17 April 2015


Well summer has at last arrived and wedding season is upon us, so specially for the occasion I have made some wedding themed wine cover gift boxes that will do perfectly for the tables at the reception or for gifts. Just right for those of you who are being creative and making handmade items for your wedding day.




As usual these are editable and printable and super easy to make, using 2 sheets of A4 card, so you can make as many of them as you like, each of them individually personalised for the occasion.

I have also made them fold flatable - can you say that? - for easy storage and re-use

The box will cover a bottle with these dimensions

The files are available for £2 from my Etsy shop by clicking on the button below.


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Of course the Dinner Jacket box could also be used for many other occasions, where a masculine or more formal approach is called for.

I hope you can find a use for them :0)

Please be kind - particularly if you download a freebie - and 'like' me on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ or 'Stumble' upon me. «The buttons are floating over there on the left - no excuses ;0)

21 March 2015


Well, Spring has actually arrived in the UK.  Not very warm at the moment but sunny and the daffs are in full bloom so things are looking up!
Easter is also fast approaching and I wanted a spring themed box for my Easter gifts and eggs, a box that could be re-used.

I've had so many comments saying that if a generic sentiment were added to the box they could be used again if they could be folded flat for storage. However, because the base has to be secured with tape to keep it from falling open this wasn't possible.

So back to the drawing board and voila! self locking base boxes that fold flat.

The box is so easy to make and takes two sheets of A4 card.  It measures 3.5 x 3.5 x 5.5 inches so is just right for small gifts or sweets (candy).

Once again I have made the labels on the side editable for your own sentiments, so you can print off as many as you like each with a different greeting.

The file is available as an instant download pdf file from my Etsy shop for £2 by clicking on the button below.

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COMING SOON - I'm also working on a matching bottle cover/box for my not so sweet toothed friends who appreciate a glass of wine more and will add that to my shop when it's ready.

Please be kind - particularly if you download a freebie - and 'like' me on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ or 'Stumble' upon me. 
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3 March 2015


After some research I noticed that there are a few things I must bear in mind when I make a greetings card.


Generally speaking the recipient will stand the card on the mantlepiece with just the front showing, so if you have laboured long and hard over a spectacular inner to your card it will stay hidden from view and all your efforts will be in vain.
I have made some beautiful cards in my time with pop up and pop out inserts being the main attraction of the card, only to find them on the shelf with just the not so clever outside of the card showing.



Cards can only take up a certain amount of space.
The area available to most people for the display of cards is usually limited so if you have a card that pulls out a long way to the back or side the chances are, because it won't fit onto the shelf or takes up more than it's fair share of space the card will be viewed, admired and put back into the envelope.


If you make any card that isn't purely a book or tent shape, ie an easel, shelf or any card that needs arranging on receipt, the chances are even when you provide instructions the recipient will not understand how to present the card and again the card will be popped back in the envelope.
I have been amazed at how some of my cards have been displayed.  The problem is that you have made the card, and  you know the way it should be arranged, but if you're not in the know ........... well.......??

I have tried printing instructions on the card itself.  But if you watch, the person will take the card out of the envelope and straight away try standing it up in either a book or tent like manner, overlooking the printed instructions.  
People don't look at the back of cards.

I have found that the best way is to make a wrapper for the card with instructions printed on it, so they have to be read before the card can be viewed.

SO.... bearing all this in mind, I try to make my cards 
a) clever on the outside
b) small enough to fit on any shelf and 
c) as easy to display as possible.

My research is still in progress, but since I've taken these ideas on board I've noticed that my cards have been much more appreciated as all my hard work is being shown of to best advantage. :0)

Please be kind - particularly if you download a freebie - and 'like' me on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ or 'Stumble' upon me. 
 « The buttons are floating over there on the left - no excuses ;0)

11 February 2015


When my Grandmother and her sister Aunty Rosa died, I had the sad task of clearing their homes.  Obviously a lot of their possessions had to be recycled and some discarded.  One of the things I did hold on to - very tightly - were their photograph albums, with photos of them when they were teenagers in the beginning of the 1900's, pictures of my Grandad in the first world war and others of my more extended family.

They were shortly added to when my Mother who is in her 90's decided to have a clearout and we found more of her family and that of  my fathers.

Now - what to do with them all and who were all the people in them?
It seemed a shame just to keep them in albums in a cupboard for posterity, particularly as other members of the family started to show an interest.  So I gathered them all together, named those I could and scanned them and sent them off to Tesco's to be printed into a wonderful hardback book.
This has been an overwhelming success and now I have had a huge amount of photos and information from other parts of the family, which I want to sort through and use to make some new books .

The interesting thing about this pastime is the things you unearth and the mysteries you have to solve.

Nanna and Aunty had two sisters and three brothers, two of whom died when they were in their teens in 1910 and 1911 of Tuberculosis.  I wanted to add them to my books and asked the older members of the family for their names. 
Tommy and Robbie - to a man they all came back with the same answer.  So off  I went in search of more info.  Well Tommy was there, but no sign anywhere of Robbie.
At last I found him - Henry George Annis Goodman - not a Robbie or anything that could be shortened to Robbie is sight.

Now I would have put this down as just an oddity in the family and there was probably some reason for the nickname, but it has happened again.

My Mum who was christened Eva Lilian, is and has always been called Peggy.
The only time she has ever been called Eva is on official documents and for a time at school.
No one knows how or why she became Peggy - even her Mum and Dad couldn't tell me, so it's going to be a real struggle for any poor soul who is trying to sort out our family tree in the future.

Now I'm hooked on this family tree thing - I've started cataloging all my own family photos and adding the all important names to them and make the more memorable ones into year books - small ones - not too much clutter ;0)

Please be kind - particularly if you download a freebie - and 'like' me on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ or 'Stumble' upon me. The buttons are floating over there on the left - no excuses ;0)

3 February 2015


Minecraft is the name of the game in our household at the moment.
I find it quite baffling that a game with graphics that remind me very clearly of the first computer games that came out in the 70's and 80's, should be so popular with the kids of today.

That being said, I have noticed in the past that the most popular - and fought over - toy in our house is a 40 year old Fisher Price cash register.  No super duper electrical motor, no batteries, no nothing except imagination, and I suppose that's where Minecraft comes into its own.

So...... as it's getting more than a little nippy out there and I have one young lad who is currently obsessed with the game, out came the trusty knitting needles and a Minecraft Creeper Hat and Sweater emerged.

I needed wool that looked pixelly in multiple greens and Stylecraft Wondersoft Merry Go Round in peacock was the best I could manage, but it does seem to have done the trick.

The pattern, as my knitting friend pointed out isn't exactly rocket science, but knitting the sweater was my worst nightmare - I can't do random.  I start off with good intentions but after an inch or two it's like nails on a blackboard.  It's the one thing I'm really OCD about.  I just like my patterns nice and uniform and even. Sad isn't it. ;0)

So now it's back to nice non random, sit and watch telly, maximum effect with minimum effort Arans for me!

Please be kind - particularly if you download a freebie - and 'like' me on Facebook, Pinterest or Google+ or 'Stumble' upon me. The buttons are floating over there on the left - no excuses ;0)

27 January 2015


These labels have been downloaded so many times, they are obviously very popular and it occurred to me that they might also be useful in different colours.  

So I would be grateful if you would leave a comment giving me some idea as to which colours or wording you would like to see featured :0)

It's so nice, after you have lovingly laboured over your hand crafted gift, to be able to present it with smart printed labels, one for the recipient and one giving care instructions for your gift.

I've been looking for something suitable for ages and as I can't find just what I need I knuckled down and made my own.

These labels are in pdf format and can be easily edited, by highlighting and typing in, to show the names and care instructions for your gift.alt text
Please be kind if you download this file and 'like' me on Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest or 'Stumble' upon me using the buttons floating over there to the left - Go on, no excuses  ;0)

Feel free to download the file for your personal use, but you may not sell on the file or pass it off as your own in any way.

18 November 2014


Well, winter has arrived with a bang and we're all huddling down around cosy fires and hoping not to have to brave the icy blasts outside.

Bearing this in mind, my trusty friend of long standing, Aunty Sue got out her knitting needles and designed this fabulously cute beanie to keep us all snug and warm *bless*

It's fun to knit and fulfills one of our most pressing requirements - it's a stash buster!
Both Sue and I are avid knitters and both have an embarrassment of wool. There's no other way to describe it.  No ball of wool can get past us and we are very reluctant to part with even the meanest bit of leftover yarn in case it should come in handy at a later date.

Well that day has arrived!

The hat is super easy to knit, comes in 4 sizes from newborn (Occy size as illustrated - Beth snaffled that one right away) to adult and takes approximately 50gms of double knitting or worsted weight yarn for the main body of the hat and oddments for the ridges and 'worms'.  It's knitted on size 3.25 and 4mm needles, using a pair of double ended size 4mm needles for the i-cord tassel.

We are selling the pattern as an instant download in my Etsy shop for £2-50, so if you want to have a go and reduce your 'embarrassment' click on the link below.

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Please be kind and 'like' me on Pinterest or Google+ or Stumble Upon me, particularly if you have downloaded a freebie. The links are over there hovering on the left so no excuses.
It would be much appreciated :0)

17 November 2014


With the weather getting nippy, knitting is becoming more and more appealing - not that I need any encouragement.  I've been avidly knitting both with my two daughters and my best friend Aunty Sue for the past forty years, and my long suffering hubby has calmly put up with all sorts of knitting related panics.

If it weren't for him my much loved, over used, but slightly cranky knitting machine (which we all use for boring bits of our jumpers i.e rib) would have been on the lawn many a time - patience isn't my strong suit. He fixes it, maintains it, and talks to it nicely so it will work for us.

He also puts up with my huge 'embarrassment' of wool, which has a tendency to pop out, fall from or explode from any place in our house that I have managed to store it.

I once decided to put my latest overflow into a vacuum storage bag and conceal it under the bed.  Now for those of you who have never used these bags - beware! they have a tendency to leak, and when mine did Hubby was heard to wonder why our bed seemed to be a little wobbly.
When I looked, my wool had exploded out of the bag and was inflating and ever so gently lifting the bed on one side.

Who would have thought wool could be so strong and getting the wool back out from under the bed was another story all together - it fights back!

So now I try to stay away from temptation - is there a knitters anonymous?  There ought to be for us poor souls who can't help ourselves, when we get within sniffing distance of  a ball of yarn!

I once went to a shop where they were having the most amazing, and oh so tempting wool sale, and when the assistant asked if she could help, I told her, no, because if I bought any more wool, my husband would divorce me.  She must have suffered from the same addiction as me as her instant and very understanding reply was "Oh, you will miss him!"

Hopefully, it will never come to that as,being such a very tall super hero, my sweaters are the only ones that fit him.  Cunning eh!

11 September 2014


Where has the time gone!!

I've just realised how long it's been since I added anything to my blog *wince* The summer has just shot past and now party season is heading our way again at speed.
So in view of this I thought I would post a freebie of a wine bottle collar I made a while ago to hold a couple of Greene and Black chocolates - which I am reliably informed by my friend Audrey Frelx at  Cute and Some, who very kindly did some sleuthing for me, are available in the U.S.

The collars are really easy to print and put together and as the text is editable you can add your own greeting to add a little pazzazz to your gift.

If you would like to try them out for yourself,  first down load the file below.  It's a pdf file which can be opened using an Adobe reader found on most machines, but if you haven't go it, it's a free download from the internet.


Open the file and highlight the areas where it says 'your text here' and replace the text with your own greeting.  Then cut round the outline of the collar, remove the two circles either using scissors or a hole punch and score along the dotted lines.

Fold along score lines, using a bone folder to make the creases sharp.
Add glue to the areas indicated and fold bottom portion up to make a box as shown below.

Easy peasy so far eh?? :0)

Then adding glue or tape to the upper portion, fold it forward, matching up the two holes and stick together, ensuring the front flap goes inside the upper area of the box

And there you are. Bob's your uncle - posh candy holder.

They do make an attractive addition to the wine bottle and who can resist lovely dark chocolate - yum!

Please leave me a comment - especially if you download the freebie - so I can I decide what to post next. :0)