Tuesday 31 December 2013

Not long now...

Hello friends
The very last day of 2013 - hurrah!
I am frantically waving it goodbye and welcoming 2014 with open arms.
Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know of 
the difficult events of this year.  
That said, I have to remember that there have been some good times too.
2013 was the year of opening the studio/shop...
and this is where I will be spending most of my time over the next year. 
I intend to finally get it up and running as I want it to be.

I also must not forget that I managed to get to Spellbinders in Arizona...
and managed to fit in a trip to the Grand Canyon!
Two trips to the Harry Potter Studios....April
and November....
and there were many other things that brought smiles too including the unwavering 
support of my blog followers and friends.
I need you all to know that at wobbly moments your comments, messages, cards, emails 
kept me going - THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU
(a favourite butterfly card of mine expresses the same message too).

Take care friends, I'm raising a very large glass at midnight and toasting you all.

The final word comes from Bella...
Mixing champagne and die cutting can lead to drowsiness...!

Sunday 29 December 2013

Dishwasher, Squares and a Castle!

Hello friends

I hope you are having a good weekend.
I'm not sure the news of my getting a new dishwasher is blog worthy but 
it did take up pretty much the whole of yesterday! 
It was a real challenge to remove the integrated broken one and install
the new one - thank you Mum and Dad for all your help.
I now need to get to grips with all the digital buttons, I am so bad - I never read
the instructions, I just keep pressing things until it works!

For those of you who have visited me at the shop you will know I use this 
same philosophy with the till!

Knitted squares have continued to arrive and here is half a dozen
beautiful blue squares knitted by the very lovely Carole Matthews.
I am a huge fan of Carole's and I am in awe that this lady has managed to find 
time to do some knitting!  Carol is a best selling writer of romantic comedy.  
She also fits into her day baking, walking, Zumba, dancing, book signings, library talks and more.
To keep up with Carole I would recommend you find her on Facebook -
she manages to spend quite a lot of time on there too ;) 
Thank you so much Carole!

And for something crafty today...
A scrapbook layout featuring Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey)
Big focus on label shapes including Grand Labels Four, Gold Labels Four 
and Elegant Labels Four.  Flowers are Jewel Flowers and Flourishes, they look a
little different as I've added Floral Corner One.  Foliage Two is used for the leaves.  
I kept the colours muted and added lace for a vintage look.
Under the label and key is notes about the day I spent there, a nice reminder.

Some news very soon regarding January's Charity Kit.
A reminder that all Charity Kits are available here - and with each kit purchased
you still receive a lucky number for the prize draw each month.
Also if you are browsing, new stamps have been uploaded to the website.
Well, that was quite a lot of chatting for what was going to be a shortish blog post!
I will be back soon.
Take care friends.

Friday 27 December 2013

Christmas Review

Hello friends

How was your Christmas? 
Mine was lovely and full of so many wonderful things to eat including lots of chocolate
so as you can imagine I am a happy girl.
My gifts were perfect and included smellies, a beautiful candle in a antique tea cup,
wine, notebook, an electric blanket (oh yes, I'm definitely middle aged now!)

I also received a milk frother - I can now make wonderful milky coffee/latte at home.

But here is one very unhappy girl...
Bella could not understand why her stocking wasn't full again on Boxing Day! 
  She kept checking....
Elliott was able to join in nearly everything but had a few naps to keep going.  
The days went by far too quickly but I am pleased that 2014 is now only just around 
the corner - I want to send 2013 away for sure!
As mentioned, I will be announcing new classes, plans for the shop and getting leaks sorted 
(one at home now as well as the shop, leaks follow me!)

I do hope none of you were affected by the terrible storms, I need new fencing and
dustbin lids so came off very lightly compared to many.

Take care friends and I will be back soon.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Twas the 'day' before Christmas....

Hello friends

Well that's it, if I haven't got it purchased and in the house today it just
isn't happening!  This morning we have a trip to hospital for
Elliott's radiotherapy and then two days off - lovely!
Tonight we are having a little buffet, my boys love cheese and pineapple - how retro!
We are playing cards and board games and having a glass or two of something nice.
Tomorrow I will be up very early, possibly before Santa arrives to ensure
everything is organised..nothing left in the freezer that shouldn't be!

It seems appropriate to share a festive craft project today,
not new but I feel a heart with a Layered Poinsettia can always be shared again!
Labels Twenty Two is super useful as a stamped tag.
The build up to this Christmas has probably been the most panicked,
disorganised and different to any other years but actually surprisingly,
I think it has all come together fairly well.  
Goes to prove it is possible to over-think things sometimes!

So, without further ado it is time for the Emberson family 
(including Bella, of course!)
to wish you all a magical Christmas.  
Eat, drink, sing and be merry dear friends.

P.S. Jean - I hope you get a TV sorted for Christmas...!

Monday 23 December 2013

Checking my list...

Hello friends
It's Christmas Eve..Eve!
We had a productive weekend in the Emberson household,
thank goodness otherwise Christmas dinner was looking very much like beans on toast! 
Elliott made Christmas cards....
yes that is Bella very much like a meerkat at the window!
These cards are going to the hospital with us today for the various members of staff there.
Some of the finished cards...
I got to the supermarket at 6am on Saturday morning - I don't like crowds
and I thought this was the best way to avoid them, it worked!

Apart from a few bits of grocery shopping I think I'm organised, the fridge is
bulging and there are post-it notes saying "do not touch!"
If you live with teenagers you will understand!

Note about knitted squares - I know some of you wish to knit some in January,
this will be great, I think it may take a while to join them all and it is bound to run
into quite a few blankets.  I will be delighted to receive them 
whenever you are able to post them to me.
Confession...I'm still only on square 5 - so grateful I enlisted all your help!

The Hope and Chances website has some new sliders/banners - 
Elliott designed these (I like to keep him busy!)
In fact after his treatment and between commencing college, 
Elliott is going to work with me.  His role is going to be varied but includes 
Video Production and Editor, Website Consultant, Stock Controller, Cashier
and Tea Maker!

Today and tomorrow are special Spellbinders offers on the website, 
to gain the offer code you just need to sign up to the newsletter.
My Twelve Days of Christmas Offers has gone splendidly - thank you to all those who
have purchased.

I intend to do a little post tomorrow - Christmas Eve, can you believe it!
Take care friends.

Sunday 22 December 2013


Hello friends

Today I'm announcing the winning number from the December Charity Kit.
The lucky number is......

The prize this month is a special box of dies, papers, embellishments and more!

Please check your kit number and if you are the lucky winner please drop me an email -
I will send your prize out straight away but I'm afraid it will probably  not arrive 
in time for Christmas.  I am doing my best to contact Santa to see if he can 
pop an extra parcel on his sleigh but I keep being put on hold!

More wonderful squares have arrived for the Blanket of Love.  
One all the way from Canada!
A friend of mine who is very nifty with knitting needles and crochet hooks 
has offered to help Mum and I join them all together so we hope to get going on that 
after Christmas - I will keep you posted.  
When I sent out the plea for knitted squares I had no idea how brilliant the response 
would be - we feel very blessed.
Also such a treat to be receiving all your gorgeous cards and messages.
This beauty arrived at the shop....
This is a Carole Zorzo creation - you can see more on her blog here
It is wonderful and contains chocolates!! Heaven!
Thank you so much Carole.

Hope you are having a good weekend and keeping dry and warm,
my garden gate is held closed with a piece of string since the last storm -
I think I can assume it isn't going to last much longer....!

Going to ice my Christmas cake today...yes every element of the Last Minute 
Christmas Cake is...last minute!

Take care friends.

Saturday 21 December 2013

Rush Rush Rush!

Hello friends
Are we all now in Christmas overdrive?
It is the last weekend before the festivities and if you are anything like me,
you've made tons of lists! 
I am cooking for all my family on Christmas Day and it is quite incredible to imagine how
we will get through all the food I'm intending to purchase.
Plenty of leftovers maybe...!

My plan is to try to make some table favours, I will definitely
be using Square Bracket Edge Box - you would be surprised at how many chocolate
truffles you can pop into each one!
Some special gifts have been arriving - not just for Elliott .....
Hats and chocolates from California.  Elliott's chocolates are unopened at the moment,
Mitchell is eating his straight away!
And I also received a treat, we knew we shouldn't really be opening before Christmas
but we couldn't resist!
A quick mention that Gift Certificates are now available on the website -
(I got around to creating them!)
Perfect for a last minute gift as they can be emailed through, 
redeemable against goods and classes.
Just email for details - enquiries@hopeandchances.co.uk

Definitely the winning number tomorrow for the December Charity Kit - 
I've been mentioning it long enough!  
The time thief has been doing overtime this month.
Take care friends and have a wonderful festive build-up weekend.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Good News!

Hello friends

First up...a new crafty project!
This is being featured over on the Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L blog today.
It is a blog hop with Lawn Fawn and there is a chance to win goodies -
dash over there!
More lovely squares have arrived - thank you so much. 
I love that there are so many different colours, it will truly be a beautiful bright blanket.
And thank you for all your good wishes regarding the clinic at hospital.
Yesterday was a good day..actually it was a great day! 
News from Henry was brilliant.  Forgive me if I go into a bit of medical detail here...
A week or so ago we were told there was a possibility they may have to pause 
radiotherapy to perform surgery again.  
Elliott's condition is that not only does he have a tumour but many cysts - 
these fluctuate in size and can cause problems.  
We have been living with the worry of further surgery but the CT scan has revealed 
that everything has remained the same, nothing has changed/enlarged - this is wonderful. 
Also, Elliott no longer has to have weekly blood tests because he is stable - 
when Henry told him the news it was like Christmas had come early!
Here he is looking somewhat tired but sporting his Christmas hat kindly made and sent by Anne.
She has beautifully decorated it with white felt Snowflake Pendant and Create A Flake Three.
Everyone's good wishes and prayers have certainly paid off - tons of thanks to you all.

Now, what other festive craftiness do I have in store for you today...??
I've been going back through my projects and I thought I would go into
Layered Poinsettia overload!
Here is an array of tree decorations.
 I've created them all heart shape, some felt and some card.
 Twine adjoins the hearts and pearls and gems decorate the centres of the poinsettias.
I would also like to send out a mention to all of you who have signed up to my 
website newsletter - over 200 of you in fact - WOW! 
We are more than half way through the Twelve Days of Christmas Offers but 
there is some real treats to come :)

Take care friends - I'm back again tomorrow!

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Mid-Week Bulletin!

Hello friends

I am pleased to say the tree is decorated - hurrah! 
I even manage to wrap gifts yesterday and look what happened....
They might be teenagers but they cannot resist sneaking a peek under the tree!

More beautiful squares have arrived for the Blanket of Love....
Thank you so much, I promise each and every one will be used.
My mum and I are going to set aside some time to sit together and join them all.

Update on the shop leak... it is drying out and looks HORRIBLE!
I've got a mass of paperwork and quotes to organise before this will sorted.
I don't feel there is any point in rushing what with Christmas around the corner
and it is going to take a loooooooong time for it to completely dry.
It will get sorted but I have to admit I've shed a few tears of frustration over it all.

Now to something nicer and festive...
Need a quick gift or a little treat for someone? 
Fill a jar with some goodies and make a decoration. 
This was one of my Friday Die Day projects and I found the jar in the shop the other day and
thought I would mention it again.
I've used Classic Scallop Circle  to cut an assortment of die cuts, but any circular dies 
would work, including pretty edged ones like Stately Circles.
 Fold each one in half.
Then into quarters.
 Until you have 8 in total.
 You then arrange them as shown.
 This is the reverse, place a full circle so that you have a base to stick them to.
You then add another layer, once dry open out the 'pockets'.

For the middle, a couple of buttons and twine.
 Glossy Accents is just the job to keep the buttons in place.
Attach to ribbon, paper or fabric to wrap around your jar.
Today is clinic day at the hospital, we will meet with Elliott's consultant Henry to
chat about how things are going.  I had better not tell Henry that his 
Christmas card is still in the very early stages of preparation 
(aka just a blank piece of card and envelope!)
Time is really rushing by now...just one week - eeekkk!!

Take care friends.
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