'm smiled my most demure smile in reply but inside I was bursting with pride!  In fact I'm so pleased I think of setting up a local professional wrapping service this year!

Once I learnt how to make one bow my creativity took over and I started to make my own designs!  I now hw to stop myself from wrapping everything in sight!!!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2013 Stitchery

Another crafty post to make up for my lack of them during the last year.  Not as many as previous years due to ill health but stitching was something of a solace, and hopefully 2014 will be crafting mad!
Miniature frames for my dad's dollhouse as Yuletide gifts.
I purchased 3 miniature wooden frames from Creative Muster on Etsy, they are extremely well made (I haven't been able to find any this good anywhere else). 
Cross stitched with left over linen & left over stranded cotton, frame stained with brushed corduroy distress ink & finished with gold coloured brads.


Blackwork with French knots using leftover cottons and linen, frame gilded with gilding flakes and finished with pearl brads.

Scrap of printed material, flowers and leaves stitched over using left over stranded cotton in long stitch, frame coated using permanent gold marker and finished with a bronze coloured brad.

Jane Greenoff Poppy Watbo (made in miniature) - Scissor Keeper for my mum as a Yule Gift.  Photos of the three frames and Watbo were shown on Create and Craft tv.


My lovely OH bought me this kit from Wilkinson, easy & quick to stitch, we have two of these little fellas on our tree.  I wanted to get some others (they had other animals) but unfortunately they had sold out.

Handmade cards from 2013

I decided my blog is seriously lacking crafty posts so I thought I would share some of my cards from 2013!  I have tried to include a few details of what I used to make them.

Birthday card made using Joanna Sheen's Faye Whittaker CD-rom.
Cross Stitch Kit from Mouseloft with paw print stamped card.
I used my Splodgeaway masks (for the first time) and distress inks for this but I couldn't decide what to use it for.  However the problem was solved when my mum fell in love with it so it now has a new home!
My first attempt at Zentangle, a birthday card for a friend.
A Thinking of You Card, made using distress inks, flower soft and my beautiful silhouette Lavina Stamps which my lovely sister bought for me!

Card for a friend, ironically this particular image is actually called Amy!  The image and cherry backing paper (Dolly Mixtures pad) are from Craftwork cards, the word AMY was stamped using patchwork alphabet stamps and the Time to Celebrate stamp is from Little Claire Designs (I think?) and all the colouring was using Promarkers.
This was a bespoke commission for a vintage tea party birthday card.  I used various stamps including Clarity stamps for the leaves around the walls, Card-io stamps to make the pots of flowers and hanging baskets, the bunting, table cloth and curtains are scraps of fabric from my stash (which I knew would come in handy one day!), acetate for the windows and jewellery chain for the hanging baskets.  It was enormous fun to make!

This male birthday card was made using the Kraftyhands Hollywood Legends CD-rom.  I used a peel-off on the saloon doors 'Another Birthday?' and the quote inside  'Well there are some things a man just can't run away from.'  is from the film Stagecoach.
Paper and ribbons from my stash, image from Debbi Moore Designs Vintage Images CD-rom.
Christmas Card using Sheena Douglass A little Bit Festive Stamp Range, Promarker pens and white Graph It pen.  The back of the truck is carrying a decoupaged Christmas tree.

Some of my Christmas cards made using a kit from Debbi Moore Designs, of course I just had to add some extra sparkle and glitter!
This Christmas card features an image from Hunkydory, some dark mirror board embossed mat and die cut elements and washi snowflake tape.
These were two separate decoupage sheets which I combined so it looks as if the two are one big toy shop window.
Not as many cards as I normally make in a year but I have suffered from ill health over the past few months but hope to back on track for 2014.