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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

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL

Hi Everyone

I just wanted to call by to wish everyone the very best Christmas they could possibly have.

Certainly this Christmas is going to be extra difficult for quite a few of my blog buddies but please know I will be thinking of you.

Christmas in the House of Hearts is going to start off gradually when the London Kids and the Local Kid arrive later today. All the tidying up will feel like it was a waste of time as they arrive with all their belongings (and no-doubt presents that will still need wrapping).  But I can't wait, Christmas Eve is my most favourite day of the whole year and I am so excited about us all being together again as a family for a few days.  Every second will be treasured and special.

Each day is going to get busier and busier as we build up to a manic day on Saturday with around 13 of us sitting down for a family meal .. .. and then it will calm down again come Sunday when it will be what I call the "stretch or starve day".  Sunday everyone will have to grab whatever is around to eat as there will be no cooking coming from my direction .. .. I will probably be in a shattered heap in the corner snoring away!!  LOL!

So all the presents and cards are delivered, our presents are all wrapped .. .. it is just the start of the food preparations now and the taking down of Mr Heart's birthday cards so they can be replaced with Christmas cards.

A huge thank you to everyone who has sent me Christmas cards, emails and good wishes for Christmas .. .. and an even bigger thank you to everyone who has continued to visit my blog even though I have struggled big time to return those lovely comments.  I haven't been a very good blog buddy this year much to my dismay . .. but life has certainly been exciting on the crafting and business front and I definitely feel like I have stretched myself and learnt so much.  I hope I continue to improve and grow during 2015.

I was super good this year though and stuck to my new year resolution of making Christmas cards all year .. .. but I could still have done with more in stock as yet again there were not enough for my lovely customers and I ended up doing urgent last minute makes .. .. plus it has also given me an even bigger problem in choosing my five favourites for taking over to Debby's annual "Five Favourite Christmas Cards" show and tell:

So in no particular order, and for the reasons I have given,  here we go with my personal five favourite Christmas makes of 2014:

Number 1

This one uses probably my most used Christmas stamp of 2014.  I have lost count of the number of times I have made this card .. .. or one very similar!!  LOL!!


Number 2

I tried to make quite a few "flatter" Christmas cards this year and I just love the technique of layering a die cut within a die cut.  Definitely one of my favourite techniques at the moment.


Number 3

Just love the "blackboard" look so had to include this little beauty (using a sentiment stamp that also got lots of use).


Number 4

This one joined the ranks as it was a completely different style for me and involved a few new techniques that I hadn't tried before. Not everyone's idea of a card full of Christmas cheer .. .. but I really loved the finish look.


Number 5

and of course no collection would be complete without a little Penny Black hedgie making an appearance.  Love the image, and the notebook die cut and both got a fair bit of use this year.


So there we go.  My five favourites in one post.

Thanks for asking us to share them Debby, I really enjoyed looking back over what I had created during the year.  I feel like making a Christmas card now .. .. .. but the kitchen is calling!!  Time to start those Christmas food preparations and tidy away all the unfinished craft projects that need to go on hold for a little while.

Have a good one everyone!

Love and tight squeezy Christmas hugs

Sunday, 21 December 2014

SUNDAY SNIPPETS

Hi Everyone

I hope all your Christmas plans are coming together nicely .. .. mine are heading in the right direction .. .. but very, very slowly.

Still lots to be done .. .. but it is the same every year!  I always try and cram too much in (and I am not just talking mince pies) LOL!!

No time to actually make anything today for sharing as I am working on a few hundred invites that are needed for January .. .. but I can share some labels that I made from my snippets last night ready for putting onto the presents I have spoken of before.  The presents where the contents have to start with the initial of the name of the person receiving the gift(s).  Lots of goodies priced at £5 per person all wrapped into one package and adorned with their own personal label:


We exchanged gifts last night and shared a lovely Chinese meal and also celebrated Mr Heart's birthday which happened in the week.  How many celebrations is he managing?!?!?!  and they will still be continuing into next weekend.  But it was a bit of a BIG birthday so it is allowed LOL!!

When we visit our friends I usually take my shoes off and leave them by the front door and last time we visited I was presented with my own special pair of slippers as they didn't want my feet to get cold on the conservatory floor.  They were going to be put into safe keeping for each time I visit.

I thought that was really lovely.

But just look what had happened to my slippers when I was presented with them last night:


How special are those?  My own special, personalised slippers!  Lovely!! 

It is a special two week long challenge over at Pixies Snippets Playground this time and I am taking my labels across to share them with my playmates.  Lots of lovely prizes on offer as it is a special celebration time for Di.

I was fortunate to have one of my cards from last Sunday showcased by Di and I also received lots of questions as to what the ingredients were.  


I did reply to emails but will list them here too:

The backing papers were from Kaisercraft and are called "North Pole" and the sentiment is one of a set of four from Whimsy Stamps called "Christmas Chalkboards 1".

I actually made this Christmas card as a personal one that I knew would have meaning for our youngest son (the musician) as he has had his music featured on a video advertisement for Deerz who manufacture gorgeous jumpers.  Some in the style of the patterned paper. It is so lovely to see how a company has grown and how they produce their beautiful knitwear (and of course hear Steve's  music alongside).  

OK .. .. so time for our evening meal now.  

Dishing up time!!!

I will catch you again before "the big day" but in the meantime enjoy your week.

Love

Sunday, 14 December 2014

SUNDAY SNIPPETS

Hi Everyone

Happy Sunday!

I hope you have had a good weekend.

Mine has been quite a mixed one as I met a lovely new "happy couple" on Saturday (along with Grandma) and we were talking about all the excitement of an August wedding, and today has been spent trying to complete the Christmas present shopping before the shops go super manic .. .. I think we have managed it ..  .. just need to make sure we both have enough £1 presents for our family Christmas meal which won't happen until the 27th December (we know how to drag all that lovely Christmas cooking out).

I have also found some time to play with a few of my snippets ready for taking over to Pixie's Snippets Playground.  Both cards are needed for this week .. .. and it has taken all day to complete them .. .. but they are done and I am here to share them at last!!





No ingredients as I am lazy on a Sunday .. .. but if you want to know anything then please just ask and I will try my best to help.

There is a busy work week coming up and lots happening, but I will try hard to make an appearance.

Take care and have a good week.

Love

Thursday, 11 December 2014

APOLOGIES FROM THE HOUSE OF HEARTS

Hi Everyone

Just calling by with a quick apology.

One of my lovely blog buddies let me know today that comment moderation has appeared on my blog.  This asks everyone to prove they are not a robot if they want to leave me a comment!!

I know I am not alone .. .. it seems to be something lots of you are experiencing at the moment .. .. but it certainly isn't something I have chosen to add .. .. so I am just hoping that Mr Blogger will be doing something that will return everything to how it used to be .. .. very soon.  (Pretty, pretty please).

I hate messing about with the settings for fear of wiping my blog completely but I was brave and followed the instructions that I was given for sorting it .. .. but then all comments automatically appear on my blog and I just know that once again I will be open to having my blog comments filled with stupid advertising comments offering services that we certainly won't go into here!!!

My blog is normally set so that I manually release the "proper" comments and reject any bogus ones.

Oh well, fingers crossed it sorts itself out.

But in the meantime many thanks for all the kind wishes for the London Kids.  I know they will have read all your lovely comments and appreciate them all.

Love

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

HAPPY NEW HOME TO THE LONDON KIDS

Hi Everyone

I hope your week has been progressing well.

My life is still busy and was extra complicated by the boiler deciding to throw a wobbly (along with the Christmas tree lights!!).  But always looking for a silver lining to every dark cloud I consoled myself with the fact that it was better these things went wrong now than in two week's time!!

So the London Kids are finally installed in their new home and the keys to their old flat have been returned to the landlord.

Now it is time for them to sort out all the important things .. .. like internet connection LOL!!!

They have just been in touch to say thank you for their new home card which arrived with them today .. .. so I can now share it with you.  They had great difficulty getting a sofa bed out of their flat so this image made them smile as it reminded them of the hassle they had



This used:

Image:  Lili of the Valley "Moving Day"
Sentiment:  Computer Generated using font "2 Peas Barefoot Professor"
X-Cut Flower Punch
Woodware Heart Punch
Josy Rose Nail Heads
ProMarkers
Ribbon and Key Charm from My Crafty Stash Box

My card was just one of my normal 144 x 144 square ones with the top cut into a roof shape.

They spotted the heart(s) straightaway LOL!!!  Lots of hearts needed though to wish them lots of love and happiness in their new home.

Time now to head off downstairs for The Apprentice - the number of candidates are dwindling now!!

Hope you are all keeping safe and warm!!

Love

Sunday, 7 December 2014

SUNDAY SNIPPETS

Hi Everyone

Happy Sunday!

I am here today with my snippet makes for taking over to Pixie's Snippets Playground   

My creations have made just a very, very small little dent in my collection of snippets .. .. but they have made a lovely dent in my preparations for Christmas.

These two cards are for giving to Mr Heart's Uncle and his "pretend" Auntie, who was one of his late Mum's very good friends. Does anyone have "pretend aunties" anymore?

Normally by the time I get round to making cards for these lovely folk they are done in a fit of panic the day before we visit .. .. so how nice to have done them at a more leisurely pace.  I told Mr Heart that if he rescues their presents from wherever they are hidden then I would get them wrapped and that would mean we are actually "ready" for visiting two very special people (who I know won't be visiting my blog).

So here we go




and as always on a Sunday I am lazy and don't list my ingredients but just ask away if there is anything you would like to know.

We got the Christmas decorations and tree out of the attic today .. .. hopefully the tree will be up and decorated over the next few days.  The bad thing being we have highlighted another space where the tree could "perhaps" go this year .. .. but this involves moving furniture .. .. eeekk!!!  Talk about making work for yourself LOL!!

Enjoy what is left of the weekend and I will catch you again soon.

Love

Saturday, 6 December 2014

IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS

Hi Everyone

I hope you are all well!

This has to have been the fastest week on record .. .. and definitely the busiest one ever.  

I have dabbled in everything.  Wedding work, Christmas card orders, birthday orders, magazine commissions, accounts ready for Mr Accountant Man .. .. but very little housework (oops) .. .. and I feel that next week is going to be very much the same. 

I did have a mad clean up campaign very early one morning in readiness for a  few "happy couples" that were calling by and I had to smile to myself when I considered the fact that Mr Heart might start getting people to arrange "fictitious visits" just to make sure I do at least a bit of housework LOL!!

So no posts from me all week  I'm afraid .. .. and no blog visiting .. .. I am really sorry about that but my time was eaten up on projects I couldn't share and that have kept me super busy :-(

I can however show you my favourite project from the Quick Cards Made Easy magazine which has just gone on sale.  I was commissioned to do a technique called triple embossing and this was possibly my favourite of the cards I made  ..  I always struggle to choose.


I am hopeful that I might get chance to play with a few snippets tomorrow if the day is kind to me. There are certainly enough of them scattered around the old House of Hearts that' s for sure.  I do wish I wasn't such a hoarder sometimes .. .. .. but then I hate waste so I suppose I will always be one!

I'll catch you tomorrow  .. .. hopefully!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Love