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