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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Is it too early?

Hello friends
 
My plans this weekend involve cooking, crafting and Christmas...I'm putting the decs up!
Is it too early? 
Are you an early festive decorator or do you wait until the night before Christmas?
I love the decorations and feel that it is nice to enjoy them for as long as possible.
Two trees are planned - one for me and one for the boys, although last year's
had a feline adornment and I suspect with two new kittens this year it could be similar.
There has been some enquiries regarding charity kits - I can confirm a new one will
be arriving in January.  For December I do still have some previous Christmas kits available.
Each kit contains a 100% cotton bag that measures 420mm x 390mm.
It also has some pretty flowers and a logo... :)
Also inside are all the components to make a gift tag:
stamped kraft tag, die cuts and festive wooden tag.
Perfect for a gift or a wine bottle.
A useful magnetic recipe equivalents guide is inside the kit to help out with those 
'cup' measurements sometimes featured in recipes. 
I've popped in a traditional paper bag with a wonderful sentiment - 
just because I thought they were so nice.  
And, lastly a recipe for 'Last Minute Christmas Cake'.
I use this recipe every year because... I always leave my cake to the last minute!
All the details are on the website here - there's a limited number available but,
as mentioned, a brand new kit will be arriving in January - it's on the 'to do' list!
 
Take care friends - enjoy your weekend.
 

Friday, 28 November 2014

Friday Die Day

Hello friends

Zoom!
Friday Die Days come around so quickly, this week an older die set but a really
useful favourite one of mine.
Charmed I'm Sure

There are a total of 10 dies in the set and these are the sizes:

Sunburst Circle: 1”
Heart Charm: 1⅛ x 1”
Star Charm: 1⅛ x 1⅛”
Triangle Charm: 1⅛ x 1⅛”
Charm Sizes Range From: 1 x ½” to 1⅝ x ½”

Here is how they look cut/embossed.
I cut/embossed a few extra in different colours.
Using a kraft tag I stamped a sentiment to the base, selected two pieces of twine and threaded on a mixture of the mini tags and secured at the back.
I then spaced them out a little more evenly, fixed them in place with 3D Foam Squares
and added tiny flowers and leaves.
I then took the tag outside for some brighter photos, positioned it on the edge of the birdbath....
gust of wind and it fell in!  So here is a slightly soggy tag!
I still thought I would share that photo as I'm sure we've all had 'craft-astrophes'
from time to time!
It's a great die set, either to be used individually or en masse like my tag!

Charmed I'm Sure is available on the website here - discounted too!

Take care friends - have a lovely weekend, I must get around to baking Elliott's cakes -
he has reminded me a few dozen times!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Healthy Calendar!

Hello friends

So there is no getting away from it - countdown to Christmas!
Today is a tutorial for a little flip calendar, 
something a little less calorific than a choccy advent one!
Cut four rectangle pieces of patterned paper 7 x 4.5 inches, adhere to two pieces of chipboard -
cover both sides.  I used Graphic 45 - Christmas Emporium paper.
Ink the edges. 
Cut/emboss Edgeabilities from red cardstock. 
 Cut/emboss Labels Twenty-Two (No.2) from patterned paper. 
Slice off the top notched edges to create a straight top - this will bind better. 
Add numbers - you can print these or use stickers/thickers.
 On a computer, print the message onto cream cardstock (Edwardian Script - font size 55)
 Now to the Layered Poinsettia - I love it!
Cut/emboss from cream cardstock, stencil through with ink.

 I cut/embossed extra to make a fuller flower.
Layer up and brush the edges with ink too.
 Using a Bind It All, punch and bind the two chipboard rectangles and tabs.
If you do not have a binding machine, you can always use metal book rings. 
I added a charm (Bo Bunny) on one tab, an extra decoration when only one number is showing.
 Assemble your project with your printed message, patterned paper, lace and Edgeabilities Strip. 
For the beautiful finishing touch...add your Layered Poinsettia.
Your countdown calendar is finished - now just got to do all the Christmas shopping!
Rain rain go away, it is so soggy walking Bella at the moment, hardly any leaves left on the trees -
Bella quite likes this as squirrels are more visible!
Take care friends and stop by tomorrow - it's FDD already!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

A Year! Let's Celebrate!

Hello friends
It's been a while since I posted the picture of the coffee/tea cup -
for those of you who don't know, it means pop the kettle on - this could be a long blog post!

I realised yesterday that it was a year ago that I launched the Hope and Chances Website, 
the original blog post detailing it all is here.


I remember talking with my website designer saying that it would be fairly small,
not too many categories blah blah blah - well I was wrong!
It has grown and the boys can verify how many products are now listed as they've 
uploaded a lot of them - it runs into thousands!

I'm one of many many craft websites out there, I try to be competitive and offer extras but I 
realise the competition is fierce, really fierce!  Thankfully I have some fantastic loyal customers - 
I'm so grateful to you.

In 2015 the website focus as always will be on Spellbinders products, yes there are lots
of lovely new things on their way!
Also, I am still the only UK retailer to carry the entire Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L range,
if you haven't tried their products yet you really must - they are superb.

Before then, I truly need to make room so for a limited time I've got an offer on
all inky stuff - 50% off - yes half price!

 Distress Inks, Spellbinders Inks, Versa Color, Staz On and more -
the full selection can be viewed here.

Please enter the code:  

MADINK 

Type it on the cart page of checkout process in the box provided above 'Shopping Bag Totals'.
Offer expires at midnight tonight.

Happy shopping!

Now for something crafty, that's the shop stuff out the way...goodness I'm waffling!
It was also this time last year that Elliott set to work making Christmas cards.
 He based his idea on the design below which is still one of my favourites.
It features the stunning 2013 Snowflake Pendant.
This card was also used for charity kits and there is a very small amount left - details are here.

I have some of those metal snowflakes left so any orders at the moment have one of those
placed inside along with other freebies - good to keep it festive!

Right then, I had better get organised for FDD - returning to my City job this week
after two weeks off - that could be a shock to my system!

Take care friends.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Tuesday Tip/Technique

Hello friends
It's Tuesday Tip/Technique today and here is something very different!
I need to thank Kim Hupke, Education Director at Spellbinders for this tip.
Most shops and supermarkets now have candy canes in stock, the minty ones are lovely.
For today's tip you need candy canes and your Grand Calibur....
 Place a candy cane inside a zip lock bag, you may want to use a double thickness of bags.
Do not seal completely, allow for air to escape.
Sandwich your candy cane in a bag between A Base Plate and Raspberry Adapter Plate.
Run through your Grand Calibur - just once is enough! 
 It's crushed!
 Now empty into an airtight jar/container and decorate.
I've used Snowflake Bliss, Sprigs and Scalloped Labels One.
Use Candy Cane Sprinkles on ice cream, fairy cake icing and more.
This week I've promised to make Elliott chocolate chip muffins with Candy Cane Sprinkles -
photos to follow.

Have a lovely day, it's rather nippy but so glad to see the rain gone!
Take care friends.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Hearth Theme and Winner

Hello friends

Thank you for all your kind comments yesterday - glad you liked the heart.
It reminded me that a few years back I picked up a galvanised metal heart and 
altered it in a similar way.

For those who do not have a Range nearby I did spot 
wooden hearts on Hobbycrafts website here.

I know I should be thinking about Christmas but I haven't bought a single gift yet!
I'm normally a little more organised but with going out to Phoenix I think it's thrown me.
I also do not know what to buy the family this year, the boys are so grown up now -
I can't get away with the little tree gifts etc that I used to!

Not long until the advent calendar comes out - there's just a few kits left on the website
and they've been reduced too :)  You can view them here.

Now onto the winner of Holiday Greetings die.
Elliott selected the winner and it is......

Maggie J of maggieanncraft.

Congratulations, please email me your address details hope-chances@live.co.uk
and your Holiday Greetings will be on its way to you.

Please stop by tomorrow - it's TTT (Tuesday Tip/Technique).

Take care friends.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

An Altered Heart

Hello friends

As promised yesterday,  a little tutorial on altering a bargain wooden heart 
available to buy from the Range - 89p!
There are also stars...
Firstly I added a tiny bit of white paint and wiped it off with a piece of kitchen towel,
just to lighten it a little more. 
I then selected Classic Hearts and was delighted that the shape very much mirrored
the wooden heart.  The paper is Basic Grey and out of my odd box.
 Next I opted for Snowflake Bliss and Layered Poinsettia - well, you knew I would!
The word 'Christmas' is die cut from Holiday Sentiments
It was then just a case of assembling the snowflake, poinsettia and adding Sprigs
 It's definitely an adorned heart now!
 A couple of close up shots - yes, I forgot to prick out one of the snowflake pieces!
 A simple design because I've had the mad idea of making quite a few!
Most of these dies are available on the website, just click the links.

Hoping to bring you lots more tutorials and ideas from my cabin,
also videos - yes, I've been threatening them for ages and Elliott is on my case too!

Take care friends, I'm back tomorrow.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Birthday and a Bargain!

Hello friends

Sharing a few birthday photos today - not too many as I could end up being
one of those people who insist on showing you tons of photos and you have to
stifle yawns all the time!

I started my day off perfectly by walking Bella...it's getting muddy,
wellies will be making an appearance soon.
Mum and Dad had adorned the cabin... so sweet of them.
The boys handed me gifts of vouchers, chocolate and wine - 
they know me so well!
Goodness they are getting so grown up!
We had a family meal in the evening and I was presented with a lovely cake,
(it is obligatory to have Bella in as many photos as possible!)
A wonderful day, I even got a little time to craft too.

And now to the bargain...

Do you have a Range store near you?  
I found this wooden chunky heart for only 89p!
It measures approx 3.5 inches across.

It is begging to be altered so stop by tomorrow to see what I've done.

Take care friends and thanks again for all your good wishes.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday Die Day

Hello friends

Yes it's back - Friday Die Day and this week I'm featuring Flutter Love.
This is from the Die D-Lites range and the size of the dies are as follows:

Butterfly 1: ranges from ⅜ to ¼” (3)
Butterfly 2: 2⅛ x 1¾”
Heart 1: ranges from ¼ to ⅜” (3)
Heart 2: 2 ⅛ x 2”
Each die cut/embossed, pretty!
I've decided o a tag this week and used the embossing only technique.
It's a good idea to lightly spritz your card with water first, this stops any crinkling at the edges.
A sentiment placed across the middle, lightly inked.
And then overlaid at an angle my vibrant red die cuts, a nice contrast with the kraft colour.
Loving the curly butterfly and the little ones are so useful, especially as you can die cut 
three at a time.  Handy to cut a batch and keep in a jar!
Testing out my daylight lamp, the photos have got a shadow but getting there!
Flutter Love is available from the website shop here and it is on special sale to 
coincide with FDD!  Don't forget if you order from the website you receive a free gift
and loyalty stamps if your product spend is over £10.

Lastly, thank you so much for all your birthday wishes, I had a lovely day although stern words
with Bella - she forgot to go shopping!  Sharing photos tomorrow.

Have a great weekend - anyone going Christmas shopping?
Take care friends.

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