My photo
A very warm welcome to my teeny, tiny part of the huge world of blogging. This is where I am hoping to share my passion for making hand made greeting cards. So - why "Always with a Heart"? Well this is for two reasons. Firstly, it is because every card I produce always carries a heart on it somewhere. This can be big and bold or small and almost hidden - the fun sometimes is just trying to find it! Secondly it is because I put my heart into everything I produce. I hope that any visitors enjoy seeing what I post. If you drop by then please leave me a comment so that I know you called. It would be nice to know that you have found my heart in what I do.

SKETCH LIBRARY

Saturday, 31 December 2011

MY FAVOURITE 5 CARDS OF 2011

Hi Everyone

Well .. .. 2011 is nearly over .. .. and it has been a mixed year here in the House of Hearts.

Lots of exciting things have happened and some very worrying ones too .. .. but we have made it to the end and are ready to start another year full of anticipation and wonderment at what all of those empty pages in the diary are going to hold.

Well it's not completely empty .. .. I have lots of of "lovely couples" booked in for wedding stationery .. ..  and my main dream for next year is that my little business is going to be even busier.

It is so lovely to be able to do 24/7 what I love doing most in the world.  I do know I am a lucky girlie and count my blessings daily.

Anyway, round to my favourite 5 makes of 2011.  This is all part of  Debby's challenge - though how she managed to make her selection from all the posts on her blog I have no idea as every make Debby posts is amazing!!  Thanks for your inspiration Debby and for setting this little challenge.



So in no particular order here are my favourite 5 cards of 2011:










This just leaves me to wish everyone a very happy 2012 - I hope it is a year that will be kind to you and your families.

 I have made some lovely blog friends this year and would like to thank you for all your visits here and the lovely comments you leave.. .. ..  and thank you for all the inspiration that your blogs ooze. 

If you are here to try and win the 20 Promarkers from Handy Hippo then you need to click here. Good luck!!!

I will be spending the evening with my lovely Sis .. .. no new year celebration would seem right if we weren't together.

Love and best wishes everyone and mwah, mwah, mwah!!!

Friday, 30 December 2011

MY FIRST STEPPER CARD

Hi Everyone

I hope your day has been good.

We have continued to have rain, rain and even more rain!!

Today it was my turn to post on the Get Funky! challenge blog where our theme this month is


"Thank You"


Can you believe this is my very first stepper card .. .. how behind the times am I?  LOL!!!




I used Anice's freebie paper to make my card alongside the

"Birthday Girl" collection from the Happy Happy Birthday Papercraft Factory CD

I hope you get chance to join in and share your "thank you" creation with us .. .. remember the only rule is to use a Funky Hand product on your project .. .. and that could even be the freebie paper that Anice has supplied here. (I love this paper soooo much!!! I can't believe it is a freebie!!!!)




Enjoy your evening everyone and I will catch you all again tomorrow .. .. the last day of 2011 !!!

Love


Thursday, 29 December 2011

FREQUENT FLYER

Hi Everyone

What a miserable day weather wise .. .. but what a fabulous day for being snuggled indoors with your crafting goodies!! 

Another day spent on wedding work today and then a quick play this evening .. .. it seems really weird not dipping into my Christmas stamp drawer .. .. though I have vowed to make Christmas makes all year this year.  (Just like lots of other folk no doubt LOL!!).

Anyway, here is tonight's make







This used:

Image:  Penny Black "2070K" Frequent Flyer
Sentiment:  Penny Black "Critter Party" clear stamp set
Backing Paper:  Raspberry Road (half price sale at the moment !!)
Martha Stewart Edge Punch:  Daisy
Leone Em Pty Punch:  Ash Branch
Woodware Punches:  Flowers
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
ProMarkers
Crystal Stickles
Ribbons from the Stash Box
White Gel Pen

I hope everyone is still managing a bit of "chill time" though I know quite a few folk that are already back to work :-(

Is everyone else like me and having to work out what day of the week it is?  LOL!!!

Catch you again tomorrow and don't forget the Handy Hippo Promarker giveaway here. 

Love

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

BACK TO BUSINESS

Hi Everyone

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Mine was lovely with my family all around me .. .. what more could you ask for? 

But sadly all good things have to come to an end and one by one everyone has now disappeared so the nest is back to two occupants now .. .. .. and the dining room table has quickly become covered with wedding stationery makes.  

I allowed myself a few days off (and even managed to watch two films without falling asleep) but now it is time to pull my finger out and get back to it.

So here is my share of the day:





This used:

Backing Papers:  Funky Hand "Happy, Happy Birthday"
Sentiment:  Great Impressions "E411"
Sizzix Dies:  "656079" Flower Layers #5  and  "655217" Decorative Accent, Swirl
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder:  Swiss Dots
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
My Trust Sewing Machine
Ribbons from the Stash Box

and whilst talking of Funky Hand .. .. just to let you know there is a massive sale on over there until the 29th December with

a massive 50% off all Funky Hand products

and 10% off all non Funky hand products



oh dear .. far too many good sales going on at the moment!!

But if you are looking for something that costs nothing then don't forget the Handy Hippo Promarker giveaway here.

Right .. .. time to get back to the wedding work .. .. but I didn't want you all to think I had fallen off the face of the earth.

I have a lovely blogland catch up planned for tonight .. .. I feel like I will have missed so much .. .. but deep down I am hoping everyone has just taken the chance to have as relaxing a time of things as I have.  It feels so good to have charged up those old batteries!!

Catch you later.

Love

Sunday, 25 December 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !!


WISHING YOU A SPECIAL DAY!




Nothing to share that I have made today .. ..
just a gorgeous Royalty Free image I found on tinternet!!

(What a gorgeous rubber stamp it would make don't you think!!!)

Have a wonderful day everyone ..
.. .. don't eat and drink too much .. .. oh alright then .. .. if you must!!  LOL!!

What is classed as the acceptable and decent time for the cook's sherry to arrive do you think?

Love and tight squeezy Christmas hugs




Saturday, 24 December 2011

JULES' CRAFTY SNIPPET CHALLENGE - WEEK 51


HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE EVERYONE
Woo hoo!!!  My favourite day!!

I was up bright and early this morning as I needed to make one last Christmas card with my snippets before starting work in the kitchen.

It is a special Christmas card for anyone and everyone who may stumble across my blog today and also for all the lovely playmates who have joined me in my snippet challenge during the course of the year.





So I "DO" need to call a register this week.  Wow!!!

I really thought everyone would be far too busy to be bothered about playing with their snippets.  Thank you for keeping me company playmates.

Who came to play?

Well first up, bright and early, was Sarah .. .. who shared the most gorgeous male Christmas card which Sarah made for her husband.  What a lucky chap!!  I love all the backing papers used here and the fabulous star!! 

Irene was the next playmate to arrive .. .. with her New York Diva!!  What a fantastic card Irene shared with us all.  It just reminded me of one of the old Vogue sewing patterns from years ago (showing my age there!!! LOL!!) 

Next up was Sandra who is well ahead of the game and thinking about her thank you cards for after Christmas!!  Sandra clearly feels she has been a good girl this year and is going to receive lots of presents she needs to say thank you for!!  What fabby thank you cards they are too!!

The next share came from Carol who has been having lots of work done at home and now has a craft room that needs sorting .. .. which has reduced the amount of stash Carol has available to her to only her snippet collection.  But I must admit Carol managed a fabby Christmas card nonetheless with a great sketch she has produced!!

Then last but by no means least was Di who has dragged herself into the playground to share her lovely make.  I say "dragged" because Di has been poorly sick all week .. .. not good in the run up to Christmas .. .. but hopefully she is now fit and well again and ready to celebrate.

So only one make from me .. .. but you realise what this means don't you?  I have made my first Christmas card ready for next year .. .. woo hoo!!!

Just one more week left for me in charge of the playground and just one more register to call so the playground keys are being passed along  .. ..   but who is taking them over?

Well your wait is over.  The keys are going to my lovely blog buddy and regular snippet maker:


from the Pixie's Crafty Workshop


here you go Di .. .. here are your keys .. .. I hope you have as much fun as I have had this last year.


Next Sunday .. I will call my last register and reveal the extent of my snippets :-(  and Di will be taking over.  I know you are going to have a fabulous time with Di in charge .. .. she is a fabby blogger, who makes gorgeous projects and has a wicked sense of humour.  You are all in for such a treat.

I will still be playing along with the challenge as I still have snippets to use up . ... surprise, surprise LOL!!!.

It just remains for me to wish everyone a really Happy Christmas. 

Have fun and make some lovely memories.

Mwah!!!!

Love




Friday, 23 December 2011

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE, EVE

Hi Everyone

Well tomorrow is going to be my very favouritist (is that a real word?) day of Christmas.  Woo hoo!!!

It is the day the kitchen just "has" to smell of home baking and everywhere looks (reasonably) nice and clean.  Though why we bother with all the cleaning is beyond me because once the presents are opened there will be paper and labels and bits of ribbon and sellotape everywhere .. .. but of course that is all part of it.
Our Christmas Day will be a lovely quiet and relaxed one where I will try hard to flop on the settee and do nothing .. .. a little bit like the calm before the storm as Boxing Day is the day when everyone decends on us .. .. ..  there will be thirteen of us in total.  Definitely no relaxing this day!!!

Baby boy will already be here having slept over since Christmas Eve and big Baby Boy and his wife will be arriving Boxing Day after spending Christmas Eve and Boxing Day with my DIL's family.  I love the days when we are all together.

The remainder of the visitors will be made up of my Mum and my lovely sister and her family.

There is no make to share today as the day has disappeared on cleaning, buying in the fresh goodies for the next few days and trying to put away all the wedding stationery supplies so that people can actually sleep in the spare bedroom. 

Boy was the supermarket busy .. .. and those poor assistants just couldn't get more supplies on the shelves quickly enough. Have I missed something? Are stores now closing until the 3rd January or something? You would have thought so looking at people's shopping trolleys.

I love looking in other people's shopping trolleys.  You have the people that clearly need to have one of everything going and others that have been shopping sensibly.  Some where everything is super posh and others where you can tell they would feel they had won a major prize if the posh trolley belonged to them.

But the one I will remember belonged to an old man, shopping on his own with hardly anything in his trolley.  At the time I saw him he had a couple of bananas, a ready made cottage pie, a packet of shelled walnuts and a tin of tomatoes.  I hope that wasn't his Christmas dinner :-(

Anyway, I have remember that I promised to show you my Christmas tree .. .. taking a picture has been a struggle but you get the basic idea.  This is the view I am going to have for a couple of days whilst I chill on my settee.

Not a brilliant photograph but it is the best I can do .. .. and yes, there are hearts on the tree .. .. in fact loads and loads of them.  I even managed to find heart sprinkles for putting on top of the black cherry trifle today (I was so chuffed I found them and went rushing to find hubby to show him what I had found.  I always was a cheap date  LOL !!)

As you can see my tree lights have stayed in working order
after the initial problems !!!  Woo hoo!!

There are quite a few lights on my tree.  Some big and some small but it doesn't matter how many I put on the tree I still sit and make my eyes cross so that I see double the number and think "that is how many there should be" LOL!!

I will be back tomorrow with a special snippet Christmas card and the snippet register .. .. I cannot believe people managed to find time to take part in the run up to Christmas.  What eagre beavers you all are!!  Thank you for keeping me company.

Happy Christmas Eve, Eve!!!

I'll catch you tomorrow.

Love

Thursday, 22 December 2011

WHISPERS

Hi Everyone

How goes it?

It has been a world first in the House of Hearts today .. .. all the Christmas wrapping has been completed early!!  Woo hoo!!!

Normally I am still wrapping Christmas Eve evening .. .. but not this year .. .. everything is all sorted and under the tree waiting for excited hands to tear them open (those Christmas labels I made had better not be thrown away !!!).

Plus amidst all the wrapping and clearing up a little bit of crafting .. .. no day would be complete without a little bit of crafting.

Here is my share for today:





This used:

Image:  Penny Black "3377K" Whispers
Sentiment:  Elzybells (sadly no longer trading)
Backing papers:  GCD Studios "Ella Blue" (decided to use a few more of those bits up)
Josy Rose:  Acrylic stone and Nail Heads
ProMarkers
Crystal Stickles
Seam Binding Ribbon from the Stash Box

So what does tomorrow hold for me?

Well, delivering a couple of parcels and cards .. .. a big clean up .. .. and shopping for some yummy ingredients for a huge cooking session on Christmas Eve (my favourite day of Christmas).

Plus dare I mention a snippet post and a bit of wedding work .. ..eeekkk!!!  No lying in bed tomorrow that's for sure!!!  LOL!!!

See you tomorrow.

Love

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

THE LAST ONE FOR GIVING AWAY

Hi Everyone

Sorry I'm late folks.  It has been a busy old day in the House of Hearts plus I spent most of the afternoon with my Mum .. .. putting the world to rights and twisting flowers into attractive shapes for some wedding stationery I am doing..

Every Christmas card for giving away is now complete (tonight's being the last one) .. .. what a world record .. .. some years I have been known to still be making them Christmas Eve LOL!!!

So here is tonight's (late) share:





This used:

Backing papers, image and sentiment:  Pink Petticoat
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
Crystal Stickles and Gold Stickles
Cord from the Stash Box

So now all the cards are sorted the next part of the military attack is to have all the parcels wrapped and ready by bedtime tomorrow.  To be fair most of them are done anyway so it isn't that big a deal .. .. but it will feel like a major achievement.

My parcel was delivered today too .. .. woo hoo!!!  All presents now in my sticky mitts ready for wrapping.  I'm pleased I don't have to think about that any more!!

Have a great evening everyone and I'll catch you again tomorrow.

Love

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

JUST DOTTY

Hi Everyone

Five more sleeps!!!!

Not long to wait now .. .. .. and I just know that when I see my Mum tomorrow she will say those inevitable words .. .. "well, this time next week it will all be over with".  She says it every year.  In fact I expect her to say it every time we speak on the phone LOL!!!

Just a quick and simple share from me today as I am in wedding mode big time at the moment.




This used:

Image:  Creative Cafe "CS6143" Doodle Flowers
Sentiment:  Pink Petticoat
Backing papers .. .. sorry don't know .. .. they are just dotty ones from the big snippet drawer !! 
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
ProMarkers
Ribbons from the Stash Box


Has everyone received all the parcels they have ordered on line to save going out to the dreaded shops?

I am just waiting for one now .. .. but there are still a few more days to go so I'm not panicking just yet!!  

Time now for me to be a domestic goddess in the kitchen and then hopefully I will be back later for a blog hop!

Have a good evening everyone.

Love

Monday, 19 December 2011

HAPPY HANDY HIPPO DAY - WEEK 16

Good Morning Everyone

The last Handy Hippo Monday before Christmas!!!  Panic!!!!  LOL!!!

How near are you with all of those Christmas preparations?  Are all your presents bought and wrapped and your cards written and wending their way to where they should be going?

I have just got a few parcels still to wrap and a few special cards to hand deliver and then we will be ready for the celebrations to begin .. .. and hopefully this year there will be a bit of "chill time" .. .. which is a bit of a rare occurence in the House of Hearts as I find it very difficult to just sit still and do nothing!! 

So what has been happening over at Handy Hippo?   Well some gorgeous new stamps have come in stock and my creation today shows off one of the lovely stamp sets.  I just knew I would love using this set as soon as I saw it. 

I used it to create my background and decorate the flower on my project today.   It stamps beautifully.  Love it!!






Below you can find the Handy Hippo magic button .. .. and if you click on it you can see all the lovely goodies I used to make this little creation. Everything I have used has been automatically added to a shopping basket and as always you can remove anything you do not need (or add anything else you can't resist).



I stamped my background onto white and coloured card for my project and also onto the front and back of my flower before curling it up. 




and here I have embossed one of the stamps in silver embossing powder .. .. how scrummy does this look?



I then used my embossed piece of card to make the flower for the following little 4" x 4" thank you card.  The first layer of my flower I simply punched out of the card above and the second layer used the embossed card after it has been distressed with Ranger Distress Ink Pads.




Mmm....  I am seeing lots of possibilities for this gorgeous set!!

Next Monday will be Boxing Day so I won't be here with a Happy Handy Hippo make as we are having a Christmas break until the 9th January .. .. but I will  be here with the chance for you to win a special prize .. courtesy of all the lovely people at Handy Hippo!!  Woo hoo!!  One that I can imagine "everyone" wanting to win!!!

See you on Boxing Day . .. .. but in the meantime have a good Christmas.

Love




and all the lovely friendly people at Handy Hippo

Sunday, 18 December 2011

JULES' CRAFTY SNIPPET CHALLENGE - WEEK 50

Hi Everyone

Back again after leaving the snippet playground gates open for a whole two weeks .. .. and what a busy two weeks they have been.

Lots of "happy couples" to meet up with and lots of wedding and Christmas work  .. ..  plus of course the family "label day" last Sunday LOL!!  What fun that was (as always).  Strange how it always falls on X-Factor Final Day .. .. .. even though we don't plan it that way!!

Then today is hubby's birthday .. . thank you for all his birthday wishes.  I have passed them all on and he says "thank you"!!!

So just a couple of snippet makes this week .. .. it seemed weird not going into the Christmas stamp box:








Time now to call the register of all the lovely playmates who kept me company over the last two weeks:

Irene got off to a good start and shared three lovely makes that you can find herehere and here.

Then along came Jackie who share a vast array of inspration that she had made to take to a school fayre.  I hope that she sold them all and didn't have to bring them home again!!

Beryl called by the playground next with a card that carries a really gorgeous image that would be suitable for so many different type of cards .. .. male and female.

The next playmate to arrive was Sylvia who shared the most gorgeous tree .. .. along with an extra special heart!!!  I don't think I have ever managed to share a heart this red and sparkly ever!!!  Love it!!!  Sylvia sounds mega organised for Christmas so perhaps this is an early Valentine make?!?!?  LOL!!

Sarah called by next with a fantastic idea for a gift or money holder for hanging on the Christmas tree.  Great use of snippets and a fantastic sentiment stamp too.  There might just be time to make a few of these ahead of next week!!

Sandra was the next playmate to visit the playground carrying a lovely array of Christmas tags/labels for her presents.  I am pleased to say that label day in the House of Hearts definitely reduced the snippet collection .. .. so much so that the little drawers actually close now!!  Woo hoo!!  Sandra put lovely ribbons on her labels .. .. we just put cord on ours .. .. I think ribbon will be making an appearance next year as Sandra's look lovely.

A very organised Elizabeth called by with lovely snippet makes next (though Elizabeth doesn't feel organised compared to me she certainly is because when these lovely creations made an appearance my tree was still in the roof space!!).  Elizabeth used some of her snippets for making tree decorations .. .. very clever!!  So as Elizabeth's decorations were ready she decorated her tree.  But then later in the week Elizabeth called by again with even more decorations (one of them being a special button laden one).  If there hasn't been serious snippet reduction in Elizabeth's craft space then there is no hope for any of us!!

So, from an organised Elizabeth to a very hyperactive Hazel .. .. who managed to make 40 Christmas cards (don't worry she hasn't share them all !!!  Though it would have been nice).  I am sure Hazel's snippet mountain must have reduced considerably after a mammoth crafting session like this!!

Di is the last one on my register this week with a lovely Christmas card that is just perfect for a young lady.  I think I can remember having legs that long once!!   I was definitely that skinny once!!  What on earth happened?!?!?!?    LOL!!!

I have added Mr Linky below .. .. but I am not really expecting anyone to have time to take part .. .. it is here "just in case" someone gets the snippet urge.  There are far too many Christmas preparations happening in everyone's house and home I am sure.

The gates will close on Friday 23rd ahead of the Christmas celebrations and I will call the register then (if anyone had time to turn up) LOL!!!

Of course my year of snippet use is nearly complete and it is nearly time to reveal exactly how many snippets I still have in my collection .. .. and then my playground gates will be closing.  My year will be complete. 

But this has caused a little bit of upset in the playground and one particular playmate was so distraught that I have said I will hand the playground keys over to her.  So snippets will continue!!!  But who is taking the keys off me?  You will have to wait and see LOL!!!

Have a great week everyone.

Hubby has requested his favourite meal of Spag Bol, Garlic Bread and Red Wine for this evening so I am off to get cracking with that now .. .. and then hopefully I will have time for a blog catch up tonight.  I am mega behind!!!

Love


PLAYGROUND GATES CLOSE FOR CHRISTMAS
FRIDAY 23RD DECEMBER

 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

HUBBY HAS A BIRTHDAY TOMORROW

Hi Everyone

Well my Hubby has a birthday tomorrow .. .. I know he won't look at my blog today as we have friends coming round for a meal tonight .. .. so I will share his birthday card today (after all it will be snippets tomorrow!!).

I don't do A5 size cards very often as I seem to struggle to fill them and still keep them "clean" looking .. .. but with this image I didn't have that problem LOL!!!



This used:

Image:  Teddy Bo
Backing Papers:  Pink Petticoat
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
ProMarkers
Chalks
Distress Ink:  Tumbled Glass
Cord and embellishment from the Stash Box

So lots of hearts for someone who deserves lots of love!!!

Up-date on the Christmas tree .. .. the new lights have been behaving themselves .. .. everytime I switch them on though I look at them expecting them not to work LOL!!!

I will try and get a decent picture of my tree for you to see it in all its glory.  I love the sparkle and twinkly lights of Christmas .. .. .. and yes .. . .surprise, surprise there are some hearts on it!!  LOL!!!

OK .. .. time to get the table laid and some parcels put into carrier bags!!

Have a great evening everyone.  I hope all your preparations are going to plan.

See you tomorrow with my snippet makes.

Love


Friday, 16 December 2011

A MIGHTY STRANGE MAKE

Hi Everyone

Well tonight's share is going to look mighty strange .. .. but there is a reason.

This card is to go to two very good friends who we went out with during the summer for an Indian meal.   It was the sort of place where you can take your own drinks with you.

The chaps took some cans of "Speckled Hen" beer and my friend and I had a bottle of wine that had all wire mesh around it.

Once we had finished our meal I was sitting playing with the wire from the bottle of wine and made a butterfly with it.  My friend laughed and said "you can put that on a card for me" .. .. .. and her husband then plonked an empty beer can in front of me and said "and I want that on one".  LOL!!!

I knew immediately what I was going to do .. .. and here is the result.

The beer can and the wine bottle mesh have been stored away for use for months . .. tonight being the night they came out to be played with.

Here is my make







This used:

Backing Paper:  Pink Petticoat
Sentiment:  Computer generated
Snowflakes:  An old Speckled Hen beer can
Butterfly:  Wire Mesh from a bottle of plonk!!
Snowflakes:  Cuttlebug die and punches
Diamond Stickles
Wire, self adhesive pearls and diamonds from the Stash Box

So Christmas finally came to the House of Hearts today.

The garland and lights got  attached to the base of the bannister and the tree was finally decorated .. .. complete with new lights that we went out and bought last night in the sale.

So tonight I showed hubby the lovely Christmas tree in all its glory .. .. and he loved it .. .. I was feeling well smug at getting ahead of myself for a change.

But you know what they say .. pride comes before a fall!!!

Pride isn't a nice trait and is one I try to keep under check .. .. but sadly today I didn't manage it and I was made to pay!!!

I switched the lights off on the tree as we were going upstairs for baths and my crafting session only to find that when we then switched them on again one set wasn't working!!!   GRRRR!!!

Have you ever tried to take a set of 100 bulbs off a fully laden tree?  Hubby took them back to the store and they exchanged them for another set.

So if you have ever tried removing a set of 100 bulbs from a fully laden tree .. .. have you also ever tried putting 100 bulbs back onto a fully laden tree!!!  LOL!!!

Love