My photo
A very warm welcome to my teeny, tiny part of the huge world of blogging. This is where I 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 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.

Monday 31 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Monday is here again .. .. so another Happy Handy Hippo share.

I just cannot believe how quickly these weeks are coming and going!!!

Of course today is trick or treat day .. .. but hopefully you feel my little share of the day is a treat and not a trick.

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 you can remove anything you do not need (or add anything else you can't resist).

This week I thought you might like to see how I made my little shrink plastic sentiment tag.

I always start by stamping my sentiment onto a piece
of scrap card to make sure that it will line up OK
inside my nestie frame or punch
- depending on what I am using.

Then I stamp onto my shrink plastic using Stazon Ink.
If you smudge or things are not lined up as you
would wish you can always clean it off  and start
again by using a Stazon Cleaner to remove the ink.

Punch a hole into your
shrink plastic before you start the
shrinking process  -  you won't stand a chance
of making a hole later!!

Then the good part
.. .. shrinking the plastic with your heat gun!!
I put the shrink plastic into a box lid
to do this as your work tends to fly
about all over the place otherwise

Once the shrinking process starts
you begin to think it will never
flatten out as it should
but be patient .. .. it will !!

Eventually it will flatten itself out .. .. but
be careful as the plastic is hot at this stage.

To finish off the flattening out process
simply tip your plastic tag onto a clean
part of your workspace
and flatten it using an acrylic block.
(Sorry I forgot to photograph this stage as
this bit has to happen quickly)

Here is the finished shrunken tag .. .. I have
done one here in white and another in clear
shrink plastic.  
It comes in a variety of colours but these tend
to be the two I use the most.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my card and my shrink plastic instructions.  Some people shrink their plastic in the oven but I must admit I have never tried that method .. .. it takes a bit too long for an impatient crafter like me!!  LOL!!!

I'll see you again next week when I get to show you a lovely Marianne Creatables Die that I have been playing with .. .. and can't stop playing with LOL!!!

Have a lovely week.


and all the lovely friendly people at Handy Hippo

Sunday 30 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Happy Sunday .. .. have you enjoyed your extra hour?  I think most people will have spent the extra time simply going round and altering all the various clocks that seem to increase each year LOL!!

If you have come to my blog looking for my Funky Hand blog hop post then you will find that here and if you haven't joined in the hop and would like to then you need to start with my lovely Funky leader Anice here.  But you need to get a jiggle on as entry closes tonight (30th October) at midnight!

I am likely to be in bad books again this week (see the end of this post) as I am going to need to close the playground gates early again this week as I have another wedding fayre to attend next Sunday so I will need to get my snippet post scheduled to appear whilst I am busy with those lovely happy couples :

Not sure which is my favourite this week .. .. but I am leaning towards the middle one .. .. simply because I love that rose stamp so much!  But then I love the Christmas one too and the funky little birds LOL!!!

Anyway,  time for the snippet register and to see which playmates had fun in the snippet playground this week.

My first playmate to make an appearance was Lynne who arrived with her arms full to overflowing with fabby Christmas makes.  All very bright and beautiful and very inspirational!

Next was Hazel with her lovely vintage Christmas card.  All super sparkly and such a wonderful colour combo.

Then from miles away in Texas came Carole with a fabulous make.  I just love what Carole has done and my mind is thinking I could perhaps use up some of my "white snippet mountain" if I got my dies and distress ink pads out!!  Thanks for the inspiration Carole.

Another beautiful Christmas card made its way into the playground next courtesy of Carol.  Great layout, image and super cute little snowflakes.  Love it!

Ann visited the snippet playground twice this week and share two lovely makes.  The first is here and the second one here.  Both creations are gorgeous but the second one is very creative.  Great idea Ann!

Sally called by next with a lovely "dotty tree" creation.  I love the bright colours on this make very much.  Sally is a bit like me and enjoys doing bits of doodling on her creations .. .. but forced herself to restrain her doodling tendencies on this one LOL!!!

The next playmate to arrive was Kym with a card to make you smile.  I think the image and sentiment Kym has used are just great and it looks like lots of snippets met their doom on this one!!  A mini mountain must have been used!  Well done.

Ivonne called by next to share a Christmas card with a difference .. .. it was a "left handed" Christmas card.  Now I do have to admit to having made one of these myself .. .. but by mistake LOL!!  Ivonne actually wanted to make what she called a "lefty card".  Great use of snippets and such beautiful shapes and colours!

Di came to the playground next "trick or treating" all the way with a fabby Halloween card.  I love the colours of Halloween and it always seems such a shame that they only appear at this silly time of year when you dread hearing knocks at your door LOL!!!

Irene also called by with two shares this week.  The first one you will find here and the second one here.  As always two beautiful makes from Irene .. .. but the snowflake vellum on the first one make that my favourite of the two this week .. .. it is just stunning.  Even if it was in my snippet box I might have struggled to use that!!

The next playmate waiting in line was Sarah and she also brought Christmas cards for us all to look at  .. .. and what beauties they are too.  Fabulous use of colour, scrummy ribbon and sentiment stamps that I just couldn't risk looking at too long!!!  Tee hee.

A beautiful snippet make arrived next in the hands of Catherine .. .. how super cute is this?  So many lovely embellishments and just perfect for celebrating the arrival of a new baby girl.

Now this next playmate was doing a bit of trick or treating too and managed to confuse me for a while (easily done LOL!!).  They arrived announcing themselves as Scottie and when I looked closer it was actually my regular snippet playmate Sandra with a fabulous green creation.  I love this shade of green.  Great make Scottie Sandra!!  LOL!!

Two more Christmas cards arrived next .. .. one in each hand of Brenda B .. .. and how gorgeous they were too and using the most fabulous die.  I would imagine a little patience is required in the "sticking it all down" department .. .. but well worth the effort as you will see.

Beryl also shared a lovely Christmas card in the snippet playground too.  Like Brenda, Beryl made great use of her dies and snippets to create a beautiful finished card. 

Then last but by no means least was Elizabeth who used her snippets to create a lovely Christmas card too.  A great little winter scene and as always a beautiful finished look inside and out!

Thank you ladies for sharing all of your wonderful creations and for showing what fantastic things can be made by looking at those snippets that just "hang around" our craft space.

So don't for get the snippet gates will be closing early this week.

I will see you all again tomorrow bright and early with my Happy Handy Hippo make for this week but in the meantime if you fancy a blog hop then nip back to the beginning of this post as you could be the lucky winner of the new Funky Hand CD that is soon to be released.



Saturday 29 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Welcome to our very first Funky Hand blog hop!!

If you arrived here simply because you love my blog (LOL!!) and came to see what I have been up to then "hi, nice to see you" .. .. .. but now you are here why not take part in the blog hop where you can win a copy of the brand new Funky Hand Papercraft Factory Christmas CD that is soon to be released called

To take part in the blog hop then you need to start at the very beginning and find out what you need to do by visiting the lovely Anice on her blog here.


If you are already hopping along as part of the blog hop you will have arrived here after collecting a letter from my lovely Funky Hand buddy Jackie.

How are you doing collecting your letters?  Does it make any sense yet? 

Before I share my letter though I will share the project that I made using the lovely design papers from the new CD alongside the pillow box and label template that is on there too.

I know the CD is themed for Christmas but I think my project goes to show that the CD isn't "just" for Christmas makes.

The CD itself is released on the 5th November but you can pre-order one today and also see it being showcased on Create and Craft on Wednesday, 9th November at 8.00am and 1.00pm.

Remember you need to be collecting letters as you move along the hop and leave a comment for everyone before finally leaving your answer with Anice.  Otherwise you aren't "in it to win it". 

So what is the letter you are needing from me .. .. .. well it is the 19th letter of the alphabet !! 

Tee hee!!!  I can see you using your fingers to work it out !!!  and now you have done that you need to leave me a comment before heading off to my next Funky playmate Tip Top Ruth so you can find her letter and see what she made using the fabby new CD.

Have a wonderful weekend and best of luck on the hop.  I wonder who the lucky winner will be?


Friday 28 October 2011


Hi Everyone

I hope you have had a lovely day today.

The weather has certainly been great here .. .. after a misty start.

Just a super quick share of a very simple, but very cute make from me today as I have been out for some of today and now have some catching up to do. 

I am pleased with how my make turned out .. .. even I went "awwww" when I saw the photograph .. .. and I made it!!!  LOL!!!

This used:

Image:  Digistamp Boutique
Sentiment:  Docrafts "With Love"
Backing Paper:  Free with a craft magazine at least 2 years ago !!
Hobbycraft Punch:  Snowflake
Diamond Stickles
White Gel Pen
Brad and ribbon from the Stash Box

and that is me for today.

Hopefully I will see you over the weekend for the Funky Hand Blog Hop.  Set your alarms .. .. we start at 9.00am!!  LOL!!

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday 27 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Guess what?

I found my missing stamp this morning .. .. and how much time have I wasted looking for it?  I am sure I could have made a new one out of a potato quicker!!  LOL!!!

But my brain just won't settle if I can't find something!  Aren't I daft?  (Don't all answer at once!!).

Oh .. where was it? 

Well .. .. .. it had managed to nestle itself between some pieces of card in a drawer.  It must have fallen in and had card put on top of it when my eyes weren't looking what my hands were doing !! Tee hee!!

So all is well again.  I can stop thinking about it .. .. and it has now been put where it "should be".

Now for tonight's share

This used:

Image:  Woodware Clear Stamps "JGCL529" Tipsy Tree
Sentiment: Hobby Art Clear Stamps "Christmas Greeting Set"
Backing Paper:  Papermania "Silent Night"   ... ... again LOL!!!
Martha Stewart Punch:  Valentine Lace
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
Cuttlebug Die:  Snowflake
Vellum for the snowflake
Glimmer Mist:  Antique Brass
Diamond Stickles
Ribbon, brad and snowflake from the Stash Box

So as I am sure you have managed to work out I cut my snowflake out of vellum, sprayed it with the antique brass glimmer mist and dried it with my heat gun.  It does actually look much nicer than the pictures give it credit for.  The photograph just looks like I have spilt a bit of coffee on it!!  But at least you get the idea.

Next a date for your diary!

This Saturday the Funky Hand Funkettes are holding their very first blog hop .. .. where you can win the brand new .. ..  soon to be released .. ..  Papercraft Factory CD that we have been playing with called

Twelve Crafters Crafting

I hope you will get chance to hop along with us .. .. it is a fantastic CD and will be a lovely prize for someone to win.

Anyway, that is me for today .. .. bathtime now!!

I'll see you again tomorrow.  Have a lovely evening.


Wednesday 26 October 2011


Hi Everyone

I hope you have had a good day!

I have been quite pleased with progress so far .. .. but still lots on the list before I give in.

The worst thing on the list for tonight is pulling the old washing machine out .. .. because the new one comes tomorrow.  I dread to think what it is like behind and underneath my old one !!  Eeeekk!!  It is just far too heavy to pull out "just for the sake of it".

But one of the nice things about today was making this little creation.

This used:

Image:  Teddy Bo
Sentiment:  Penny Black "3502F" A wish ...
Backing Papers:  Nitwits
Distress Ink:  Tumbled Glass
Hobbycraft Punch:  Snowflake
Crystal Stickles
Cord, charm and pearls from The Stash Box

So what of this lost stamp!!  Well I knew exactly the stamp I wanted to use alongside this image.  It is from the Unmounted Stamp Company and is a sentiment saying "Merry Kissmas" alongside a little sprig of mistletoe!!  But can I find it?!!!

I am so cross with myself because I can normally find anything and everything.  I will have to go and have another search because it will drive me mad until I find it. 

The stupid thing is I saw it the other day as well .. .. and can remember thinking that it wasn't in its proper place.  That will teach me not to move it at the time to where it should have been!!!  

I bet I will find it now that I have given in and used something else.

Have a lovely evening everyone.

I'll catch you again tomorrow .. .. hopefully with a report that the missing stamp has been found.


Tuesday 25 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Get me .. .. a bit early tonight .. .. I doubt it will last!!  LOL!!!

Today is the 25th of the month which means Rudolph Day as instigated by my lovely blog buddy Sandra .. though due to her current good news she actually brought her Rudolph Day forward so you will need to back track a little to see Sandra's lovely Christmas make.

No Rudolph on Rudolph Day but I do have a leaping deer.  Such a fabby and quick image to use because it doesn't require any colouring!!

I used it last time for one of my Happy Handy Hippo makes using a brown Memento Ink Pad .. .. but today I have embossed it in gold.

Not sure how well the embossing shows up .. .but I am well pleased with it.

This used:

Image:  Penny Black "3057K" Leaping Deer
Sentiment:  Stampendous! Cling Stamp "Family Season"
Backing Papers:  Papermania "A Silent Night"
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
Gold Embossing Powder
Diamond Stickles
Ribbon and cord from the Stash Box

So that is me for today and I am hoping that being early will mean I have time for a good old blog catch up this evening.


Monday 24 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Happy Handy Hippo Monday to you all.

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful weekend.  The weather in my neck of the woods was really good  .. .. but this does mean I have made even more ironing to add to the ironing I had left over from last week!!!  Shame on me.

If only I could summon up as much enthusiasm for ironing as I do for my crafty makes LOL!!!

This week I challenged myself to see exactly how many items I could make using just one sheet of coloured card, one sheet of white card, one stamp set and one cuttlebug embossing folder .. .. .. and this is my selection of creations

The biggest creation made from the sheet of card was the card at the very top of the picture which is 4" x 4" square.

Can you believe that there were still stamps in the set that I never got to use .. .. I ran out of card before I ran out of images LOL!!

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 selection of stationery. Everything has been automatically added to a shopping basket and you can remove anything you do not need (or add anything else you can't resist).

Of course I realise I could have made far more items if I had just made Christmas tags .. .. but that would have been a little too easy!!!

Here you can see how my sheet of coloured card was divided up:

The white card was used in a much less organised fashion for stamping the images and embossing.

So that is me for today.  Did I make more or less pieces of stationery than you imagined?

I hope you all have a lovely day and I will catch you again tomorrow.


and all the lovely friendly people at Handy Hippo

Sunday 23 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Sunday arrives again .. .. and once more I have been battling with the snippets in my craft pod.  But sadly this week I have only had time to make two!!  Life is a little hectic in the House of Hearts today!! LOL!!!

I thought I would just take a little time to explain what I do on a Sunday as I am very fortunate to have gained quite a few new followers since I started this little campaign of mine.  It started off as a little personal challenge but over time quite a few playmates have been keeping me company and showing me how they use their snippets.  It is nice to have playmates!!

Sunday is the day when I only allow myself to use up my snippets .. .. which are the pieces of paper and card  that are left over after completing other projects.  So no cutting into any new sheets of paper or card and no taking ribbon off reels.  It is just a case of using up what has already been attacked previously!!  LOL!!!

My Sunday postings must look very strange to anyone just dropping upon it .. .. so I thought it would be nice to explain.

So week 42, which means only 10 weeks until I have to reveal again the extent of my snippets and compare them with how they were at the start of the year!!  Oh dear!!!  I have a feeling that I am going to have even more .. .. not less!!!  I must try extra specially hard over the next 10 weeks!! 
I wouldn't mind but I have been using them!! 

I thought we would have a bit of fun this week and I will explain more at the end of my post.

But for now here are my shares for today:

So round to the lovely playmates who visited the snippet playground this week.  I was really surprised by how many people actually posted by the end of Sunday night .. .. perhaps Snippet Sunday is catching on LOL!!!

So, super bright and early, (and was probably waiting outside the gates for at least an hour or so before they opened) was Brenda B who has unfortunately needed to be away from her craft desk for a while .. .. but has now returned!!  Welcome back Brenda!!

The next playmate was Carol who shared in the playground three times this week!!  You will find Carol's lovely makes here, here and here.  I am in total awe of Carol as she is managing to use up loads of snippets at the same time as having major work done on her home.  What an inspiration you are Carol!

Hazel continues to be super busy with her snippets and again shared lots of lovely creations.  You can find them here, here, here and here.  Well done Hazel!!  So many lovely snippets put to brilliant use .. and not just on cards either .. .. gorgeous note book covering too!

Debbie was next to share a beautiful card featuring lots of lovely butterflies and a great script background.  Fabulous masking and such a gorgeous colour to work with too!!  Love it!!

Sally called by the playground next to share a gorgeous make using up her snippets .. .. I think it is just the first card that uses up Sally's snippets .. .. but the other cards on the post are lovely too and certainly deserve a look at!

Three more lovely makes this week from Catherine too.  Catherine always decorates the inside and outside of her projects beautifully .. .. so I feel sure she must use up at least twice as many snippets as I do!!  Mmmm... .. best give some thought to this LOL!!!  You can find Catherine's lovely makes here, here and here.  All three are beautiful but the middle one is my favourite .. .. it is really stunning!!! 

Tara was next to share a card which was really neat and clean looking .. .. with a fabulous image coloured just perfectly. 

The playground was next treated to three lovely makes from Irene .. .. you will find them here, here and here.  Irene always does the most amazing embossing.  It always looks super neat and crisp.  In fact although I have linked three times here Irene has actually posted lots of snippet makes on the second link.  A mini snippet mountain must have been used this week surely?!?!?!

Jackie was the next playmate to arrive .. .. but was unable to carry her lovely creations .. .. so brought them along with the help of the basket on the front of her bike (LOL!!).  So many gorgeous makes .. .. just wait until you see what Jackie has done!!!  Her makes are just so cute .. .. especially the little butterflies on the mobiles.  No more clues .. .. you need to go and have a look!!

Elizabeth carried two lovely makes into the playground this week .. .. the first one you will find here and the second one here.  I am loving the embossing that Elizabeth has done on the second project .. .. very inspirational.  Thank you for sharing that Elizabeth.

Bernie then called by with her fantastic snippet make .. .. a fabulous starburst card.  What a fantastic way to use up even the smallest of snippets!  Bernie definitely used some gorgeous ones here.

A super sweet share next appeared in the playground carried by Lynne.  What a gorgeous use of her snippets .. and you can't beat adding a Penny Black stamped image into the mix!!!

Mandy arrived next with a lovely autumn make and such a fun image too.  It was a double treat for me as Mandy had entered her creation into the Get Funky! challenge and my little snippet challenge too.  Thank you for sharing Mandy.

A brand new playmate arrived in the playground this week .. .. Ivonne .. .. who brought with her a lovely creation.  I hope you get chance to pay Ivonne a visit and welcome her into the snippet gang!!!

A fabby make was shared next by Andria .. .. who is now celebrating being on a half term break.!!  What a beautiful make Andria shared .. .. gorgeous inside and out and made for such a lovely reason too.

Beryl was next to join in the fun and brought with her a fabulous make that used the most gorgeous snippets.  A great colour combo and a die that I just didn't have to look at too long as it was lovely!!  Fabulous image and everything together made for a great male Christmas card!

Then last but by no means least was Di .. .. who just made it to the playground this week with a splendid Christmas card using the iris folding technique.  Gorgeous snippets used for this lovely make.

So thank you to everyone who took time to share their lovely snippet makes this week.  I am not sure what has been happening with my comments though because as I have been linking today I have noticed that some of you do not have any showing from me .. .. even though I can remember leaving them :-(

I have tried to leave duplicates and hopefully these will show!!

I would hate people to think I am ignoring their entries.  I would be a very rude playmate if I did that!!!

So round to a bit of fun.

Have you ever looked to see what the most viewed post is on your blog?

I looked at mine yesterday and it is this post here.  Which was a tutorial on making an origami Christmas tree.  Which is why I decided to make my little trees today.

Do you fancy sharing your most popular post?  To find it simply go to your dashboard and click on "stats" ... ..  "posts" ... .. "all time" and at the top of the list will be the post that the most people have looked at.

Let me know if you share it.  I would love to pop along and see what it is .. .. even if you aren't sharing a snippet make it would be nice to see your most popular post.

Have a good evening. 

I'll see you bright and early tomorrow with my Happy Handy Hippo make(s) .. .. .. just how many things can you make with one sheet of coloured card, one sheet of white card and a single set of stamps!!!  I'll show you how many I managed tomorrow.  LOL!!!


Saturday 22 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Well what a treat today is!!

A lovely bright and beautiful day  .. a tad cold in the wind but gorgeous even so.

Then just to make a lovely weekend complete .. .. Anice is giving a whopping 25% off all Funky Hand products .. .. so great offers on the CD's, downloads and stamps .. .. even the fabby Papercraft Factory CDs!!

If you click on the picture above this will take you to the Funky Store for a little gander about .. .. and if you are in Halloween or Christmas mode at the moment then there might be some collections of interest in the download section (the Halloween one is lush!!).

Here is a little look at a card I made using the lovely Papercraft Factory CD .. Happy, Happy Birthday.  It gives you a little look at some of the scrummy papers!!

I will see you tomorrow for the snippet register and a little playground game!!  But for now I need to go out and choose a new washing machine.  My old one is poorly and too expensive for the maintenance people to repair .. .. and thankfully my policy is "new for old" so I can have a replacement.  But do you know the best part?  My maintenance contract only had another two weeks to run .. .. normally it works the other way round .. .. machines break down just after a contract has run out!!
Have a lovely Saturday everyone.  I hope the sun is shining on you.


Friday 21 October 2011


Hi Everyone

Friday night .. .. yay!!  The weekend starts here!!

I don't know why I get excited though because every day is pretty much the same for me .. .. .. which must explain why I wake up every morning excited about what the day might hold!!  LOL!!!

Christmas cards have been the order of the day today .. .. so I had better share one of those

This used:

Image:  Great Impressions "G289" Frosty Friends
Sentiment:  Great Impressions "B154" From All of Us
Backing Paper:  Pink Petticoat
Nestabilites:  Classic Squares and Lacy Squares
Martha Stewart Punch:  Doily Lace
Hobby Craft:  Snowflake Punches
Sakura:  Gelly Roll Pen for faux stitching
Cord and Glitter card from the snippet box

So that is me for today.

I will see you tomorrow with some fabby exciting news from Funky Hand and then Sunday I will see you with my snippets.  I have had a great idea for a bit of fun in the playground this week!!  Can't wait!!

See you tomorrow.