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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.

Tuesday 31 January 2012


Hi Everyone

I would like to start with a big "thank you" for all the lovely comments you left on my Handy Hippo post yesterday about the little ribbon tutorial I posted.  I was quite worried about posting it in case people thought that I was trying to "teach my Grandmother how to suck eggs"!!  But it seems to have gone down well and people are looking forward to next week's instalment. I don't feel so bad now.  LOL!!!

I thought I would have a play with another sketch today so strolled over to the Sketch N Stash Challenge blog thinking that will be nice and straightforward .. .. but no .. .. I was wrong.


Well this week they are doing a "free choice" week which means that you can choose any sketch from their complete catalogue to use alongside your old or neglected stash!!!  

My oh my .. .. how many gorgeous sketches were there to choose from?!?!!?  Answer .. .. too many!!!

But eventually my decision was made and this is what I created

This used:

Image:  Penny Black "3205H" Sunshine Hedge!
Backing Papers:  Papermania V & A "Hanoverian Linen Paper Pack"
Sentiment:  Pink Petticoat
Woodware Punches:  Daisy
Martha Stewart Punch:  Daisy and Frond
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
Button from the Stash Box

As for what is old or neglected .. .. well I cannot say that any of Penny Black images are neglected .. .. but this one is definitely old!!  I have had this little beauty for a few years now.

Then this is my chosen sketch.

Sketch No 64

So that is me for today.

I'll catch you again tomorrow.

There is still lots to cross of my "do list" today so I had better get back to it if I want to see my bed this side of midnight!!  LOL!!!

Have a good evening


Monday 30 January 2012


Hi Everyone

Happy Handy Hippo Day to you!

I hope you had a good weekend.

As promised last week here I am with yet another Valentine's Day make .. .. and one that is a "little bit different" to what you normally see from me.  But I just "love it" and was so pleased with the end result.  I think this might be Hubby's Valentine from me in a couple of weeks time

I also promised to do a little session on things I do with ribbon .. .. well I started putting some ideas together and it just got longer and longer and longer .. .. so I am going to spread this out over a few sessions with this week being Part 1.

But to begin with here is my share for the day:

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 project.  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 wasn't too sure how I would get on with a black distress ink pad .. .. but now I am struggling to put it away!!  I love it!!!  I also stamped with the distress pad too so that I had a more "uneven" stamped image.

Cupid, the Heart and the Arrow are all from the same Sizzix Die.

So now round to what I do with my ribbons .. .. .. Part 1

This first picture shows you one idea for using up those pesky little bits of ribbon.  Not long enough to tie around anything but too good to throw away!!

Here I am simply threading ribbon through
the holes that were formed after using
an edge punch

But you could just as easily thread the ribbon
through holes made with an eyelet punch
or even a standard office type punch.

The thicker the ribbon the more
difficult it is to thread and tighten up.

This looks extra funky if each piece of ribbon is a
different colour 

To attach your ribbon simply
fold your scrap of ribbon in half and
thread the fold through the
hole of your choice.

Then thread the tails of your ribbon
through the loop.  Tighten by pulling
gently on the tails. 

I quite often don't tie my ribbons around the whole of my card .. .. sometimes it seems such a waste .. .. so let's say this is the finished look I want to achieve.  It looks as though I have used one continuous piece of ribbon and simply tied it around the cream card.  But in reality it is two scrappy little bits.

Here is how I achieve this look

I start by taking my length of ribbon .. .. wrap it
around my card and secure it with a
couple of pieces of sticky tape
Next I add double sided sellotape
all around the edge of my card - making sure that
I secure the ribbon well .. .. .. I don't want
the ends of the ribbon to be able to
work their way loose!!!!
Next turn your work  over and
thread a second piece of ribbon underneath
the band you have just attached
Then simply tie this ribbon.
I always cross the ribbon from the
left over the front  .. .. and then take it
over and through as below
Pull the two ends to tighten it  up
Move the ribbon you are tying to where you
want your knot to be and trim the
end up and there you have two
scraps of ribbon that look like one
continuous length
Just like this

If you would rather your ribbon looked like a proper bow .. .. like the one below then that is just as simple.

You do exactly as you have above but use a longer second piece of ribbon and do not cut the ends off once you have tightened the knot.

So you have tightened up your knot and now
have two long lengths of ribbon left.

Make two loops (or bunny ears as the lady
who owned the dressmaking shop where I used to have

a Saturday job called them)
I cross the right hand loop over the left hand
Push the loop under and through
Then pull the two loops to tighten up your bow.

It will look completely rubbish at this
point .. ..  but don't panic LOL!!!
Just like this .. . tee hee
But work on the bow by pulling and twisting
the tails and straightening out the
loops.  I usually find hooking my
finger into the loop helps.
I promise that this is the same "rubbish" bow
you saw earlier .. .. but a bit of love and care
transformed it.

I simply cut the ends of the ribbon where I wanted
but this time in a fish tail shape rather than at
an angle.

Sorry about the photograph overload.  I hope it all makes sense and that you all have some fun using up your scrap ends of ribbon.

I will post some more ideas for using up your smaller lengths of ribbon next week.  I am sure you will have had enough for this week LOL!!!

Until then have a good week.


and all the lovely friendly people at Handy Hippo

Sunday 29 January 2012


Hi Everyone

Happy Sunday!!!

I hope you are having a good one.

Mine has gone really well so far .. .. and I'm not expecting it to change course (or there will be trouble) LOL!!!

I was up far too early for a Sunday really and got the following two makes done super early.

Then hubby very kindly offered to take me to get some new reels of ribbon in preparation for the next two wedding fayres we have coming up in February and March.  I love choosing new colours to make samples with and my favourite this time round has to be the gorgeous "emperor purple" goodies I got.

Of course once I get there I cannot stick to just ribbons .. .. .. ..  I ended up with some gorgeous buttons and black lace too.  I know black lace isn't everyone's idea of something nice .. .. but I love it!!!  
Then of course I see things that aren't wedding related but still "needed".   They will be coming to a blog near you soon.   LOL!! 

But for now I will share the makes I put together early this morning.

Both are for entering into "Pixie's Crafty Snippet Challenge" and the second one is for "The Rudolph Day Challenge" .. .. I hope you get chance to take a look at both challenges and possibly take part.

I love Sunday and my snippet makes because I am totally lazy and use just anything that is lying around .. and as you will see my first card is made from the leftovers of yesterday's card and the images I use are already coloured and sitting waiting in a little drawer to be used.  I would have hoped for more makes but of course the ribbons were calling much louder .. .. .. as they do.

The laziness continues because I don't list out what I have used to make my creations on a Sunday either .. .. but as always if there is something you like the look of and want to know more about then please just ask away.

I am going to try really hard to make a snippet Christmas card every week .. .. at least then my Christmas stocks will build up slowly.

Enjoy what is left of Sunday .. .. and I'll see you bright and early tomorrow with my next Handy Hippo project.  I was also going to show you a few examples of "things to do with ribbon" .. .. but there are so many that I think this is going to spread over a few weeks.  So it is "things to do with ribbon - Part 1" LOL!!

Catch you soon


Saturday 28 January 2012


Hi Everyone

I hope you are having a good Saturday.

Mine has flown by far too quickly as I am sure yours will have done too.

My share today combines to challenges:

The Penny Black Saturday Challenge   (Theme = Floral Frenzy)

along with

Sketch Saturday (Follow the Sketch)

I decided a good sketch and being told what theme to work to would make for a quick card LOL!! Lazy, lazy me!!!

Anyway this is the finished result:

This used:

Image:  Penny Black "3865K" Gossamer
Sentiment:  Papermainia Clear Stamps "Relations"
Backing Papers:  Papermania "Rose Garden"
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
Nestabilities:  Classic Square
My Trusty Sewing Machine
Diamond Stickles
Beads attached with Glossy Accents

and here is the sketch that I worked to:

and that is me for today.

Have a great evening everyone .. .. see you in the Di's snippet playground tomorrow.


Friday 27 January 2012


Hi Everyone

Well it's not a valentine card .. .. but it is "very pink" LOL!!!

Hope everyone has had a good day.

I nipped to see a friend quickly this morning as it is her birthday tomorrow and she is going away .. .. we sat and had a coffee in her conservatory and a good old chin wag (and I was wishing that the room belonged to me .. .. .. it would make a fabulous studio).  It was lovely for everywhere to be so bright and to be able to look out and see the gorgeous garden.

The weather whilst I was with her was like a summer's day.  But I leave her, drive the short journey home, get my sandwich and a drink and suddenly the day was as dark and miserable as you could imagine .. .. and it went downhill from there.  By teatime it was tipping it down with rain and it hasn't stopped since!!

What a mixed bag!!

So round now to my share of the day

This used:

Image:  Stampendous! "M214" Bloom Swirl
Backing Papers:  GCD Studios "Soul Food"
Martha Stewart Punch:  Doily Lace
Glamour Dust
Diamond Stickles
Buttons and ribbon from the Stash Box

So that is me for today .. .. short and sweet .. .. have to run as my supper is ready!!

Hubby's lovely fish, chips, potato fritters and mushy peas!!!  I'm glad he likes cooking .. .. but I don't like the mess he leaves afterwards .. .. sigh!!

Never mind a girl can't have everything.

Have a good weekend everyone.


Thursday 26 January 2012


Hi Everyone

Yep .. .. tomorrow I promise .. .. .. .. .. "no Valentine card"!!!

I am sure you must all be sick to the back teeth of my Valentine makes so tomorrow I promise to share something different.

What it will be I have no idea yet .. .. but it won't be for Valentines (but there will be a heart on it "somewhere" .. .. .. hopefully .. .. .. LOL!!).

Anyway, tomorrow is another day .. .. and today it "IS" another Valentine card.

This used:

Image:  Digistamp Boutique:  Valentine Bird Collection (printed onto linen effect card)
Sentiment:  Magnolia Stamps "Be My Valentine"
Backing Papers:  Hot Off The Press "Classic Creative Pack"
Nestabilities Die:  Labels Four
Diamond Stickles
Glamour Dust
Sticky back pearls
Ribbon and Cord from the Stash Box

So a very quick one today as I didn't need to do any colouring at all!!  Just a bit of glamour dust on a couple of the hearts and that was it!!

I have been with Mum again this afternoon making more of my little favour boxes.  Only another 6 to do for this current order and then the decorating and filling of them can begin .. .. woo hoo!!

So I am definitely going to get those made tonight so that I have reached a lovely little landmark on the production front.

I don't know if any of you visit my fabby blog buddy Elizabeth but she has started to do some work with the lovely Handy Hippo and you really must go and see the lovely project she posted here.  She has made the most amazing flower out of hearts!!!!!  Wowzers .. .. I am so going to have to try and make one of those that's for sure!!!!!  (Once I have some instructions from Elizabeth xx).

Well that is all of my news for today.

I am off to make those last 6 favour boxes .. .. have something to eat .. .. clear up and then hopefully have a good old blog hop.  I have a feeling I have a bit of catching up to do!!!!  

Have a good evening everyone.


Wednesday 25 January 2012


Hi Everyone

Well that is Wednesday .. .. ..  nearly come and gone!!!  

Where does the time go?  Days lasted far longer when I went to school that's for sure.

Lots of crafty makes in the House of Hearts today but still I want there to me more .. .. .. will I ever be satisfied with the amount I make in a day?  I somehow doubt it!!  

Just a quick and easy make today .. .. and one that is going to get me in trouble because I should have made a Christmas card for Sandra's Rudolph Day .. .. but the demand for Valentine cards is far higher than Christmas cards at the moment.  I wonder why that is LOL!!!  (Sorry Sandra xx .. I will make amends).  If anyone is wanting to get ahead of the game with the Christmas makes then you need to pay Sandra a visit!!

But for me .. ..  I am still in Valentine mode .. ..

This used:

Image:  Penny Black "1578K" Absolutely Silly about You!!
Sentiment:  Pink Petticoat
Backing Papers:  Aimee Asher
Nestabilities:  Eyelet Circles
My Trust Sewing Machine
Josy Rose:  Nail Heads
Glossy Accents
Diamond Stickles

Last time I used this stamp I covered the cat's tie with glossy accents .. .. but touched it too soon and it ended up with a dent and a finger print in it .. .. .. and no matter what I did to try and rectify my impatience I just couldn't make the card look decent .. .. so it ended up in the bin (after I stole a few embellishments off it and the back part of the card).  I hate it when something has to go in the bin.

This time I added the glossy accents and put my card well out of sight so that I wasn't tempted to "test it". In fact I haven't touched it at all.  It can stay lying down until tomorrow whilst I make something else!  LOL!!!

Have a lovely evening everyone.  Ours involves spag bol and garlic bread ... .. yummy!!!

Catch you again tomorrow


Tuesday 24 January 2012


Hi Everyone

I hope you have had a good day .. .. and if not that tomorrow is better!!

It has been pretty wet and nippy here all day today and there is talk of a bit of "the white stuff" later this week.  Nothing that is going to stay around for very long but a nuisance nonetheless.

After all it doesn't take much of it to throw us into chaos does it?!?!?  Unlike some of our lovely foreign friends who have to cope with meters of the stuff!!!

All hyper busy at this end with wedding work .. .. .. but still time to pull a quick creation in.

This used:

Image:  Great Impressions "G264" Bunnies Taking a Peek
Sentiment:  Great Impressions "C343" Some Bunny Loves You!
Backing Paper:  GCD Studios "Tea Time"
Leone Em Pty Punch:  Ash Branch
Woodware Punches:  Flowers
Ribbon, cord, pearls and brads from the Stash Box

and that is me for today!!

Just time for a little more wedding work before the bathroom is mine for a nice bubbly soak!!

Have a good evening everyone.

Catch you tomorrow.