Saturday, 14 December 2013

Latest visit to Kids Co

Earlier in the year I posted about my vist to Kids Co at their Kenbury Street premises.  You can read about the visit here.  Today I just wanted to share my latest visit to KidsCo in London which was such a buzz.

A friend and I caught the train up to London Blackfriars and then changed trains to get one to Loughborough Junction where we were met by “S”. She is a lovely person but unfortunately it will be the last time we meet as “S” is going to work in Italy in the New Year. A couple of years ago they kindly showed us around the Headquarters where we saw the work areas there and also saw all the volunteers wrapping Christmas presents and preparing food parcels to be given out for Christmas.

We were taken to the Morgan Stanley Heart Yard;  about 10 minutes walk from the station and was our first stop. This is in Lambeth and appeared to be a very run down area; dirty grey buildings on dirty grey streets. Little sign of love and care in these parts but the Kids Co building on the outside is a clean, newly painted, light grey. I tried to ignore the steel shutter that would cover the front door when the centre is closed but it is a stark reminder of how the area must be in the dark evenings and night. It is quite a small building and is mainly used as a therapy centre with areas for different therapists upstairs. Downstairs where we were met, the walls were painted a lovely blue with trees and leaves. It looked so bright and cheerful. At the back of the building was a small kitchen where they prepare food and an indoor children's play area. Cooking and eating, yoga and art are just some of the activities the children can join in. They are now working on improving the outdoor area that has walls painted brightly so that it doesn't looked like a walled back garden. Children of all ages are booked into therapy sessions and sometimes parents too so that they can cope better with their children. They have sessions downstairs where Mums can visit with their little ones and they get the chance of contact with others. These Mums come from grimy flats, sometimes highrise blocks of flats and sometimes rows of dingy buildings with nowhere outside for kid's to play except the streets, which are busy. I am sure you can imagine similar areas in towns local to you; streets of deprivation........

I have painted a grim picture but one with hope in the middle. We were welcomed with such appreciation as we walked in the door . My friend had two big bags and I had my backpack full and one of those huge laundry bags full. The staff were like children at Christmas!! The toys made a huge impression as my friend had a bagful as well as the ones I had taken that were made either by myself or another friend from Worcs. They took them all out and piled them on cushions on a sofa and they covered the back of it. This photo just shows some of the knitted toys most of which are my friend's; the bags of knitted clothes are on the floor.

 They were going to wrap the the toys as presents for Christmas. Jumpers, hats, scarves etc were taken out and exclaimed over and they said they would be so welcome by the kids and they enjoy handing clothes out when they were needed and then seeing the kids wearing them when they come back on other days. A cup of coffee, a sit down and a photoshoot later we were then going to be taken by “S” to see a surprise. We left these folks with memories of beaming faces and such huge appreciation that I really wish I could have bottled it and sent to all the knitters of the donations I took up.

We walked about 10 minutes away and into an Adventure Playround in Loughborough Park which is a very new project for Kids Co. Lambeth Council have recently stopped this service to its residents and Kids Co have now taken it over. The building is painted in the same colours as other centres; it seems to be a trademark for their buildings. They are slowly making changes to both the building and the grounds outside. They have fenced off the teenager's area from the one used by the little ones. They have a volunteer gardener who is designing new and fun areas that are aided by planting of new seedlings and shrubs. There is a terraced area for Mum's to sit and socialise whilst watching their little ones on equipment in the garden. On the teenager's side they have beds prepared for the children to grow flowers, herbs and veggies. Inside there is an area for the little ones to do the usual range of activities and also a small kitchen where they can cook with the playleaders and parents. The older ones also have a kitchen area as well as table tennis and other teenage activities. The leader there was so enthusiastic about what they intended doing and again was delighted with some of the little toys which would be used in the little ones area.

The workers were all so grateful that we have cared enough to spend our time knitting and for us to take it to them rather than take it to the headquarters. We have an open invitation to return!! In turn we came away feeling fulfilled and with a new enthusiasm to make more and more for them.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas Tree

I had a new Memory Box Die earlier in the year and I have been using it to make some CAS cards.  It makes great use of snippets as only the base card and greeting are new.

I am entering this in

 Pixie's snippets playground
CHNC Challenge Extra
CHNC Challenge 153:  Light it up (Stars on the Christmas Tree)

While Shepherds Watched

I have a big stash of old Christmas cards and decided it was time to put them to good use the other day.

This is one of the cards I made.  I cut out two sections of the card and fanned them before sticking to the base card.  I added a few gold stars (they tend to look silver here but they are gold) and a greeting at the bottom.

I am entering this in

 Pixie's snippets playground
CHNC Challenge Extra
CHNC Challenge 153:  Light it Up

Right to the wire.....

I am sneaking in here at the very end of November and posting the two cards that I made from my swap parcel from Terri.  All the bits were taken from my swap parcel with the exception of the peel-of greeting on the second one.  I used my Cuttlebug to emboss the backing paper on the first one.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


I was asked to make a special anniversary card.  It wasn't a special anniversary, just a special type of card.  It had to have a dial with all the wedding anniversaries on it and so needed a gap on the front to read the writing through.  The only way I could make it work was by folding the paper in half one way and then in half the other way.  This means that the dial and it's working are hidden from the inside of the card.  It did take quite a time getting it all to work out even though I had a copy to copy from.

There were no special requests for designs other than the greeting and a blank inside.   I bought a sheet of 12 x 12 card and on the front I clear heat embossed some little butterflies.  I die cut some gold mirror card to layer the greeting and then typed and printed the greeting and after cutting the window I mounted it on the gold.  I then cut the window on the gold and mounted it on the card.  I then cut the window on the card.

I cut my favourite Marianne Creatables butterfly in gold too and then mounted that on a sticky pad on top of the circle diecut.  I used my Cuttlebug to cut the diecuts .

I loved it and luckily so did the person who had asked for it!!

Two more

These are my final two cards from Pat's swap parcel to me.

I just loved that background paper and had no problem in finding a small snippet of dark blue card which I die cut and mounted the stamped image that I coloured with Promarkers.  I bit of blue ribbon and my own stamped greeting finished the card off.

I didn't see this bit of paper at first, it was turned over on the other side and I couldn't work out ho to use that particular pattern.  I don't know what made me turn it over, but something did.  Terri looked quite surorised because she too hadn't realised it ws double sided!!!  I used my own ribbon and greeting but everything else came from the parcel.  The little fairy is mounted on foam pads but it doesn't really show on this photo.


Awwww .... look at this lovely little hedgie talking to the snail!  I wonder what he is saying?

I used a couple of pieces of blue card from my snippets box but otherwise everything came from the swap parcel.  I used one of the ribbon bows.  I used Promarkers to colour the stamped image.

I am entering this in Pixie's Snippet Playground

Sunday, 17 November 2013

November swap 1

The November swap parcels with Pat and Terri was all about using ribbon on the cards.  This is the first card I made and everything except came from the swap parcel.  The colours are so lovely and they went perfectly together I think.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Anyone 4 Christmas

These are my final makes.  Everything came from the parcel apart from the greetings.  Just four very simple Christmas cards.

I am entering this at CHNC October Extra


This is one of the final makes from Terri's swap parcel "Swap the swaps".

I loved this little chap that was celebrating and coloured him using my Promarkers.  I used the blue paper and the Cuttlebug embossed card that was in my parcel and just added my own greeting.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Swap parcel cards

These two cards have been made from the October swap parcel that I had from Terri.

This card I just needed to find the greeting. Although it is a square card I cut the image so it was a rectangle and left enough space for the greeting down the side.

This card only the topper and the greeting came from the parcel.  I cut some green mirror card for behind the topper but then realised it was all too dark and so trimmed it down to leave a white border round the edge and then cut a white shaped layer to fit behind the topper.

Friday, 18 October 2013

All that glitters

Well it certainly isn't gold but a sort of silvery grey colour.  I only used a topper and a greeting from Terri's swap parcel as I had this lovely card base to use.  I also used some of my mirror card to put a rectangle behind the topper and that rectangle mathes the colour of the greeting.

I am entering this in CHNC Extra for October
I am aso entering in the Snippets Playground

Christmas Wreath

This is my final card from Pat's parcel.  I embossed some of the plain card with my Cuttlebug and partnered it with the patterned paper.  I added some glitter strip and a greeting from my stash.

I am entering this in the CHNC Extra for October

Christmas Tree Decorations

I was with my knitting group the other day and the the shop owner was crocheting these snowflakes that were in the latest edition of Simply Crochet.  I did my first one in DK wool so I could practice and then I rummaged around and found my glitter thread.

I always make tree decorations each year for my grandchildren and so these already have a home to go to.  Not sure yet which child will get which one; I might need to wrap them in the same paper, shuffle them and then put the tags on them because then it will be a surprise for me too!!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Fairy Doll

I made this fairy doll from a Paton's pattern that is also a Ravelry free download.  I didn't think about how fiddly it would be until after I got to the sewing up stage!!!  My idea of making two more soon changed.

The instructions for sewing up the wings and attaching to the body were not very intuitive and the Ravelry pattern does not have a photo of the back view to see how they looked.  Never mind, I adpated the pattern by sewing them on slightly differently.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Another card from the October swap.  The picture looks as though it is square but it isn't so it meets the criteria of including a rectangle.  All the pieces came from the swap parcel with the exception of the ink pad that I used to ink the edge of the picture.

I am entering this in CHNC Extra October

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Altered Notepads

More swap parcel makes but something a little different.  I was asked to make some little altered notepads for a church charity sale and so I bought a pack of cheap notepads and found some card to cover them (they needed to be blue or yellow).  I then rummaged in the swap arcel and found stickers, peel-offs, images etc that I could put on the front.  Hope they sell well!!

Blue for a boy

We have now started on our October swap parcels and the theme, chosen by me, was to swap stash from our previous swap parcels we had received and then make something and include something rectangular.

Starting with Pat's parcel I received this piece of blue patterned card which I just folded in half to make a card.  I then mounted the enclosed image.  I rummaged in my stash to find the card candy. 

Monday, 30 September 2013

And it is .......

.... goodbye from me and goodbye from these little fellas.  These are the lat cards I made from my September parcel.

This one I added my own white embossed card using my cuttlebug and some silver glitter strip.

This one I used more white embossed card and some card candy.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Teddy celebrations

This was a really quick snippets card.  I covered the basic card with a piece of blue embossed card and cut the digital image with my oval Nestie.  I rummaged around in my snippets box and found just the dark blue offcut I wanted.  It as the leftovers I brought home from a card workshop I atteneded about 5 yers ago; it was the edge of a piece of card cut with a large scallopped square Sizzix die.  I used two of the sides for the contrast strip on the card.  Yes, you have guessed right, I still have two more sides to use.

I am entering this in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippets challenge

Monday, 23 September 2013

Christmas Decorations

I have made several Christmas decorations either using cross stitch or blackwork.  I am now making a decoration for each of my grandchildren each year.  These are just some of the decorations I have made.


I used to spend a lot of time doing cross stitch before my crafting life got overtaken by cardmaking and knitting/crochet.  I thought I would show you the biggest piece of embroidery I have ever done.  I made it for my parent's Christmas present in 2000 and it took about 500 hours of work in stitching after I had researched all the names.

Of course, having to spend the time doing the research then got me hooked on family history and I have been doing it ever since!!

My latest piece was started about 10 years ago and I am afraid it is has languished sadly in the corner for quite a while now.  It is a blackwork piece done in a very slippery, shiny sort of thread that just loves to split and twist so it gets very frustrating to work.  I have accepted the challenge from a group of internet friends to get back to this in January next year as we all try to pick up our WIP after all our Christmas making.  I fear it will take longer than January to finish it as the maximum time I can work on this is 15 minutes or it starts hurting my eyes because of the count of the material.

This is what I am working towards:

and this is as far as I have got

A long way to go!!!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Strawberry Hi Jinks

I was lucky enough to win this Penny Black stamp 'Strawberry Jam' over at Pixies Craft Workshop challenge back in July.  It really does look like those little hedgehogs are having fun.  I found a snippet of deep pink card and diecut the backing shape.  I took the off cut from that card and used a Martha Stewart punch to make a decorative corner.

I am entering this in Pixie's Crafty Workshiop challenge.

Friday, 20 September 2013

In the mist

This is another card I made from Terri's swap parcel.  I just loved this image the moment I saw it.  I pondered and pondered how to use it but just couldn't cut it up; it needs all  the image to create the atmosphere.  I decided to layer it on some green backing paper that had been included and just slant it on the base cardusing some gold peel off strips to indicate a frame round it.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Time for Tea

This is the first of 4 cards that I have made from my swap parcel with Terri; the theme was men's cards.

It was a lovely image and it almost loooks like the newspaper has been cut and stuck on top.  I decided to layer it up with the toning paper included in the parcel and then suddenly remembered my new stamp which was part of a die and stamp set.  The stamp looks like a square of newsprint so I decided to stamp that all over the backing card and mount the image on top.  I think it has come out quite well and look forward to doing this again.

I am entering this in the MIM@158 Anything Goes challenge

Monday, 16 September 2013


I make cards to sell at church for church funds and of all the cards I make these butterfly cards are the ones that go the fastest.  I keep trying to find different ways to use the Marianne Designs Butterfly and this is just a variation on a theme!!!

I have used old Christmas cracker snippets for the butterfly and the bottom layer.  I rummaged in the Nestie Shapes box and found a green mottled scallopped shape and I stamped it with one of my clear stamps and some green ink.  A simple stamped greeting completes the card.

I am entering this in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippets challenge.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Treble Clef

Here is another tagxedo image that I have used in my cardmaking.  They can be created in all sorts of colours and then I try to co-ordinate those colours with my backing paper.

Here is a variation on that theme.  I have used a Martha Stewart punch on the background paper.


I love playing around with the tagxedo website and created this guitar image which I have used several times now.

I just cut the image to size and mounted on blag card and used to strips of peel offs on each side.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Card for a little man

I had a birthday card to make for a little boy who has just started school.  At 5 I reckon he is just a little man and so with the help of one of my backing papers I made a card for him from my latest swap parcel.  The "ribbon", image and buttons all came from the parcel.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Stripes in blue

This is my penultimate "man's card" from Pat's swap parcel.  It was such a lovely stripey patterned paper but I wanted to put a broad band of diagonal paper from my snippets behind the image.  I also punched six little dots from the offcut of the paper and used those across two of the corners.

I am entering this card in Pixies Crafty Workshop Snippets Challenge,

Saturday, 7 September 2013


Another card from the September swap parcel.  This was a lovly piece of backing paper that needed a little bit of trimming to fit my cardstock.  I really didn't want to put much on it to spoil the backing paper so just stamped a greeting on a Nestie label.

Friday, 6 September 2013

I see no pipe

I had a piece of square patterned paper in my September swap parcel that instantly set up a love/hate relationship.  I loved the purple colour and the border but absolutely hated the three black pipes that were in the middle.  There was nothing for it but to cover the middle but my other problem was it was bigger than my blank cards I had in the cupboard.  There was nothing for it but to cut the paper into 4 and then trim to fit.  I mounted the image on some plain green paper that had also been included.  Voila!!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Flying Machine

September saw the start of our "Men's Card" swap parcels.  As usual I opened Pat's first and did a gulp.  Why do I do this when she puts such lovely bits in the parcel.  I think it is just going to be a normal reaction when presented with a pile of goodies knowing that I have tomake cards from them and get them blogged before the end of the month.

All the bits came from the parcel, even the white card for the greeting was an offcut from the image!!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Birthday Piecing

Before I start blogging my September swap parcel makes I thought I would share this snippets card.  You really can't get more snippet than this!!

I used the clear Happy Birthday stamp and stamped on several offcuts of patterned paper.  Then came the tedious bit, cutting all those letters out and sticking them on so that overlapped correctly.  I then stamped the corners with some of those little stick stamps of flowers, leaves etc.

I have entered this in the challenge over at Pixie's crafty Workshop.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I love sunflowers; they are so bright and cheery.  I thought this image, from my swap parcel from Terri, would be ideal as a Get Well Card - hopefully it would cheer the recipient up. I coloured the image with Promarkers.  I also loved lilac and yellow together so teamed the image with the lilac patterned paper.  I decided I wanted to layer up the image and so rummged through my snippets box and found some yellow crinkled paper that I had from an assorted paper purchase many years ago.  One of the greetings that were in the parcel also teamed very well with the patterned paper.  That is all.  Just one very quick and simple card.

That is the last of my cards from Terri's parcel.  I wonder what September will bring as the theme is men's cards.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Barrow of flowers

This is the third of the cards I made from Terri's swap parcel.  It was a lovely piece of patterned paper and so I didn't want to do too much to detract from it.  I coloured the image with my Promarkers and searched out a snippet of paper that I cut with my Cuttlebug; one piece with scallops behind the image and another as a simple oval for the greeting.

I am entering this in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippet Challenge

Monday, 26 August 2013


I always see lilies as suitable for Thinking of You cards so when Terri put this image from a greeting card in our swap parcel I knew what I would be doing with it.  I teamed it up with the lovely black flower strip and some black paper she had included.  I only added the little bit of white card ready for the greeting.  Terri had included some creamy white card and so I put it in an embossing folder and ran it through my Cuttlebug.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


I met up the other day with Terri and we got down to our second swap parcels.  She made from mine and I made from hers to me.  Yet again the theme was sympathy, thinking of you or get well.

There was some lovely parchment paper but I never know the best way to stick it on as it always shows.  I tried Glossy Accents this time but it still showed so I had to hide the glued areas with some silver peel-offs.  I mounted the image on top and then used one of the enclosed greetings.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Thinking of you

My final card from Pat's parcel.

Tones of purples here but they do not show up too well.  I used the patterned paper, ribbon, greeting and image from the swap parcel and added some purple paper from my snippets box so that I could have a toning layer behind the image and so I could also punch some little butterflies.

I am entering this card in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippets challenge.

Just to say

Card no 4 from my swap parcel with Pat

I love this stamp that Pat had put in the parcel and coloured it to tone with the patterned paper I used and the three little buttons.  I rummaged around in my snippets box to find some suitable card to use to layer up the image.

I am entering this in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippetes challenge.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Thinking of you

This is another card I made from my swap parcel.  I used offcuts from to patterned papers that Pat had included and I edged this with a dark blue stamp pad once I had rounded the corners.  I then used some of the plain card on which I put the greeting; both from the parcel.

I rummaged around in my stash and found some snippets of peel off flowers strips.  I think I managed to hide the joins fairly well!!!  I also added some peel off flowers to the dark blue card and also some little "things" that look as though the are pinning the paper and card.

I am entering this in Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippets Challenge.