Friday, 11 October 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday to you and how has your week been? 
It has been full on hobby haven/cabin clearing/sorting this week
and I'm delighted with the progress.

I do love a basket as this picture definitely shows and
glad to say that some of these are actually empty.
Not sure for how long...I may use them for yarn!
(Note I'm not showing you the stock room area, that's
not picture worthy just yet!)

This area is for card, I've still kept a good supply of coloured card
and pretty paper.

And this is the area I am most pleased with.  A new desk and writing area.
My plan is to spend some time here doing some writing as a hobby, 
more details coming soon.

I purchased one of the Hobbycraft trolleys because I kept seeing them on
sale and couldn't resist.  Who doesn't love a bargain?
It remains empty because I just don't know what to put in it!  

Other news:  it was World Cardmaking Day last week and 
Scrapbook Adhesives featured a card that I made, the details are here.

I was really happy to be featured because this card marks my 
final project for Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L. 
I've chosen to step down from their design team after being with them 
since 2011.  I thought about it long and hard and decided I 
really wanted to make changes and dedicate my time differently.
I will miss them, they are the best team out there with the 
most lovely supportive friends.

Crochet progress - 
the poncho, right now looks more like a scarf!

I didn't get to do a great deal again this week as each evening
I've been heading off to bed earlier than normal.
I'm attributing it to vigorous cabin clearing and the colder nights. 

And talking of getting colder, this week's purchase that highly amused
the boys - furry clogs/crocs from Aldi! 
Do you have a pair of shoes permanently at the back door?
I do and for years they've been these plastic crocs/clogs and now 
I've found them fur lined for Winter, I'm thrilled! 
I can now nip out in the garden without my feet feeling frozen - 
it's the little things and for only £4.99 too
(available in other colours).

Bella time and this week sharing her makeover.
Before she looks like a Star Wars Wookie and after, a startled Meerkat!

  And my final nattering this week is dedicated to food.
Along with many changes happening right now,
I've chosen to stop eating meat.  Various reasons -
health, environment and because there are just some things
you cannot 'unsee'.  
I have to say I've found it far much easier than I thought. 
Nowadays there's a wealth of alternatives and this week when I 
went out for breakfast I was introduced to Linda McCartney's 
Vegetarian Sausages and you know what?  They are really good! 

Also very tasty are the Linda McCartney burgers with mozzarella.
I would like to tell you that I've lost tons of weight by cutting out meat
but that's just not true, oh well you can't have everything! 

Well my friends that wraps up my week.
I do hope you are all well and have a nice weekend planned.
Please join me next Friday for my chatter,
no idea what will be going on but it's bound to be random! 

Take care friends.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday and welcome to my natterings.
Hope you are all having a good week so far,
we have lurched into Autumn head first, I swear the trees 
just look at the calendar and instantly shake all their leaves off!
Overnight I'm walking through masses of them with the temptation to 
kick them in the air (still a kid at heart) and I love the gorgeous colours.'s a little of what has been happening in my world.

Firstly my cabin is undergoing some changes.
I've decided it is going to be my 'Hobby Haven', I quite like the sound of that.  
To that end, I kidnapped the boys and asked for their help in setting up little areas
for different hobbies.  My hope is to have a place for writing, sewing and papercraft.
Crochet is a home hobby in front of Netflix, just in case you were wondering :)  

So far, I've got a new desk, computer and chair - it's all rather white!

This is Elliott making sure all things techy are working.
(Note: he did not touch that duster to his left!)

And Mitchell putting together a more comfortable chair for me.
I've sat on that wicker one with cushions for years!

Also turns out I've had the same laptop for 8 years and
in computer terms that is apparently very OLD and the boys are horrified! 
My opinion was that it still works but I have to admit this new setup
feels very swish so I am happy.

I cannot quite convert the cabin to Hobby Haven completely 
as I need to sell off all the stock from the website.
I am doing that with lots of offers so please stay tuned, it all has to go!
I tend to release a new offer every Friday with occasional small offers in the week.
Right now I have overstocked on Grand Cabinet so that die is available 
for just £12 at the moment.  Becca also uses this die as a box, very pretty.

This week's new discoveries:

I stumbled across a lovely Instagram account called 
Made by Leah, this is her website here.
There is something so very charming about her designs and 
I especially like the Pink Gin drawing.
I've decided to have this framed and placed above my desk.
(For the times when it isn't suitable to drink Gin I can just imagine!)
I also thought the robin enamel mug was very cute.

Crochet update:

Slow progress on my poncho this week so I will cheat and 
show you what I am hoping it will look like.
This is the pattern - Uptown Poncho.
I've gone for a silver grey but you never know if it is a success,
I may choose to make another one in Aran and can wear it in approx. 2025! 

And because like all crafters we think ahead to our next project whilst
we still have half a dozen on the go - I've decided to make a crochet
and I'm thinking a nice red/Merlot colour would suit her for Christmas.

And talking of the lady she is looking very forlorn.

Unfortunately she got stung by a wasp this week.
It was a mad dash to the vets where she was checked out and 
I was told by the very lovely vet that rather than a costly injection,
 Piriton would work perfectly.
And it has, although we've only given her one as it definitely made 
her very sleepy.  But...what I didn't know is ...if you tell the Pharmacist 
it is for your dog they cannot sell it to you!  I even had a note from the vet
but he was adamant.  So I'm afraid I lied when I visited the next chemist.
(I do not condone lying unless your dog is at risk and then it is allowable!) 

This weekend, 100% cabin sorting.
I did shoot a little video to share but realised I had said the words 
'sorting/sorted/to be sorted' eight times in the first 30 seconds! 
I will perhaps have another go or failing that, a silent video.

I am finding it very cathartic sorting (see, I've said it again!)
the cabin and I came across this quote which I love and 
I will leave it with you all.

Have a wonderful weekend and hope you can join me again next Friday.

Take care friends.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Well what a week! 

Following my announcement last Friday that I will be closing Hope and Chances
at the end of this year, I've received many wonderful supportive messages - 
thank you so much, it has made me feel much much better.
I am busy between now and 31 December organising the 
selling of stock and making the cabin into something a little different.
I may stop for Christmas though!

I did don my crafting hat to create this project for 
Scrapbook Adhesives, it features these cute mini mason jars.
The full tutorial is here if you fancy a peek.

I purchased the jars in Home Bargains - do you have one near you?
My closest one is at Lakeside so I have to venture through the 
Dartford Tunnel but it is worth it!  
There's lots of wondrous assorted things in there - I came home with 
these jars, a towel rail, dog food, a notebook and Elbow Grease!
(Digressing...Elbow Grease is amazing for UPVC and only 99p a bottle).

I don't actually own this many bottles, well ...not quite!

This week I treated myself to a trip to the cinema to see Downton Abbey.
I wasn't disappointed, it was charming and felt so nice to be revisiting 
all the characters.  I'm a huge fan of Downton, I eagerly awaited
every episode on a Sunday evening and then purchased all the DVDs,
I still watch them on a loop when cooking.

Julian Fellows will be bringing Belgravia to TV soon,
I have the book and keep meaning to read it beforehand.
I'm confident it will be just as good  but I think I'll always 
have a fondness for Downton. 

This week saw a real change in the weather here in Kent.
This is my commuter coach stop within walking distance of my home.
If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I post a photo 
every Thursday of this spot as I'm waiting at 6.45am (ish).
I find it interesting to see the different skies and the plants growing.
(Not so sure everyone else does but I do like sharing!)

This means Autumn has arrived, a chance to bring out the warmer clothes.
I put last year's work trousers on and they are a little snug so I perhaps
overdid salads in the summer! 
Pleased to report my boots fit just fine! 

Crochet/Knitting update:

I'm creating another mustard throw.  I've realised that when you have
left over yarn you start another project and then realise you need a couple more balls,
so you buy more, realise you've over bought and then have leftover yarn - 
it's a yarn conspiracy! 

I'm also working on a poncho!

 I haven't worn a poncho since
circa 1970 and I think it was very much like one of these!
I feel it is time for another one but perhaps a little more sedate.
I'll be sharing it with you soon.

This weekend I'm kidnapping Elliott to help me sort the cabin
a little bit more and meeting up with a friend for coffee.
Remember to keep an eye on the website for bargains.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend,
thank you again for your kindness and for stopping by to read
by weekly ramblings.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Friday Chat Day - Some News!

Hello friends

Devoting this Friday Chat Day to some news...

This blog post has sat in my drafts box and has been ignored,
then stared at, then amended, then totally changed,
then tweaked and now finally being posted!

I've made the decision to close the Hope and Chances website
at the end of this year.
I will be sending out a formal email to all those who have 
subscribed to the website but mentioning it here first
to you, my lovely blog followers.

Not an easy decision (downright hard to be honest) but I feel it is time.
With both my boys working and heading in their own directions
I have been manning the website and business on my own
and I certainly miss their speedy input and techy skills.

Other factors and people have contributed to this decision
 but during my sleepless decision making nights it hit me that
my primary reason for closing the website is that I
need a change, a new direction, a new challenge.

As you know I've been dabbling in quilting, crochet, knitting. 
calligraphy and I've also returned to some writing.
Unsure if I will pursue any of these paths further but you never know.

I'm giving myself a little bit of time to decide but come January
I will be getting myself sorted.  I'll be rallying myself and 
I will also be sure to let you know what direction I am taking.

Now a  little bit of history...

Hope and Chances blog started in 2009 and as a business in 2011, 
a pretty long run and I am very proud of what we achieved.
From dining table, conservatory, studio, shop to cabin -
we've moved about and gained many wonderful friends along the way. 





There has been hundreds of Friday Die Days, many Technique Tuesdays,
Wednesday Giveaways, Charity Kits, YouTube videos and more.
I've truthfully lost count.
I've amassed thousands of 'makes' and a ridiculous
amount of stash but thankfully a lot is finding new homes
with charities and there's the pre-loved items for sale.
I will need to clear all stock so be prepared to see lots of
offers coming your way!

I know there will be questions and one of the first will
be with regards to the website loyalty scheme.
For those who shop on the website and have loyalty cards,
we will cease sending loyalty stickers/stamps last day of October,
full loyalty cards can still be redeemed until
website closure at the end of the year.

I would like to say huge thanks to those of you who have
been there along the way, whether you visited the blog/shop/website,
purchased the charity kits, attended/hosted demos and/or workshops,
or I just bumped into you at shows or in Morrisons/Asda  -
yes that happened a lot!

It has been an incredible journey.

I'll still be blogging so I would be delighted if you continue to
stop by on a Friday.

Much love.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Friday again - in fact Friday the 13th but let's just gloss over that!
Does anyone else feel like we've overnight
shifted into a different season?
Apparently Summer doesn't finish until 23 September
but it sure feels like Autumn to me.

I now have the daily dilemma - do I put my washing out
or drape it across an indoor airer?  I have a tumble dryer
but each time I put it on I see my Smart Meter 
(still not sure if that was a good choice to have) 
rockets into the red danger zone so I try not to use it too much.  
And airers... why do they take up so much room?
My little VT (Victorian Terrace) is rather 'cosy' at the best of 
times but housing an airer always makes it trickier. 
That said, I do love this time of year, the build up to 
Christmas and the excuse to stay indoors even more.
What's your favourite season?

Other news: I did not get as much crochet done this week,
I attempted to start another cable project but it's making my brain hurt!
I switch from this to a plain project to give me sanity.

This week's viewing has been Carnival Row available on 
Amazon Prime. It stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne - 
I confess I had never heard of Cara D.... but my Dad reliably informed me 
"she's the one with the eyebrows"!

It's a fantasy drama and pretty good if you like that sort of thing.
(Not sure if I will be employed to review on that critique though!) 
Crochet to a new box set is definitely high on my agenda recently.

Family news...
Elliott is doing very well in his apprenticeship and despite it 
being on a business park he has this regular visitor to his office.

He is also opposite a beautiful lake with geese and ducks and
outside the offices is lots of bird feeders and they are swarmed,
so nice to see.

Thank you again for the lovely enquiries after Mum,
she is finally gaining a little bit of weight so heading in the right
direction.  I personally cannot lose weight despite trying to be 
good, shame we cannot do a weight transfer plan! 

Website news...

Website - more pre-loved as usual and this weekend
it is 15% off all Glimmer products - please use the code

Great time to stock up on foils and perhaps treat yourselves
to any plates you fancy.
You may have noticed that I am clearing a lot of stock
and that will be continuing so definite bargains to be had.

Take care friends and I will be back next Friday
for another chat day - can't get rid of me that easily!
Have a super weekend.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Welcome to another Friday Chat Day, sharing my nattering 
and photos from the week gone by.
First, a picture of Bella.
Kitty asked after her last week so this will be a 'Bella sandwich' post -
picture at the top and bottom!
My Summer cleaning has continued and she is supposed to be helping here 
by sorting her toy box.  She was no help at all, she wanted to keep everything! 

On the crochet front - I finished my one colour Dune Blanket.
The pattern is Lucy's from Attic 24.
This is Stylecraft yarn in  mushroom and quite possibly my favourite 
colour of all time.  No parting with this project, it is on my sofa.

I'm just starting another Lucy project, this time her Hydrangea pattern.
A follow up from last week's Big and Mustard Throw project
that was on its way to a new home.  I was asked to add pom poms, 
I wasn't sure at first but then I really liked them.
Thank goodness for a pom pom maker otherwise I would still be sitting
wrapping yarn around cereal packet circles!

My paper craft craft contribution!
I've been really slow on papercraft but I did make Elliott's birthday card
(I forgot to share it last week).
I bought this printed image from Etsy - (Eleanor Jean Design)
and simply matted it onto black card, affixed to a white card base
with Crafty Foam Tape. Very simple and speedy.

Lettering - this week the Better Brush Letters started.
This is a lettering course by Blink Lettering and is 
so clear and easy to follow. Not intimidating at all and feels 
manageable by practising a letter each day.
If you would like to join in and learn brush lettering I cannot recommend Milly 
at Blink Lettering highly enough.
I've been doing my daily practice and enjoying it. I like that I can take it 
with me which has been handy as out and about with appointments and things.

Other news: the good...the bad and the ugly! 

Let's address the bad and ugly first....

This horror was at my local bottle bank.  Whilst I tiptoed over this fly tipping
to deposit my empties (just a couple of wine bottles!)
 I witnessed a young girl walk by me and dump a bag of rubbish.
To my own astonishment I challenged her (if you've met me you'll 
know I'm the least confrontational person ever!)
She said her mum had told her to dump rubbish there.
I wasn't sure who to be more angry with, the mother or 
the daughter, but nonetheless I stuck to my guns and insisted she 
take her rubbish away with her.  
I sat in my car afterwards quite shaken and with 
an overwhelming feeling of despondency at what people are capable of.

The good...
that evening my doorbell rang and I opened the door
to my neighbours who live over the back of my house.
They had notified us some weeks ago that they were having a
wedding and being an Indian wedding the celebrations take place over
quite a few days.  I had put a handmade card through their door and thanked
them for being considerate and in return they brought round
some Indian snacks.  Potato samosas, spinach bhaji and more.
All absolutely delicious and so kind of them.

My spirits soared - occasionally it feels like the bad 
people outweigh the good but then something like this happens.
Thankful for kindness.

In closing this week's nattering - a photo of 
Bella at the park. I sometimes forget she is 8 years old 
and probably shouldn't be out walking for 2 hours!
I was enjoying the walk so much I didn't notice the time.
She slept for a long time afterwards.

Before I wish you all a lovely weekend - 
LittleLamb - so sorry to hear about your fainting last week,
hope you are recovered.
Jackie - hope the house clearing is progressing, I'm sure it must 
be very hard work.

Website news...yes, you've guessed it - more pre-loved added.

Take care friends - have a great week too
and I hope you can join me next Friday.

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