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

Monday, 29 March 2010

NEW FUNKY HAND DOWNLOAD

Hi Everyone

Two celebrations today!

Number one celebration .. .. .. today is my wedding anniversary .. .. .. hubby and I have been married for a whole 35 years today !!! How about that? 35 years and still besotted with each other.

35 years ago today it was VERY cold and in the week running up to our wedding there had been lots of snow. Everyone said that we would have to play "spot the bride" on the photographs as I would disappear into the snowy background. Thankfully it all melted and the slush disappeared the day before!

35 years means it is our "Coral" anniversary. But unfortunately there will be no heading off to the Coral Reef for us .. .. just to the dining room table for a romantic dinner for two!!

We have always celebrated our anniversary at home with our "romantic dinner for two" (apart from our Silver Anniversary) and in the "good old days" when the children were still at home they never enjoyed our wedding anniversary. For this was the one night of the year that they didn't eat with us. They had to eat early and then be banished to their bedroom.

It never went down well with them and the eldest always used to say how it wasn't nice to be in bed and be able to smell all the lovely food smells wafting up the stairs.. .. .. shame!! But it was only one night a year.. .. .. and I did feed them first .. .. I hadn't sent them to bed hungry!!

So this morning I have had to clear the table of all my crafty deliciousness (and the floor and the chairs and just about any work surface available) and tidy up in readiness for getting the candles and flowers spread about the place.

But now I need to tidy my craft room because everything is dumped in there. Oh dear !!!!

So now on to celebration number two.

Anice has worked her magic over at Funky Hand and produced a new Wordbook Download called "Retro Fun".

Here is one of the creations I produced using the download. (I bet you recognise it Helen as I worked on this when we had our lovely crafty weekend).

A little bit different for me - but I love it and think the colours and papers are just so gorgeous.

So what did my creations use:

Funky Hand "Retro Fun" download
Martha Stewart punch: Embossed Zig Zag
Nestabilities Circle Die
My trusty heart punch
An old ink pad for inking the edges
Two brads

Right then, back to it. More preparations and tidying needed and I really must get some crafting done too.

Love Jules xx

Sunday, 28 March 2010

PENNY BLACK CHALLENGE - WEEK 94

Hi Everyone

Well, what a fantastic birthday I had and a brilliant time with my Sis at the NEC. Thank you to everyone for your lovely birthday wishes, emails, e-cards and "real cards". I really appreciated each and every one of them.

I came home from the NEC armed with some lovely new goodies but told myself I wasn't allowed to play with any of them until I had done a stack of card orders I had. What torture!!!!

I still have one left to do for tomorrow morning but decided I had been good enough to deserve to break my own rules LOL!!! (Anyway I needed to take a photograph while the sun was having a little shine).

So I used one of my new stamps for the Penny Black Challenge this week - where the the theme is "Butterflies and Bees".




This used:

Stamp: Penny Black 626K "Wisteria Corner"
Sentiment: Great Impressions E411
Backing Papers: Funky Hand Download "Hearts and Flowers"
Promarkers

So .. .. back to the NEC. It sounds like lots of you have been this weekend. I went Friday, as you probably know, and met up with my Funky Hand Team Mate Enfys. It was so lovely to meet her and we sat chatting away as if we had known each other for ever.

I hope that you have all had a lovely weekend - whatever you have been doing.

Thank you for calling by this way.

Love Jules xx

Friday, 26 March 2010

WHAT A LUCKY GIRL I AM !!!

Good morning everyone

I am such a lucky girl .. .. .. I have been working extra hard all week on my card orders so I can have a day out and about today. All in the name of research and product awareness of course .. .. .. .. .. I am off to the NEC with my lovely Sis - Jo.

We have both been looking forward to it so much and the day will start off with an excited scream and hug when we first meet LOL!!! (and finish with us sulking on the train on the way home because the day is over). I am also hoping to meet up with my Funky Hand Teamie "Enfys". That will be lovely.

I have worked hard this week but not posted anything for you to see .. .. .. sorry .. .. .. not things it felt right to share in case I spoilt surprises for people - and there is still no card today (double sorry). The weekend will bring something to share I am sure.

Not only am I off to the NEC .. .. .. it is also my birthday .. .. .. so I have birthday pennies available!!! Yay!!!

All week a lovely pile of cards have been building up in the hallway and this morning I got to open them .. .. how lovely .. .. lots of handmade cards .. .. .. and they are gorgeous. Thank you so much to everyone who has thought of me and spent their creative time making something beautiful for me. What wonderful blogging pals I have.

Right then .. .. .. off to finish getting ready and find my hidden craft stash fund LOL!! Sis will be leaving home now and be here in about 20 mins.

Love Jules xx

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

HOME ALONE

Good morning everyone

Well, my lovely long weekend of activity is over and I am home alone for an hour or so.

The Indian meal on Saturday was lush .. .. and my Sis and her chappie came along too. Great night.

Sunday we went to watch Alice in Wonderland in 3D - I enjoy the film but didn't find the 3D as magical as when I went to watch Avatar.

Yesterday was Jethro Tull in concert. A wonderful night .. .. but it made me feel a bit old. We have followed Jethro Tull.. .. .. bought everything they have produced and seen them more times than I can remember.. .. .. .. .. but the fact that I was watching them for the first time alongside my two "very grown up" sons made me realise how time has passed. Hubby and I were watching them in concert before the lads were born !!!!

In between all of the above there has been a bit of craft activity. My lovely DIL has well and truly mastered the art of the paper roses and has gone home armed will millions of paper flowers which she has sat and punched out of my scrap paper drawers at every opportunity. I feel there are going to be roses on everything she makes for the next 5 years or so!!!

So here is one of my craft makes

This used a stamp set that has been waiting to be inked up for a few weeks - and one I just knew I was going to love using. I can see this set becoming one of my over-used favourites. Lots of stamps in the set and not one that I don't like!! How unusual is that ?!?!?!?!?!? Normally in a set there are a few "strange" ones - but not in this set.

This used:

Images and Sentiment: Hero Arts CL338 "Be Yourself"
Backing Paper: My Minds Eye

So how little can you need for a creation. It is all just stamping and paper piecing - no major techniques.

To move on from the simple - here as promised is the lovely card that my blog buddy Jacee made for me. Jacee won my secret blog anniversary prize (which was the thank you stamp that is on the front of this wonderful creation).

This is the complete opposite to my card. Jacee must have spend hours making this gorgeous creation. So many lovely details. Originally I was going to show Jacee's card on its own but then thought people might think I am clever enough to have done this myself .. .. and I didn't want to confuse folks any more than I normally do.


Isn't it just wonderful. Such beautiful colours and words. Thank you so very much Jacee - I love it and will keep it always!!!

So the kids have headed back to London armed with as many things as I could palm off on them and I am home alone for a hour or so before heading off to work. I should really be clearing up all the little bits of paper that seem to have appeared all over the carpet in the living room/dining room .. .. .. but a blog catch up seemed much more important.

As a follow on to my last post .. .. .. you were right Scalder .. .. .. a "kip" is a "nap".

OK - just time to grab a bit of breakfast and then off to work for me.

Catch you all again soon.
Thanks for calling by .. ..

Love Jules xx

Saturday, 20 March 2010

GETTING READY FOR EASTER

Hi Everyone

What a grotty Saturday it is .. .. .. well weather wise anyway .. .. .. it is a beautiful day in other respects because my big baby and his wife have come home for a long weekend. Yay!!! Happy times!!

I have had my tight squeezy hugs and a big brunch and now Cat and I have sat down to craft whilst hubby watches the football and Paul (the big lad) has a kip. They set off at 5.30am this morning from London so time has taken its toll on him a little.
Cat is mastering the art of making Brenda's paper roses and I have made an Easter creation for my Auntie and Uncle.

This used:

Image: On the wooden block it just says "Sarah Jayne" - nothing more.
Backing paper and sentiment: Pink Petticoat
Leone Em Pty Punch: CP30 "Ash Branch"
Martha Stewart Punch: Doily Lace
Scalloped Rectangle and Rectangle Nesties
Promarkers
Josy Rose Nail Heads
Brad, flowers and cord from the stash box


Do you recognise the flower image Shirley? This was one of the stamps from the box you sold me last year. (Thank you very much xx)

So back to more creations. I have millions to make LOL!!!!!!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Love Jules xx

Thursday, 18 March 2010

TIME FOR A SHARE

Good morning everyone

At last .. .. a share.

I was going to show you a little creation yesterday before I sped off to work .. .. but guess which silly billy left her camera switched on last time she used it!!!! Oh .. .. that would be me!! So no photo shoot possible !!!

So a charge up of a very flat battery and here we are.

This little make is for my lovely niece who has a birthday next week .. .. but I know she won't spy it on my blog .. .. .. she has far too much to do as she is in her final year of training to become a teacher (brave girl).

Here is my creation:

This used:

Backing papers: Funky Hand CD "Dreams Come True"
Image: Charmed Cards - Digi Download "Holly and Madison"
Sentiment: Pink Petticoat
Promarkers
Josy Rose Nail Head
Diamond Stickles
Ribbon, flower and brad from the stash box


Whilst mentioning Funky Hand - don't forget their month challenge which you can find here. The only rule is that you have to use at least one Funky paper or digi image on your creation (and there is a freebie download available if you haven't yet encountered the loveliness that is Funky Hand).

There should be no problem in finding the heart today - it needed to be a big shiny one today for Manth (because she is special).

However, my last card gave Tracy some headaches - sorry Tracy. The heart was here:

By the way the Father's Day card I showed this heart on wasn't one for me to send. I had been requested a few cards for this special day already .. .. bright and early .. .. so some people are getting organised .. .. but not me LOL!!!

This week I have received a beautiful card from my bloggy pal Jacee. Jacee won my surprise blog anniversary prize and she has sent me the most wonderful card to say thank you - featuring her prize. Thank you Jacee I will keep it for always.

I am waiting for a really beautiful day so that I can take a photograph of it to show everyone. It will also feature on a day that I am not showing anything of my own as Jacee's card will put mine to shame. If you get chance to pop over to Jacee's blog you are in for a real treat. She has some gorgeous creations on there.

So it is work for me today ahead of a weekend that involves my eldest son and his wife coming for three days from London. I can't wait to see them again. Lots of activity on the cards (once I have had my fill of tight squeezy hugs and kisses) - an Indian meal out on Saturday night, Alice in Wonderland in 3D on Sunday and Jethro Tull in concert on Monday evening. I have a feeling I am going to be worn out come work again on Tuesday. LOL!!!!

I will catch you all again soon.

Love Jules xx

Monday, 15 March 2010

SOMEONE HAS STOLEN HELEN'S FIRST BLOG!!!

Good morning everyone

I hope that you all had a great weekend and that if you are a Mummy you got a bit of extra special love from your "little ones" yesterday!!

On Saturday I let you know about a couple of new blogs that have hit blogland.

Thank you to everyone who popped over to welcome them both. I know they appreciated it very much.

Unfortunately though Helen is having problems and cyberspace has swallowed up her first blog - so she had had to start again. (Well done Helen for not giving up and starting again).

Mmmmmmmm............ this second blog is looking very smart already. She has obviously had a bit more time to play with this one over the weekend - and already it is starting to put mine to shame.

So all of you kind people who popped and chose to follow and comment on Helen's first blog .... I am so sorry they are all lost .. .. but if you liked what you saw then she has another one here. There will be no further action on the first one (because we don't know where it is LOL!!!).

So a quick share from me whilst I am here.

Can you believe that some very organised people have asked me to start making "Father's Day" cards. Must have been Mother's Day that set them off!!

So here is a quick Father's Day make.. .. ..

This used:

Image: Penny Black 2895H "Teed Up"
Background Papers and Sentiment: Pink Petticoat
Promarkers
Martha Stewart Punch: Embossed Zig Zag
Nail Heads: Josy Rose
Diamond Stickles
Cord from the stash box

So there we go - the first Father's Day card from me of 2010.

Have a great day everyone and thanks for visiting.

Take care.

Love Jules xx

Saturday, 13 March 2010

TWO NEW BLOGS ON THE BLOCK

Hi everyone

Back again with the announcement of two new blogs on the block

The first is the blog of "Helen" - who was the talented young crafter who came to stay with me last weekend. You will find her blog here. Amended later to say .. .. sorry Helen cannot find her blog .. .. it has disappeared into cyberspace along with all her followers and comments - here is the link to her new blog here.

The second blog belongs to my DIL Cat - you will find her blog here (but I am not allowed to visit yet as I have a feeling my mother's day card might be making an appearance).

If you get chance it would be lovely if you pop along and give them a warm welcome to blogland.

Love Jules xx

MY LAST DT CARD FOR ALLSORTS

Good morning everyone

Here I am this morning with my last DT card for Allsorts. It is sad to be leaving but exciting too.

After lots of challenges alongside the lovely ladies at Allsorts I have decided I need to step down - I won't bore you with lots of details but will simply say "I need every minute I can get at the moment" as things are very busy and very exciting in the "house of many hearts".

My place over at Allsorts is being taken over by the lovely Fleur - please make sure you go and give her the welcome she deserves. Her work is brilliant and I know she is going to have a great time.

So on to this week's theme which was set by my great team mate Lisa. She has asked that we work with the colours pink, black and white.

Here is what I created:

This used:

Image: Penny Black: "Long Stem Cuties"
Sentiment: Papermania "PMA 10071"
Backing Papers: Pink Petticoat
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: "Stylized Flowers"
Leone Em Pty Punch: CP30 "Ash Branch"
X-Cut Butterfly Punch (Thanks for thinking of me when you saw this for sale Brenda xx)
Promarkers
Flowers, brads, ribbon and pearls from the stash box

Sorry the photograph isn't brilliant. This was a last minute order .. .. .. so it turned into a late night/early morning make that needed to be delivered the next day - so my only photo opportunity was one "not so bright" morning!! LOL!!!

Have a great weekend everyone. I hope you have time to create something pink, black and white.

For me .. .. .. the weekend holds the creation of more Easter cards. Mmmmmmmm........ I can smell the chocolate as I am crafting.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one.

Love Jules xx

Friday, 12 March 2010

WHERE IS THE SUNSHINE ?

Hi Everyone

So where is the sunshine I wanted to see today? I have a mountain of Easter cards to make and a little bit of Spring sunshine would be so fitting to go alongside. Instead I have rain !!! Never mind!

Life is very busy for me at the moment so I'm afraid I am here with just a quick share today.

Here is one of my Easter creations:

This used:

Image: Lili of the Valley "Spring Bunny with Eggs"
Backing Papers: Pink Petticoat "Spring Wishes"
Martha Stewart Punch: Doily Lace
Nestabilities: Small Deckled Mega Rectangles
Promarkers
Star Dust Stickles
Ribbon from the stash box

You shouldn't have any problems finding a heart (or even a few) on this creation but a few of you did struggle to find it on my Allsorts card last Saturday. To put you out of your misery - here it was.


A little bit of a cheeky small heart .. .. but still there!!!! LOL!!! They can't all be easy!!

Catch you all again soon.

Love Jules xx

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A LITTLE CELEBRATION - AND A LITTLE SURPRISE !

Good morning Everyone

I hope you are all well.

A card to share that I made "for my blog" .. .. .. it was one year old yesterday !!!

I can remember my first post as clearly as if it was yesterday and recall how I sat and messed about with it for ages. Now that is scary!!! Where has the year gone?

Well I know it has been a fun year and one I have really enjoyed.

I have met so many wonderful people and made so many lovely friends - some that I have met in person and some who are special "cyber friends".

I have also learnt so much and would like to say "thank you" to everyone who has helped me along the way.

So here is my blog's birthday card:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLOG .. .. .. .. HERE'S TO THE NEXT 12 MONTHS !!!!!!

This used:

Image: Penny Black 4065K "Bountiful"
Backing Papers: My Minds Eye
Sentiment: Pink Petticoat
Promarkers
Star Dust Stickles


Now I wanted to celebrate my blog being one year old with my lovely visitors and so I decided to have a little secret prize on offer.

I can't be doing with advertising a blogaversary and suddenly gaining lots of false followers - I much prefer to just say thank you to the people who visit my blog because they want to - rather than to just win a prize.

So I decided that everyone who was kind enough to comment on Helen's lovely weekend makes on Sunday, and on my blog's birthday, would be put into random org to win the following little prize.



So you were all swirled around together this morning and below is the result.

Here is your sequence: 1 (The winner is Jacee - congratulations)
4
13
14
5
8
3
10
7
11
2
15
6
9
12
Timestamp: 2010-03-09 06:52:44 UTC

So if you would like to email me Jacee with your address I will post your prize on to you (jules@halfwayhouse.force9.co.uk)

Helen has really enjoyed looking at all of your comments and is so impressed with it all that she is looking into starting her own blog now. Thank you for making her weekend that extra bit special.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Love Jules xx

Sunday, 7 March 2010

HOW BUSY HAS HELEN BEEN ??????

Hi Everyone

Well the lovely craft session I have had this weekend with Helen is nearly over :-( and Helen will have to return home to Mum, Dad and Neil.

We have had lots of fun and just won't believe how many gorgeous creations Helen has made.

At the moment Helen doesn't have a blog of her own so I said that I would post them for everyone to see on her behalf. But I think she would made a very inspirational blog owner .. .. she is only 13 and has created the following cards all on her own.

Here are all her works of art (the first is a special one that is going to be hidden for Helen's Mum until next Sunday - Mothering Sunday). We are also going to enter this into the Get Funky! Challenge for March where the theme is "Girls, Girls, Girls".

So here we go .. .. .. prepare to be amazed by Helen's masterpieces:








This one is a special one .. .. .. because it was made especially for my lovely hubby and I to say "thank you" for a lovely time. (I think I enjoyed it just as much).




Helen has also managed to hide a heart on everyone too!! (Plus she wore socks with hearts on yesterday and PJ's with hearts on today LOL!!).

I cannot show my creations as I have been doing some DT work for Anice's next Funky Hand download (though a left-over piece of paper from the new download has made its way onto one of Helen's cards).

Not only did we spend lots of time being creative we also sorted out my ribbon draw!!! Every piece of ribbon has been neatly tied up with bag ties and I can now open and close the draw so much more easily.

What a super tidy crafter Helen is!!!

Thank you for a lovely weekend Helen .. .. .. I hope we can get rid of Mum and Dad and do it again sometime.

So everyone, which was your favourite of Helen's creations. She would love to know.

Love Helen & Jules xx

Saturday, 6 March 2010

ALLSORTS DT CREATION - WEEK 42

Good morning everyone

Saturday morning again .. .. .. and so of course that means the launch of a new challenge with Allsorts.

This week the theme has been set by my lovely team mate Kirsten and she has asked us to produce something that is Just for Men.

We are being sponsored by our regular monthly sponsor DigiStamp Boutique .. .. .. there are always lots of new images popping up there so the £10 prize to spend in the store is a brilliant prize. You will be spoilt for choice.

I have used one of the images from the boutique (as have some of the other DT members). Make sure you pop over and see what everyone has created.

So here is my creation:

This used:

Image: DigiStamp Boutique "Jim Playing Golf"
Background Papers: Funky Hand CD "Dreams Come True"
Sentiment: Computer generated
Nestabilities: Circles Large
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Swiss Dots
Chalk for the background of my image and Promarkers for the main images


Don't forget to try and catch Anice demonstrating her Dreams Come True CD at 11.00am on Create and Crafts .. .. .. .. (just the right time to sit down and watch with a cup of tea or coffee)!!

I am now off to get ready for by little craft buddy to arrive .. .. .. I need to prepare our "table of enjoyment" LOL!!!

Have fun whatever you are doing this weekend.

Love Jules xx

Friday, 5 March 2010

I'M IN LOVE ....................AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi Everyone

What a beautiful week we have had here .. .. I hope it has been equally as lovely wherever you are.

A quick share with you today using a new stamp I have just acquired .. .. .. and I love this little chappie. Don't you just want to scoop him up and give him a cuddle!!

I also bought his cute little sister too but she will have to make an appearance another day - I don't feel "pink" this week. I am on a "blue" spell at the moment. (Not blue in mood only in colour preference).

So here is my little creation


This used:

Image: Lili of the Valley "Baby Boy"
Backing Paper: Pink Petticoat
Sentiment: Penny Black "Critter Party"
Promarkers
Inkssential "Glossy Accents"
A bit of hand stitching

I have a lovely weekend coming up. I have a very special visitor coming for a sleep over on Saturday night .. .. her name is Helen and you might remember me posting her picture and the roses she made just before Christmas.

Well we are going to share a crafty weekend and have vowed to craft in our PJ's on Sunday!! So no photographs that day LOL!!

We are going to be making a special something for Helen's Mum for Mother's Day as part of the fun.

Helen's room is nearly ready for her. I have had a mega ironing session and found the bed !!!! and have changed the covers.

How much ironing?!?!? But now I have none - my baskets are empty .. .. so I deliberately didn't wash today so I could enjoy the feeling for a little while.

I am ashamed to admit that whilst ironing I came across my Christmas table cloths .. .. and a dress I wore on holiday last year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh dear .. .. I understand if I am a total let down to you all and you no longer want to visit the blog of such a sloppy housewife!!

You can tell I choose crafting above housework can't you!!! LOL!!!

Of course I am telling myself that now I am on top of it I will keep it like that .. .. .. but pigs will fly too!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway a good weekend is on the cards. Helen is staying with me and hubby. Neil, Helen's older brother is having exciting times with his carer, and their Mum and Dad are having a very well deserved weekend away together. The first of many I hope.

The crafting timetable tomorrow starts with us watching Anice at 11.00am on Create and Craft demonstrating the "Dreams Come True" CD - and I am hoping to be able to point out to Helen a few of my creations (if they get an airing).

The next stage on the timetable will be to use the lovely CD to create what we are going to make for Helen's Mum.. .. so I think you can probably guess what we are going to make.

Have a lovely weekend everyone. I'll see you again tomorrow with the launch of another Allsorts Challenge.

Love Jules xx

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

PENNY BLACK CHALLENGE - WEEK 90

Hi Everyone

Haven't we had two wonderful days of beautiful weather!!! It makes your heart all happy to think of the brighter days to come doesn't it.

Unfortunately, I try to take a photograph when the world isn't quite so bright .. .. .. never mind!!

The challenge over at Penny Black this week is to follow a sketch

This is what I created


and this was the sketch (which I flipped round)


This used:

Image: Penny Black 2078H "Birthday Dog"
Backing Papers: Pink Petticoat
Fiskars Punch: "Threading Water"
Promarkers
Fine Glitter
Inkssentials: "Glossy Accents"


I am hopeful that the day is going to brighten up again - it looks promising (unlike all the traffic that is building up outside my house ................... best rush off to work!!!).

Take care everyone and have a good day.

Love Jules xx

Monday, 1 March 2010

GET FUNKY! IN MARCH

Good morning everyone

Well March is here already (Happy March everyone!) and a new month means a new challenge over at Get Funky!

This month the theme is "Girls, girls, girls".

Here is what I created



This used:

Backing papers and sentiment: All from the Funky Hand "Dreams Come True" CD
Nestabilities: Classic Scalloped Circles Large (for making the flower) and Hearts for the leaves
Glamour dust
Pearls and ribbon from the stash box
.............. not forgetting my trusty old sewing machine


It would be lovely to see you at the Get Funky! challenge this month - you could win a £20 voucher to spend in the Funky store!!

Have a happy Monday!!!

Love Jules xx