Sunday 9 August 2015

New beginnings


I have a new blog

You can find me here :

Love and thanks



Sunday 19 April 2015

Face to Face

A couple of cards I made a few weeks ago for a little class I put on at a friends house

Robbie and Amy have been home for Easter and are now back in their respective uni cities, on the home strait of this years studying. 

A week before they come home for the Easter break   

Picture the scene

Facebook private message at 1.30am -  'mum -  I keep coughing and don't stop until I am sick, then I can't take a deep breath in'  this message I didn't spot immediately as I was in bed

I woke at 7 in the morning, checked my messages and immediately panicked

I tried all electronic means of contacting the son, rang several times and with each unsuccessful attempt at some kind of two way communication that panic rose just a little bit more

We had to pop over to Leeds to pick Amy up to come home and for the entire journey I was plugged in and switched on, awaiting some message back, thinking all the way that we could nip across the breadth of the country from Leeds to Liverpool should the boy need his mum.

No reply came until much later -  he had been fast asleep all day and had been totally oblivious to all my futile efforts at communication, he now knows the procedure for registering and seeing a doctor and he has medicine, crisis has been averted

But nothing - absolutely nothing will appease me until I can lay my palm across his forehead, feel his temperature, check the usual, see and hug him, in person

I recalled a conversation I had quite recently in which I was reminded of a time where the communication technology of today didn't even exist, and it wasn't that long ago !

In fact it is in my memory

My mum and dad went through all this when I left home to work in London. My mum became particularly adept at deciphering the tones in my voice and assessing if I was actually 'fine' or whether in fact I was utterly miserable but trying to put on a brave face. This telepathic skill remains with her today, so I actually resort to texting if I don't want to worry anyone, the joys and lies told by that innocuous icon - the smiley face !

I am sure there were plenty of situations in my youth, that, had my mother known about, would have landed me in trouble with my dad - for worrying my mum, but,  I lived, in tact, all limbs still attached and my parents went about their business none-the-wiser

This age of instant messaging, of always being contactable, of mobile phones and ipads being permanently attached to one's person like an extra appendage is convenient, and we are able to share so much - with our friends and our families and publicly but they are oh so worrying when the person you are attempting to contact is actually incommunicado

Twenty years ago if you didn't answer your phone, you were out, actually living your life, going about your business and it was no big deal, nothing to worry about, but, today, if one method of communication fails, we try another, and another and another until we have worried ourselves into a frenzy of 'what i'fs'

All manner of terrifying and utterly irrational scenarios race through your head ( all those things your mother warned you about happening should you forget to put on your clean knickers)

Texting, messaging, facebook, facetime, they all have their place but nothing compares to face-to-face.

Must dash - just received a photo on messenger - the boy now has a rash !!!

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Retirement card and a quick catch up

Good morning friends, crafting and non crafting

You may remember I made a black and white box card for a lovely friend of ours to give to her husband on his retirement, Neil and I were invited to the retirement 'do' at the Ashborne a couple of weeks ago  and this is the card I created for Steve

We had a fabulous night, super delish food, brilliant music and a fantastic atmosphere, we caught up with a few other couples who we haven't seen in a while and made some new friends too.

So thankyou Steve and Di for inviting us to share in your special celebration xxx

The card was made using all Stampin' Up stamps and inks, the ribbon used to be in my shop but it is so versatile for masculine designs, I grabbed a couple of meters before I sold off all the stock

Talking of which I haven't mentioned it on here yet, but if anyone is interested, my lovely friend Jan was the lady who bought the stock, she took the whole lot, lock, stock and barrel and is selling it from her home

Jan did me an enormous favour as it meant I could shut up and leave the shop without the hassle of going through the obligatory closing down sale

I know Jan did this for my benefit and I will never be able to repay her kindness, but I can help advertise that she has lots of stuff at her house if anyone would like to pop along and grab a bargain

You can find Jan through her blog HERE

And a quick round up of events in the last couple of weeks

I am trying to keep up with the emails and messages but do still have a couple to reply to, so if you have messaged me and I have yet to respond, please don't think I am ignoring you or that I have already upped sticks

Last week was superbusy, I had a fabulous 'ladies that lunch' afternoon on tuesday, with the tuesday girls, we all met in a local pub/restaurant and had a gorgeous meal,  lots and lots of chatting, catching up and of course girlie giggles

We were busy doing another stint in the attic on wednesday with another 8 black bin bags finding their way to the tip and another 3 large bags being donated to our local hospice shop, I am starting to see a little progress now and the whole decluttering is not quite so daunting

I am loving my new voluntary job on thurdays, I work with some real characters and am kept incredibly busy ( and out of mischief!)

Of course Mothers day at the weekend meant another meal out - yum yum, thankyou Neil and thankyou to the kids, love you all so much xxx

Lots of other things happening at home already this week but nothing I can share on here just yet, maybe in a few days when things have settled down and the dust has settled

Regarding 'the move', things are progressing nicely, we are grateful the process is taking longer than the four weeks our buyers insisted on at the beginning. As per usual, the solicitors are toing and froing at their own pace, which suits me just fine as I rustle about in the eaves digging out trash and treasures

Love and attic adventures


Wednesday 11 March 2015

Dash !


It has been  an unexpected day

Not in the way that it is wednesday and I was waking up believing it was tuesday

But in the way that you wake up

Have plans

And the day or event is entirely different to how you imagined it was going to be

Today we said goodbye to my uncle Dave

Married to my mum's sister, and, dad to my most favourite cousin ( I know you shouldn't have favourites but Phil is, and will always be, my favourite cousin - for pasts shared and an unspoken knowledge that we will always be there for each other - no matter what !)

I made this card for Phil and his family

I kept the card simple, a masculine shade of deep charcoal against white pearlescent

The unexpected part of the day was the funeral

All went according to plan, Phil's partner recited a thought provoking poem and one of Uncle Dave's friends and associates in his masonic lodge got up to say a few words

And there was the unexpected

The words uttered by Uncle Dave's friends and associates

Tales of humour, loyalty, dedication, respect and of a life I never even glimpsed

I sat thinking

Of the mosaic each of us creates with our lives, our friends, our hopes and our dreams

We build relationships and share a part of ourselves with each of the people we welcome into our lives

Each of those people have a totally exclusive view of us and each relationship is as individual as a handmade tile

Our mosaics are created by the characters we choose to invite into our existence

And they are cemented into place by a common love, ideal, dream or connection

A diversely rich and utterly unique creation, our life as seen by all those who know us

RIP Uncle Dave, God bless you

I will leave you with the words spoken by Phil's partner Caz

 A very well known poem, and, in my humble opinion a very poignant reminder to us all

​The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

​I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
​the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

​So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

Love and Dashes


Friday 6 March 2015

Birthdays wishes times two

 Good evening

I am back today to share a couple of birthday cards I made about three weeks ago now  - both were for special friends who celebrated their birthdays in February, just like yours truly

In both instances I used new (to me) papers and kept the designs fairly simple, I actually had 7 cards to make the evening I made these and managed to complete all 7

I have been enjoying another busy week

Tuesday afternoon was reserved for my regular coffee and biscuits with the girls, we had a couple missing but it's still nice to meet and catch up with my tuesday girls, we haven't achieved any crafting at all since christmas but we seem to fill the time with chatting quite easily

Wednesday was a day designated to reorganising  - Marie Kondo style ( more of that in another post) - I am a convert !!!, wait until you see my t-shirt drawer !

Thursday I spent the day helping at the St Andrews charity shop in Cleethorpes, I have been there a few weeks now and love it, mum is there too so it's extra special spending a little time with her also

All seems to be progressing with the move
So far this week I have started the application for AJ's new school, submitted all the forms for the solicitors with regards to the purchase and begun the massive downsizing required to fit all our stuff into the new cottage

More craftiness to share over the weekend, not sure how long it will be before all my stash will have to be boxed up,  I might have to get a little crafting in before it all gets stored away ( any excuses to take a break from the sorting and decluttering)

Love and craftiness


Tuesday 3 March 2015

Love is .....


I am catching up this evening with a card I made a couple of weeks ago ( but you don't need to be a genius to work that out, the clue is in the sentiment )

I have a few more cards that I have yet to share so I will be back later in the week with some more craftiness to share with you.

Love and lovehearts


Friday 27 February 2015

The boy turns 15

Hello readers

At certain times we are forced to stop and take stock

Not forced to, like our mothers grabbing us by the back of our dresses when we were running far too fast through the living room, whistling past her favourite ornament

But forced to stop by a momentary thought, to pause and reflect, think back to a point in time that maybe changed our lives in some significant or maybe even insignificant manner

My baby boy, the youngest in our little family, AJ, this week turned 15

And yes, remembering 25th February 2000 caused me to take a break from manic form filling, loft emptying, cupboard thinning and generally looking busy but not really getting anywhere

AJ's arrival was definitely of the significant category, and I couldn't be prouder of the young man he is growing into

Here is the card I made for him 

I used dies to cut the stars (sorry can't remember which brand)
The stamps are both by Stampin' Up, as is the silver glitter paper

AJ recently had his check up with the paediatrician regarding his Coeliac disease and his gluten free diet

As a matter of course his height and weight are checked and we were delighted with the results, AJ has grown over three inches in the last year and now stands a very proud 6'2" and his weight has increased from a very low 7st to a much healthier 9st 4lb. He is still incredibly thin but the gain is a clear indicator that his body is now absorbing essential nutrients that had been restricted by his coeliac disease when his stomach was damaged before diagnosis

The improved absorption, indicates that his stomach has healed and his diet is working well, as long as he remains strict with his eating he will continue to improve and flourish ( I am wondering just how tall he is going to end up now his body is receiving and utilising all his food properly !!!)

I have often read about the healing power of animals, but am not foolish enough to think that this alone is enough, that being said, I do believe that this little lady has helped  immeasurably with AJ's well being

Sox came to us as a 2 year old and had been reared as a house cat, she resides mostly in AJ's command centre ( also commonly known as his bedroom)

Sox loves AJ above all else ( except maybe Whiskers salmon nibbles)

And AJ loves Sox above all else ( except maybe his macbook and Daim bars)

Love and kitty kisses


Monday 23 February 2015

Devon and Cornwall 2015


As promised I am back with the photos from out recent little trip away, please feel free to skip if you are here solely for crafting inspiration

As most of you are now aware, our house has sold, within a couple of weeks of going on the market and we were delighted to get full asking price, the buyers only stipulation was that they could have vacant possession within four to five weeks

Soooooooo as we madly run around like headless chickens, blue arsed flies and all other manic, going - around  - in - circles creatures you can think of we decided we really needed to find somewhere to live

For a very long time it has been our dream to retire to the south coast, preferably Devon or Cornwall, we just didn't think we would both be retiring in our forties instead of our sixties

The big man upstairs definitely works in mysterious ways, but as granny often said "everything happens for a reason"

We booked a couple of days in Okehampton for the Devon leg of our expedition, and the first stop on our mini tour was Brixham

The harbour was very pretty and we had a glorious day full of sunshine, a pantomime dame took a shine to Neil and AJ - I steered well clear as she reminded me of a clown !
We were booked in to see a property but it didn't live up to the very artistic photos on the sales credentials, and although we liked Brixham for a day out, it wasn't a place we felt would be a forever home

Next up was a sleepy little harbour town called Combe Martin, which boasts the longest street in the country, the house we looked at was on said street and was a strong contender, but, we felt being on a main road would have distinct disadvantages, especially in the tourist season

The beach was small but perfectly formed - now! Apparently it had to be replaced after last years storms washed the entire beach and all it's sand away

We liked Combe Martin, it was very quaint, the locals were all lovely and the local pub did an amazing array of food at very reasonable prices with a really good gluten free selection - if you are ever in the area I urge you to try the Pack O Cards, they were especially accommodating to AJ, who was even offered Gluten Free apple pie and home made eggy custard - yummmmm 

Next up was Ilfracombe

This is where Bruce had his first foray into the sea water and ........LOVED it, Neil and AJ played with him for ages and he dived in and out of the surf after thrown rocks and sticks

Again no luck with the houses here but a lovely day out regardless and we will definitely be coming back to explore this lovely town a little more

We left our lodgings in Okehampton and crossed the border into Cornwall, we were booked to stay in a villa at Millendreath, just a mile and a half away from Looe, it humoured us to travel each day through a tiny village called No Man's Land

We had three properties to view in Looe

Looking towards East Looe across the bridge, we adored this gorgeous town but alas none of the properties were suitable, we also decided this was much more a 'day out' rather than a 'to live' place

The boy and I ( notice that my fourteen year old now makes me look like a midget, at 5"9' I seldom feel short, but, out with the three men in my life, I definitely feel vertically challenged !

By the way Beryl, that scarf never came off - it was so cosy - thankyou xxx

We then ventured to the very charming Charlestown and this is where we found our favourite house, we have put in an offer but the vendors have concerns about finding somewhere as they haven't looked yet !!!! so we are not going to hold our breaths but please keep everything crossed as we love this little house, if it all comes to fruition I will share details, but don't want to tempt fate just yet

The spotless beaches and rugged coastlines make my heart sing and I cannot imagine not living near the sea, we were all mesmerised by the rhythmic lapping of waves, seagull calls and smell of ozone

After each days house hunting, we retreated back to our lovely villa overlooking Black Rock Beach, this view greeted us warmly each morning as we awoke to the sound of nature only

The final two places we wanted to visit, not necessarily to house hunt, more just to do the touristy thing were Polperro

and finally Mevagissey

We had an amazing time away, we travelled miles and miles and we learnt a lot about where we would like to live and where we would rather just visit for the day

We enjoyed some lovely food, couldn't leave without partaking of the local cider, a cornish pastie or two and of course a cream tea - would have been rude not to !

My boy and the dog were best mates the whole time, inseparable, and were soooooo good, not one complaint from either of them ! 

Not the best quality pic ever -  moving car, funny backward angle and awful light but this sums up what travelling meant for my boy and the dog, AJ on the laptop ( catching up on Dexter) and the dog on AJ (catching up on his zzzzz's after all that frolicking on all those beaches)

Sorry Ann, I know this photo will torment you xxx

Daylight at the villa meant sea watching for the dog, mesmerised and dreaming of playing in the surf

And my favourite photo of the holiday ( begrudgingly admitting here that it was Neil who took this absolutely stunning shot) - with nothing more than his iphone on standard settings with absolutely no special effects !!!

I love the sense of fun, and, of us all being so small against natures backdrop

I love the way Bruce is trotting adoringly alongside AJ, nose pressing for my boys hand to toss another treasure to be sought amongst the surf

And I love the way Neil captured the light, the reflections and the beauty of Perranporth beach as it played host to a boy and his dog - entertained with nothing more than stones and pebbles - and each other !!!

Love and sandy toes and paws


Sunday 22 February 2015

Retirement wishes


I am back from slightly warmer and sunnier climes by way of Devon and Cornwall. 

I will upload our little jaunt later in the week - when I have finished sorting through all the photos.

Thankyou to those who kept in touch whilst I was away,  really lovely to hear from you all

We have had a fantastic time together 

Thankyou Neil for an amazing week. 

But tonight I am sharing a card and matching box for a very special 'young' man

I made these for Steve's wife Di to give him for his very recent retirement

I was allowed free reign, so went for a box card in masculine colours full of balloons

I had so much fun making this and kept thinking of my lovely friend Robbie who has made literally a gazillion of these cards in every variation possible - did you do a balloon version Robbie ?

We have known Steve and Di  for about 9 years and have always got on well but lately have become much closer and have been enjoying some lovely evenings out and some truly yummy meals together

I hope you have a fabulous retirement together you two, Neil and I both wish you all the best for this new beginning and lots and lots of love and cuddles

Love and new beginnings


Thursday 12 February 2015


Good morning

These following five cards are for five very special people

Trish, Joan, Dawn, Keitha and Andrea, very kindly donated all of the money they would have spent on each other at Christmas to the MS charity with Neil and I in mind

Thankyou so much all of you, it was such a thoughtful and generous act, both Neil and I are very grateful as is the MS charity also

The cards are all the same,  but different  - if you know what I mean.

I used all Stampin' Up products to complete these cards with the exception of the inks, they were all various shades of Tim Holtz distress inks

We all met up yesterday for lunch, all except poor Dawn who is poorly ( you were missed Dawn - get well soon)

Three of us celebrate our birthdays within days of each other so we met to eat, chat and exchange our cards and gifts

Lunch was enjoyed at Grimsby golf club and was excellent

A couple of us opted for posh fish and chips, here's mine in its own little dinky frying basket and individual salt and vinegar pots ( I get excited over the slightest details !)

I did indulge in the most lush chocolate dessert I have ever tasted, I was so enamoured with it's rich chocolate yumminess I completely  forgot to take a photo, you will just have to trust me ( Keitha and I didn't utter a word only whimpered with delight as we relished our puddings)

Thankyou so much for my cards and gifts girls, but more importantly thankyou for your company, what a truly lovely way to while away an afternoon

Happy birthday to both Trish and Andrea

I will be back to share the cards I made for the girls

Love and birthday wishes


Tuesday 10 February 2015

Boys, boys, boys

Good morning

I hope you are all well

I had a lovely email last night from the even lovelier Carol W, thankyou, you have inspired me to blog this morning Carol

It was eldest son Robbie's birthday last week

I saw an idea similar to this on Pinterest, where the creator had fashioned an ipod from paper pieced card, I adapted the idea to look older and more masculine, more befitting of a 19 year old !!!!!! Eeeeeek where on earth did those 19 years disappear to

I used coordinations cardstock in black with a colour core of blue, embossed with the Tim Holtz cogs embossing folder and then sanded to reveal the core
The stamp is by Stampin' Up and the rest is just a mix of plain cardstock and punches

Nothing prepared me for my boy going to uni, there is a massive Robbie shaped hole, but, to be fair he does keep in touch and we have long chats on t'internet ( probably longer than the one word dialogues we have at home )

When we picked him up at christmas he ran straight at me, arms open wide with that gorgeous big grin and I was transported right back to him being a toddler, with his mass of curls and his loving sweetness

The saying is so true, your children may outgrow your lap but they never outgrow your heart

Love you son, and so very proud of the man you have become

Love and blessings


Friday 30 January 2015


According to the dictionary definition

  1. 1.
    the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.

For the last ten weeks or so Neil has been visiting a pain clinic and has been under the 'care' of a wonderful lady ( I am not sure I am allowed to mention her by name so for the purposes of this blog post I shall just refer to said lady as 'L')

Neil's prescribed method of physiotherapy this time around was acupuncture

How can a series of little pricks possibly be of benefit to anyone (enter your own images of annoying vertically challenged politicians here ), sorry I digress

We were sceptical to say the least

But, we had no need to be

The pain hasn't magically vanished, such is the complexity of Neil's health issues, but in all honesty he has received a great deal of relief, he has needed slightly fewer pain killers, receives a couple of days of diminished tension and generally finds it a little easier to complete some of the tasks us 'normal' people take for granted

He also comes home from each appointment feeling much better in himself, I have absolutely no doubt, having met the lovely 'L' myself, that this, is, in part, due to 'L's amazing knack of immediately putting people at ease.
'L' has been so kind, she has an amazing sense of humour, her acupuncture skills are quite clearly second to none, but, she has also proved that there are some health care professionals who still understand the true meaning of the word 'care'

I made this card to say thankyou

So, thankyou 'L', you have helped - probably more than you can imagine

Love and care

Tracey xxx

Saturday 24 January 2015

Happy birthday dad


I made this card for dad, it was his birthday on the 6th January

At the time all my crafting stuff was in the attic, kid you not !

We had cleared my little crafting area to make room for Christmas, family meals around the table, board games with the kids etc

I had a little foray up in the attic and grabbed a few supplies to make dad a card

I must be honest

I considered popping into Clintons

Just for a few seconds 

We have had an amazingly busy start to the new year

I now know exactly what my lovely class members mean when they tell me that since retiring they are actually busier and had no idea how they fit work in - I hear you lol, I am currently wondering how on earth I fit the shop and classes in !!!

This is the only card I have made so far this year, but, with a stunning photo of my daughter on my computer (and totally begging to be scrapped) and many, many upcoming birthdays and special occasions I am looking forward to getting back to my crafting

We spent a wonderful evening with some very special friends last night

It was an unexpected invite at christmas and got changed a couple of times due to family circumstances but was worth the wait

Joan made an absolutely fantastic chicken and walnut stuffing recipe for the main

Alan made two fabulous puddings, lemon meringue and chocolate cheesecake for pudding

The wine flowed

The conversation flowed

We laughed til our sides hurt 

And a fantastic night was had by all

Thankyou Joan and Alan
Trish and David

Neil and I had a wonderful night ( we didn't even realise it was well past our bedtime when we got home lol)

Thankyou so much for the invite and the company

Love and very special friendships

Tracey xxx

Thursday 22 January 2015

New year, new me, new us

Happy new year

Yes I know, we are almost at the end of January

Yes I know February is just around the corner

But ... happy new year !!!

I have been in a strange place over the past few months

Lots and lots of mahoosive, life changing decisions, plans and changes for this little family to make,  here this year

We are still here

We are still happy and functioning and planning

Thankyou so much for the emails

Thankyou so much for the phone calls, text messages and visits, invites to dinner, shopping and coffee

Yes it has kept me sane and focused and with a feeling of friendship, love and support

I am hoping to slip back into something quiet, unassuming and normal

Sorry for my absence on my blog, I didn't want to blog with uncertainty reigning, negativity on the tip of my tongue

I am back  - full of positivity 

Full of inspiration

Yes, as a family we are still going through a process of change, adaptation, decisions

but we are getting there

Thankyou so much for all those who have been in touch

To my lovely and very missed class members - 

I have a couple of weeks of appointments, planning, etc etc but the classes are being thought of planned and bought for

I will be back with some lovely, exciting and brand new ideas

Bear with me


Love and very best new year wishes

Tracey xxx

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Congratulations Card

Good evening

I made this card for the lady who is treating Neil within the physio department over at Spire in Hull, she's been a real gem and has been working hard  for a couple of months now to try and relieve some of Neil's symptoms and pain

The lady in question got married last week so Neil wanted to send her, and her new hubby, a congratulations card. I was more than happy to oblige as she has been worth her weight in gold, so if you are reading this Lesley, thankyou so much, from both of us xxx

Love and wedded bliss


Friday 14 November 2014

UFO Friday

Good evening

I am on a mission to complete some of my unfinished objects - UFO's

This gorgeous box was Jan's class last month and I completed most of it in the class but didn't quite manage to stick all the components together, nor had my embellishments been added

I improvised a little as I forgot to die cut the flourishes, so I added some pearls, a vintage button and extra flowers

Thankyou for another exceptionally good class Jan, you can find more of Jan's inspiring ideas and beautiful craftiness on her blog HERE

Who knows I may even have another UFO to share next week !

and ...........................

1 more sleep until I see my baby girl !!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy weekend

Love and little boxes


Cardio christmas

Good evening

I have been busy with my lovely Majestix stamps by Cardio

I have another christmas card towards my target, I have to be honest and admit to the 'one card a week' not being met, but I definitely have made a much better effort than last year

Four thankyou's to say today

Angela, thankyou for the beautiful bouquet of roses, you are so kind  xxx

Dawn, thankyou so much for the set of stamps, you are so thoughtful and I will love using them xxx

Pat and Ann, thankyou so much for all you have both done to help in the shop and personally too and especially for the giggles this week, you are both angels xxx

and .............

2 sleeps until I see my baby girl - eeeeeeek, so excited

Love and gratefulness