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.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Have you all melted?
We've had some seriously high temperatures and I am so glad the
cooler weather has arrived.  I don't mind admitting I'm grumpy when it 
is that hot and stay indoors in a darkened room! 
The heatwave did enable me to finish my Mustard Throw project.
It turned out to be knitting instead of crochet but I'm really pleased with it.


It is a Mock Cable pattern and available free on the Hobbycraft blog.
It will be going to its new home over the weekend.
I did wonder whether pom poms would look good on the corners?

In other news we celebrated Elliott's birthday.
It was a 3 day event - he knows how to milk it! 
Trip to London, Lakeside and out for a meal.
Here he is with a cake and being photo bombed by Mitchell!

He is rather grown up now, all those growth injections worked!

I took Elliott for an Italian meal in Gravesend High Street,
just along from where the Hope and Chances' shop used to be.
It's that white one in the picture and now a nail salon.
I did take a peek in the window which is the first time since I left.
I realised I had deliberately been avoiding that part of town because
I was sad to see how much my little shop had changed.
But on that evening I was fine, I feel enough time has passed for me 
not to dwell on what used to be and instead focus on now.


Always so pleased to see they still have the bunting.
At the very bottom of the High Street is the River Thames
and the ferry that takes you across to Tilbury in Essex.

So what else is happening?

Mum is finally managing to eat a little bit more and managing to get 
out and about.
I've been having a bit of a Summer Clean (as opposed to Spring Clean)
indoors and getting around to various jobs including those 
I've been putting off for a long time - cleaning the conservatory! 
I have also discovered the benefits of Freecycle and have
found homes for many items that we did not need but just too
good to throw away.

Website news - still lots of items in the pre-loved and clearance.
Feel free to take a peek and keep popping back as more are uploaded
daily (although the times are a little erratic). 
This weekend will see many items added - I promise!

Take care friends, hope you have a lovely weekend.
Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

How has your week been?
I'm beginning to notice the shorter evenings but feeling 
quite lucky with the recent sunshine. It has been perfect 
Bella-walking weather.
This week Bella got to meet my sister's rescue dog 
and we were so wrapped up in walking and chatting that 
I didn't get a photo - got one of the sky and trees though! 

Also this week some craft! 
My post for Scrapbook Adhesives went live and it featured tags.
In case you missed it and fancy a look, the link is here.

Last weekend I got to spend the day in London with friends and we
went to Hamilton, the musical.
I did wonder beforehand whether it would be my cup of tea as 
it is sung and rapped through incorporating hip hop.
Now I'm a girl that likes classical, a bit of rock and country music so
this was definitely out of my comfort zone. was fabulous!  I was blown away by it.
It is both enthralling,emotional and utterly brilliant. 
I found myself humming and singing 
the songs days afterwards (with odd looks from the boys).
I would recommend it for sure.

Knitting/crochet - still loving my new found hobby.
Lots of progress on the mustard throw project.
I took this photo outside one evening and the light really captured
its mustard-ness!

This should be finished over the weekend and then I'm thinking of trying
this pattern in grey aran yarn.

Work stuff...
lots of offers and pre-loved still on the website
I'm uploading items each day. Yes, all on my own...those boys 
have deserted me! Well, to be fair they are both working full time so 
I can't really complain :) 

I'm slowly getting through the cabin and sorting items
but I have to confess that I am enjoying the Summer and 
will step things up in the Autumn.

There is a Bank Holiday offer on Glimmer items, 20% off -
just enter the code GLIMMER20 at checkout,
expires midnight Monday. 

This weekend is Elliott's birthday so some celebrations going on,
he is going to be 23 - I am struggling to get my head around that.

Here is is posting the very first charity kits back in 2013.

For those of you who have followed my blog for years you will have 
 know the struggles he has been through.
I am incredibly proud of him and especially now watching him
head out the door each day to work, I pinch myself that it is real.

Have a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend and 
I hope you can stop by next Friday.
Take care friends.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

A middle of the week post!

Hello friends

Just stopping by to let you know my project for Scrapbook
Adhesives by 3L has just gone up on their blog here.
It's a tag collection (been a while since I made tags).

If you have a moment to pop over to their blog 
and take a look at the tutorial 
(and leave a comment - pretty please!)
 I would be very grateful.

In between, enjoy your week and look forward 
to chatting on Friday.

Take care friends.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

It's Friday and it's another chat day.

I knew you would all understand last week's excitement at having
new interior doors fitted, it funny what makes our lives pleasant.
(Hazel - I also appreciate the thrill of visiting the tip and
getting rid of lots of stuff!)   

Talking of things that make life pleasant, each day
I afford myself little treats, not always the edible kind,
sitting down with a coffee and viewing my favourite
YouTube videos or accounts on Facebook/Instagram.
I've decided to share the love this Friday with my go-to list: 

Dean and his rescue cat Nala on a bike exploring the world.
He has a lot of followers and I was over the moon to get a mention this week,
well it was Bella really but close enough!)

The adventures of Moss, a German Wirehaired Pointer living on Dartmoor.

New home with a Goldendoodle puppy.

It all started with Albert, a sweet little quail that hatched from an egg
bought in the supermarket.

Bit of an animal theme I know! 
So if any of these take your fancy, let me know what you think.

Calligraphy update - I've been practising.
Unfortunately I never did shorthand (Lesley asked last week),
that would have been handy for learning the thick/thin strokes.
Instead I learned to type on a manual typewriter at school with a teacher
who hit our fingers with a ruler if we dared look down - 
sounds Victorian now!

This is one of my worksheets, I keep thinking that 
changing pen colour may help!  
Exciting news...
starting 1 September is a workbook challenge - Better Brush Letters 
This is a follow up course to Better Brush Drills and takes you through
uppercase and lowercase letters.
As an Ambassador and I can offer you a 10% discount code when purchasing
this course - please click here 
It will take you the Etsy shop with 10% discount automatically applied.
You can start the workshop early or join in with everyone on 1 September.
I personally work so much better when taking part in a group ,
 it definitely prompts me and a lot more fun, hope you can join me.

Family news:
My Mum is out of hospital, still quite poorly and needs to gain weight 
but lovely that she is back home.

It was my Dad's birthday last weekend which was a day of food. 
Starting with cooked breakfast and then Chinese takeaway and birthday cake.
Here's the man himself looking very happy.

And finally a sneak peek of a Scrapbook Adhesives project that
will be on their blog on Monday. I'll be sharing it on social media
and hope you can stop by.

Oh yes...also over on the website, keep checking those pre-loved,
they are uploaded daily.
This weekend I am going to the theatre to see Hamilton.
Special friends are treating me as an early birthday present -
(very early as my birthday is in November!)
I've heard some wonderful reviews, let me know if you have seen it.

Take care friends, have a wonderful weekend and I hope you can join
me for a chat again next week.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Friday Chat Day

Hello friends

Happy Friday!
How has your week been?

My week has comprised of highs and lows which is 
probably quite normal in everyone's week.

Highs:  Crochet, calligraphy and doors!

Crochet - 
I received my very first commission!
I've been asked to make a mustard throw for a grey guest bedroom.
The pattern has cable sections that actually looks like 
knitting but it is US crochet.

I think I may have bitten off quite a bit here so I'll be 
watching a lot of YouTube videos.
And look at the size of that hook - 10mm - it's big!

In between I've been working on my Mushroom Dune Blanket,
I know this pattern off by heart now so it is handy to 
take anywhere.  If you like crochet then be sure to follow me on Instagram,
I post a lot of crochet there! 

Calligraphy -
As mentioned, I started the Blink Lettering Better Brush Drills,
a freebie course for 7 days.
Really good - the course, not my calligraphy skills! 
Cor it takes some practice. I'm determined to do it but it may take
some time (and practice).

Doors -
Is it possible to get excited about new interior doors?
In my world the answer is yes! 
Especially if you've been waiting 19 years for them, yes 19 years!
When I moved into my little VT (Victorian Terrace)
we temporarily put some second hand doors on the bedrooms and 
bathroom with the intention of putting handles/locks on.
It never happened - typically of these things it got pushed down
the list of things to do.  Finally this week I had new interior 
doors fitted with actual handles - we all just stood and stared for a while! 

Lows: Poorly Mum!
As I'm writing this my mum is still in hospital,
we are keeping fingers and toes crossed that she will be home
at the weekend (especially as it is my Dad's birthday).

She's been on a lot of antibiotics in the hope that she does not need
surgery and it may just be doing the trick.
All the family have been going to and fro the hospital 
except Bella and she misses her.

So what's ahead for the weekend...
Can you believe I'm still sorting the cabin?
I'm probably not being as speedy as I could be, I'm enjoying discovering
forgotten crafty items and having a little play.
Talking of discovering there is plenty of pre-loved dies popping up 
on the website daily, so if you are after some elusive designs at 
bargain prices be sure to take a peek here.
Another week wrapped up and fingers crossed for 
more 'highs' next week - the legal safe ones! 

Take care friends, have a lovely weekend 
and thank you for stopping by.

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