Sunday, 18 December 2011

What are you reading this Christmas?

I've always liked to do a bit of reading over the Christmas period, I have my old favourites that I read every year, the first being a favourite of many,  'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. The version I have has been illustrated by Arthur Rackham, (1869-1939) a brilliant artist who done a huge amount of work.

A selection of illustrations from 'A Christmas Carol'
  Another book I read every year, also by Charles Dickens, is 'The Chimes' A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New One in. This story is not so well known and it gets lots of mixed reviews, (I know a couple of people who prefer to listen to it by audio book rather than read it). The story of The Chimes can be a bit long winded but I find that like any book, if I read with lots of inflection and emotion (sometimes even accents) then it is more enjoyable.

'The Chimes' by Charles Dickens. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham
 My third Christmas book that I like to flick through is Penhaligons Treasury of Verse & Prose, (pictured below) it was scented at one time but I've had it so long and it's been thumbed through so many times there is no perfume left. As you can guess from the title it is full of wonderful verse, from the well known carol...

The Holly and the Ivy (sung here by Annie Lennox) to 

In the Bleak Midwinter sung by the Moody Blues
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

                                   Treasury of Verse with a picture of a Victorian Christmas Card                                    

Well that's some of my reading organiseddo you have any Christmas favourites?

I have a few new new bits that I painted this week, I'd like to show you but I need to keep them secret ;) at least for one more week :) but I'm going to link this post to 1st Unique Gifts Blog and go and have a peek at some great makes and great blogs.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, have fun, be good and stay safe. Best wishes to you all.

Jan x

Thursday, 15 December 2011

How many 'sleeps till Christmas'?

Wow it's only........

well it was when I posted this..... I have a few more bits to do for my Christmas Orders then it's time to relax and enjoy, but not until I've..... painted 2 Tinkerbell Canvases for a pair of twins whose birthdays are in early January, a couple of Door Plaques, again for a couple of January birthdays, all of which I want to get sorted now so I'm not panicking to get them done during the holiday.

Oh yes, I also need to go shopping for a few more prezzies, get my food shop sorted, pop in to see a few friends, put the tree and decorations up and any other last minute things I will think of.

How many of us say every year 'I'll be more organised next year'? Yes I'm guilty but somehow Christmas creeps up on me every year, I don't know why, it's not like a big last minute surprise, as long as I've been aware it's on the same date every year,  but 'I'll be more organised next year' so watch this space!!!

Have a good week every one

Jan x 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A trio of Plaques

What a busy week we are all having, I've hardly had time to think straight, although my thinking is usually a twisty winding road. I do try to get around all the blogs I follow but with the run up to 'the big day' time is of a premium, I usually manage to take a bit of time out and read most of them but unfortunately I don't get a chance to comment on all of them, so if I've missed you out don't take it personally :) I'm sure we are all suffering from the lack of hours in the day.

I'd like to show you a little of what I've been doing.....the following trio of Plaques are winging their way across the miles and will grace 3 doors in Hawaii  along with a selection of my Fairy Doors, hopefully lots of smiley faces on Christmas morning.

I've linked this post to Wendy's blog, I hope you can pop over and take a peek.

Wishing you a productive week

Jan x

Monday, 5 December 2011

Flight of the Purple Heart

Wow, what a whirlwind weekend, but I'll tell you guy's about that in another post, today I want to tell you about one of my canvases. 
Those who know me from the  Craft Forum may remember that one of my paintings has been accepted for the Christmas Exhibition at the Apex Gallery in Bury St Edmunds. The Apex Gallery is advertised as a new and exciting contemporary art gallery. It is in the centre of the new 'arc'shopping centre and in the advertising blurb it says it would be of interest to "those seeking to look at or to buy high quality contemporary work".There is a nice bar and Coffee Shop there as well for those who want a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping.
All the art displayed will be based on the following quotation: “...Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything...” Plato.
So on Wednesday I set out with my painting feeling ridiculously excited and handed it over to the exhibition organiser and Gallery Director Cate Hadley.

The painting I submitted is different to anything I have shown on this blog, it is part of 'the other side of me' and here it is.

Flight of the Purple Heart

The Exhibition opened Saturday, 3rd December and runs until 16th January 2012, I hope that if you are in the area you can pop in and have a nosey, and maybe a coffee and cake while you are there, and talking about popping in, don't forget to pop over to Handmade Monday and check out what everyone else is up to.

Jan x

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Yay.....It's nearly December.

I've been busy busy busy. My Folksy Shop  done really well last week. It seemed to be stagnant for a while but has now picked up lovely. I also had some brilliant news from Pickle-lily, I'm the winner of her great givaway of wool, fabric, a great spotty bag, a magazine and oooh a box of choccies. So a big thank you to both of you, it's a great prize and I'm going to do a separate post about this so keep checking back. 

I spent Friday afternoon at a lovely Craft Fayre at a small village school just outside Newmarket, it was really well attended and I'd forgotten just how loud a primary school full of excited children can be. 
I was hoping to get around all the other stalls but I was on my own and those who do Craft Fairs know how difficult that can be, and as it was so busy I didn't get a chance to get around everyone, but I did manage to have a nosey at a wonderful felter who made lovely scarfs, hats and Christmas Decorations as well as lots of other great items, you can check out her shop EntWorks on Etsy.

Mini Snowman Decoration by Ent-Works

I also had a look at the work of The Tiny Scribbler, a brilliant artist, who can be found HERE on Etsy. 

The Squirrel Lady by The Tiny Scribbler
 I have another busy week ahead, but hey, I'm not complaining, I have Plaques to paint, Monkeys to make and a bit more sewing to do, I'll leave you with a few of the childrens tote and drawstring bags I made as my contribution for this weeks Handmade Monday 

Wishing you all a good week, I'm off now to try and get my orders completed before my next Fair which is next Saturday 3rd December (yes it is nearly December) at The Carnegie Rooms and Guildhall in Thetford, Norfolk.

Take care every one

Jan x

Monday, 21 November 2011

Chalkboards & Fairy Doors

It's been a week for Chalkboards and Fairy Doors, the chalkboards always do well at this time of year, you can check out more of them on my facebook page here.
These small Fairy Doors in bright colours have been a big hit and as they are only 'pocket money prices' they do really well with the children at fairs, they can be placed anywhere in the home, they can be placed on a book shelf or toy shelf, they also look good sat above a door or down on a skirting board, although in most childrens rooms you can't see the skirting board for toys.

Small Fairy Doors
Medium Sized Fairy Doors
These Medium Sized Fairy Doors are approximately 4 x 4 inches but because they are cut individually they can vary in size.

Tonight I'm going to have a nosey at some of the other blogs linked to Wendy's Handmade Monday then it's out with the sewing machine for me, I need to finish a few bags I'm doing for a school craft fair at the end of the week, photo's to follow.
OOohhhh, my wonderful hubby has just brought me a lovely cup of tea and a dish of turkish delight. MMmmmm

I wish you all a good week

Jan x

Monday, 14 November 2011

House Rules

Just a quick one today, I've been away for a few days, spending time with some of my family, and what a lovely time I've had. Before I went one of my regular customers asked if I could do a 'House Rules' list. She decided  what she wanted written on the list and she wanted it in a frame, therefore having the option of of it either standing on a shelf or hanging on the wall.

House Rules

I'm going to do a few more of these with different wording and a variety of themes and I will try them out at my Craft Fairs, I was thinking of a Circus theme, a Jungle theme and maybe a Boating Seaside theme and what about a Daisy, Toadstool, Butterfly type theme, what theme would you like to see? and what would you have as your main House Rule?

I'm going to pop my link over at  Wendy's blog as part of her Handmade Monday Linky Thingy Wotsit, I hope you can join me, it's a great way of checking out lots of other great blogs. 

Take care

Jan x

Monday, 7 November 2011

Handmade Monday

Hello to you all and welcome to my little corner, it's Handmade Monday once again and I hope you will follow the link and have a peep at what some other bloggers have been up to, I hope you can leave a few comments too.
Last week I had a lovely email from someone who wanted their favourite 'Grandparent' saying put onto one of my plaques, the remit was quite precise and this is the finished plaque, it is my normal size of 7" x 31/2". I wasn't too sure if it would look a bit too cramped but I was pleased with how it turned out. 

A favourite saying from a loving Grandchild


Dad's Office Plaque

 I was also recently asked to do an exterior plaque for  'Dad's Office', the picture of the glass of wine and book was chosen by my customer and is now attached to the door of a cabin in a garden in France. I imagine dad sitting in a comfortable chair, sipping his glass of vino while reading his favourite book.

It's going to be really busy time for me this week, I'm not complaining though, it's great to be busy, I've got a few Craft Fairs booked for the run up to a big event that's happening soon, oh what's it called?, I know it begins with the letter C, I think it might be..... Christmas. I need to replenish some of my stock, that's always a good reason to be busy, I have paintings to finish, orders to complete and a few days off to spend a bit of time with my wonderful Mumsy.


I hope you all have a good week and I'll leave you with a picture of my latest sock monkey who has found a new home.

Take care all

Jan x

Monday, 31 October 2011

H is for a Happy Halloween, Handmade Monday & a Husky Plaque

Hello all, I had a great time (and a full Order Book) at a local event this week end, I was at the Undley Pumpkin Patch for a Halloween Bonanza, in a marquee set up in the middle of a field, not only could you pick your own pumpkins but you could 'get lost' in the huge Maize Maze. I wasn't alone at this great event, there were some great other exhibitors and entertainers along for the fun.

There was the lovely Laurie at Mondays Child  whose face painting was truly  fantastic, along with the Amazing Adam Strange, Childrens Entertainer & Balloonatic who made the most wonderful balloon spiders and ghosties. The equally lovely Natalie aka  Hungry Hippie, Natalie makes great button jewellery, and a selection of fabric items including the aprons and pumpkins shown in the picture above.

We also have the tasty jams and preserves by Jo-Anne, I can attest that the pumpkin and apple is delicious, not that I had much, honest!! The colourful Letter Pegs by Justine and the fantastic Wacky Wax colourful candles in a jar. There was jewellery, books, cards, more tasty food (MMmmm cinnamon donuts and hot chocolate) and of course, ittle ol' me.

Plaques and Pumpkins
Some of my popular plaques

The Scull and 'Warning' plaques always do well with the boys and the scull with the bow is a big hit with the girls. So I had a great Halloween week end, I hope you did too.

As it says in the title, H is also for Husky Plaque as mentioned in my last post...

A Husky Plaque for Jackie

and also for Handmade Monday so don't forget to pop over and see what everyone else has been up to.

Take care all and if you are off trick 'n' treating tonight have fun and take extra care.

Jan x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Hi from me and Elmo

Hello to you all, and hello from Elmo

Elmo Plaque for Noah

as most of you know it's Handmade Monday  today, and for those who don't know what it all about then why not follow the link and check out what's going on. I've been popping over to read some of the other blogs who contribute, and there are some great blogs too. I'm hoping to get round to comment on all of them but I've got such a busy week ahead it may take me some time, so, if you don't hear from me it's not because I don't care, it's because there are not enough hours in the day.

This week I'll be at the Pumpkin Patch , It's not only the place to pick your pumpkin, you can also go on a pony ride, find your way around a Maize Maze, meet some brilliant people and generally have great fun. It's a bustling place to be so I'm hoping that this good weather we are having will continue through to the week end. I'm planning to take lots of photo's so be sure to check back next week.

A couple of Welcome Plaques

I'm off to get my sketch book and do a bit of catch up, I need to draw a Husky, a Pig, a couple of  Owls and a Penguin. No, not for the same picture but that would look interesting wouldn't it?

Have fun folks and take care

Jan x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Note Holders and To Do Lists

Another week has passed and the weather is getting colder, I woke up this morning to lovely blue skies and bright sunshine but my, it was chilly. I'm not complaining though, it is October after all. 

I had a table at a local charity fair on Saturday and although there wasn't as many people there as we had hoped, we done quite well. Most of my 'takings' were for commissioned pieces or personalised items so it seems like I'm going to have another busy week catching up on orders. 
Lots of business cards were given out so future orders may hopefully follow.

I did sell a few of my note holders.
These two were bought by the same person for Christmas 'Stocking fillers' for her friends.

 Another thing that done well on the day were my Chalkboards, you can check them out by following the link.

As part of the Wear it Pink campaign I decided that for the month of October, every time I showed something pink on my blog I would 'pop some pennies in the pot' at my local Cancer Research Shop
So I think this Plaque counts for a few pennies.

How about these, they are pink aren't they??

Don't forget, it is for charity.

Maybe followed by some of these.................for charity

Ok, so now I need to use this.................

instead of the 'real' thing.

I'm off to make myself a cup of coffee, with 2 calories worth of sugar then I'm off to pop my link onto the linky thing on Wendy's blog.
Don't forget to mosey on over to 1st Unique Gifts and have a look at what some other crafty peeps are up to.

Take care to one and all

Jan x

Sunday, 9 October 2011

G is for.....

I've been very lax with my Alphabet Posts lately, so I thought I'd rectify that today.
I'm now up to the letter G and I thought I'd do a bit of a shout out for three of my favourite G 'things' and also combine this post with Handmade Monday.

I have a long list of blogs that I like to dip in and out of, one of my favourites is the Going Green Blog  which is a great community of crafters, artists and writers coming together to share ideas. Pop over and have a look, it's full of great ideas.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

How about these cute Ghostie Suncatchers.

Can ghosts be cute? Yes I think they can.

These little fellows can be found at  Diomo Glass 
Folksy Shop or follow the blog HERE
A great idea for Halloween but would look good all year round.

or how about checking out this Goose at JonBurgess Art Cards. I love his quirky artwork and humorous animal characters. He not only makes brilliant cards but is a great illustrator too. Check out his blog HERE


My contribution for this weeks Handmade Monday is a G is for Giraffe Plaque I painted.

My customer chose the Giraffe she wanted from the following selection of designs.
Have you got a favourite one?

A selection of my Giraffe sketches

Don't forget to visit with the other bloggers who join in Handmade Monday

Wishing you all a good week

Jan x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A day out

What lovely weather we have been having, I didn't think hubby and I would be enjoying a such a hot ride out during the first weekend of October.

Our transport for the day
We rode out to Denver Windmill  which is in North West Norfolk and on the edge of the Fens.

Denver Windmill

The Mill from across the fields

We crossed the bridges at Denver Sluice on the River Great Ouse, where huge sluice gates control the water levels across the fens. Without these great gates the high tides would flood the low lying areas.

View from the bridge

We enjoyed a traditional Sunday Roast sitting in the garden overlooking the river at the The Jenyns Arms

View of a sluice gate from the pub garden

The view of the pub garden from the opposite bank

On our way home we passed a lovely cottage that was up for sale.....

The garden is full of lavender plants, perfect for drying and using for Lavender bags and Pillows.

It's very picturesque but I don't think we will be putting in an offer.

We had a wonderful day out and I'm now fully refreshed and ready to continue my crafting.

Take care

Jan x

Monday, 3 October 2011

All things Pink

I had a lovely request last week, a customer wanted a Plaque for her child's Play House in the garden, as most of you may know, daises and toadstools are favourites of mine so I really enjoyed painting this Plaque.

A Plaque for a Play House

Close up of Daisies and Toadstools

Most of the Name Plaques I make are 7 x 3.5 inches but this one is a bit bigger and chunkier at 9 x 5 inches, just the thing for the Play House, it has been protected with an exterior varnish so perfect for leaving out in the garden.


It seems to be a pink week this week, a couple more of my makes are a Name Plaque for Poppy

A Name Plaque for Poppy

and Pink Bunting for baby Eden.

mdf Bunting

As my items are 'in the pink' this week I've been inspired by a great blogger, 'Caroline' of  Carolee Crafts to give a donation to Wear it Pink, click on the link to find out more about this great campaign.

I'm off now to have a look at the other great blogs that take part in Handmade Monday

Take care
Jan X

Monday, 26 September 2011


This week I've been busy doing Chalkboards, I usually do quite a few for Christmas but find that the 'generic' ones do better at craft fairs. They can be used for every occasion imaginable. 
I've just had an order from an expectant Mum for a blue Chalkboard with 'Days to go' written on it so 'Mum' can countdown until her due date and then use it every year for the new baby's birthday.
Children like to be able to count down the days or 'sleeps' for all kinds of things including their birthdays or holidays.

Ideal for every occasion
A customers choice

I live quite close to a couple of American Air Force Bases and this Chalkboard is for a little boy whose Daddy is away on duty.

These are a selection of my Christmas Chalkboards that are currently for sale in my Folksy Shop or through my Face Book Page
Now it's time to grab myself a coffee and maybe a biscuit or two and head on over to 1st Unique Gifts to see what everyone else has been up to.

Bye for now

Jan X