Wednesday 27 February 2019

A nice offer and not so nice news...

Hello friends

Just stopping by to mention that right now we have quite a lot of 
stock of the Shadow Box Collection so there's 25% off if you 
enter SHADOWBOX25 at the checkout.

We have items that previously sold out including the flowers, butterflies
and Layered Inserts.
You can view all the products here.
Offer ends Sunday just before we take the website down.

So...yesterday I trotted off to the opticians in anticipation of choosing
nice new specs.  I had noticed my eyesight had really deteriorated and
I'm also struggling to drive at night.
After lots of tests the very nice optician announced I had cataracts in both my eyes!
I was so shocked and I don't mind admitting that I questioned if that
could be true as I feel too young! 
But it is definite, I need surgery in both eyes.
Until then my glasses do actually look something like this!

On the plus side it will be lovely to see properly again although I'm
wondering whether my recent home decor decisions will look the same with new eyes!
This may also apply to all my crafty projects, there could be changes ahead! 

Take care friends and if you have had experience of cataract ops please let me know.
Honestly you never know what is around the corner!

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Testing out a brush...

Hello friends

On a countdown to the new website, thank you for the positive comments.
Also for the kind thoughts for Mum, she's getting there and glad
to say eating a little better too.

To avoid the whole website techy stuff I escaped to my cabin to try out 
some inking with a brush.
Up until now I've used blending tools, ink daubers and Smoothies.
I then saw various demos using brushes and before investing in some
decided to cheat a little and try out a makeup brush I purchased some time ago.
I realise this could be quite different to the wonderful brushes available
but more to see if I liked the technique.

This is my Dylusions journal book where I'm experimenting with ideas.
The paper is thick and smooth.
I tried out a couple of colours and realised I had to put quite a bit on the brush
and Dried Marigold comes out less yellow, more brown on this cream paper.

Stamped over with my script stamp using brown ink.

I then went looking for some stamps and found these bold flowers.

Got a bit carried away using first and second generation stamping.
Not sure if I liked it at this point and actually thought about ripping out the page.

But then I went back in with the brush and blended colours over the stamped flowers.

Finishing touch a tiny mouse from Cardio stamps, 
I have seen Eileen Godwin add little snails etc on her designs and thought it 
looked sweet so opted for a mouse on this one.

I'm still undecided if I like it but it was interesting to do.
I'm thinking the brush will be handy and here's the good news...
it is available for the grand price of £1.51! 
It is currently on Amazon here.

I'm off to the opticians today as really really need new glasses,
I may go back and look at this project with new eyes! 

Take care friends, have a great Tuesday.

Sunday 24 February 2019

We are disappearing...just for a little bit!

Hello friends

First off thank you for the plant/shrub advice,
I've been 'Googling' them and made a list of the ones I like
and I've noticed you can buy shrubs online but I think I'll pop to the
garden centre as they do cake! 

Remember that new website I've been talking about?
Well, it is finally happening! 

Here's a sneak peek of part of the home page.
We will finally have our new logo uniform across everything.
It is a much cleaner looking website and easy to navigate and search.

To enable the move across we will have to close down our 
existing website on Monday 4 March so please do not panic if you visit
and it doesn't open up or has a different screen.
This will give you a chance to place any orders for those
emergency crafty supplies!
And it gives us chance to make sure all the stock is on there
and correct quantities and we get all the commerce in place etc.

We hope this will not take too long, I am placing my trust
in the household geeks! 

So what will be new and how will this 
affect you shopping at Hope and Chances?

Our new website will have the same website address:

It will be tablet and mobile friendly! Hurrah! 

Loyalty scheme will continue.
(If you have a loyalty code to spend please email us for new details).

All card payments and PayPal will be accepted as before.

If you created an account on the existing website I am afraid
we cannot transfer that, 
you will need to create a new account - sorry!

Big thanks to Elliott who just took this all out of my hands,
I was so wrapped up with Mum and other things I just couldn't 
get my head around organising it all. 

Please check back here, emails and social media for updates 
as to when the new website will be launching or just listen for me
shouting from the rooftops of Kent!

Gargantuan thanks and hugs to all of you for being brilliant
customers to the original website and we cannot wait to welcome you to the 
new one - happy shopping...soon! 

Friday 22 February 2019

Friday Die Day

Hello friends

This week Friday Die Day is Lanterns - one of the Destination China
dies designed by Lene Lok.
There are three dies in the set and the approximate measurements are:
Lantern 1: 2.10 x 4.10 in. 5.50 x 10.50 cm
Lantern 2: 1.35 x 4.05 in. 3.50 x 10.50 cm
Lantern 3: 2.76 x 3.35 in. 7.10 x 8.60 cm

I chose to cut each one from gold mirror card, I was undecided which ones
to use so though it best to cut all three.

I then remembered the Shadow Box frame that I made 
(quite a few Friday Die Days ago!)
This is 1/2 inch border frame and the tutorial is here.
I placed a piece of Graphic 45 patterned paper inside.

Using a square piece of red cardstock I used Chinese Traditional Fence 
insert die to cut the decorative section to the right.

I placed the round die cut lantern to the centre.

The square lantern I sliced in half.

Positioned this to the top left hand corner and then stamped the open areas.
This is a Kaisercraft stamp and I felt it had an Eastern feel.

Attached 3D Foam Squares to the reverse.

Popped inside the frame. Nipped out to the garden to take the photos.

Lanterns is available on the website pre-loved here.
Chinese Traditional Fence is available pre-loved here.
You can also grab those 3D Foam Squares, black and white here,
and if you fancy making a frame, the 1/2 border one is available here.

So what are we up to this weekend? 
I'm at Marie's Emporium tomorrow for a workshop and 
Sunday catching up with housework.

I am looking at my rather sad garden at the moment that has taken
a battering over the winter and thinking new shrubs are in order.
Any recommendations for shrubs that thrive on neglect please?

Take care friends, have a lovely weekend.

Thursday 21 February 2019

The Decorated Memory Jar and Happiness...

Hello friends

What's this? Another blog post?
I've been very 'bloggy' this week! 

Today's post is about my memory jar.
I've shared it with you a few times,
normally around New Year but this time it has been updated,
it finally has a new tag and a decorated lid.
I have done a full tutorial for my jar over on the Scrapbook Adhesives
blog here and if you have time to pop over and leave a comment
there I absolutely appreciate it! 

I opted for a Spring look, the white base die cut is 
Fancy Scallop Edge Circles (these are a new update on the original Nestabilities dies)
and the flowers are Cinch and Go III.

Gone the days when I used to scrapbook special events now I print off a picture,
scribble on the back and pop it in the jar! 

That top decorating isn't going to shift anytime soon, I used 
Extreme Double Sided Tape to hold it in place and really holds! 

I'm not at my city job today, I'm off to Milton Keynes!
I've been invited to my friend Carole Matthews' book launch,
her latest book is Happiness for Beginners and is published in hardback today.

I will be sharing pics I'm sure.

Take care friends, have a lovely day and please stop by tomorrow -
it's Friday Die Day.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Butterfly Block

Hello friends

So the new hobby is underway, once I got my dining table back
after the decorating!

This is Butterfly Block one of Hayley West's quilting panels -
Handmade by Hayley and available from Hochanda.

These blocks come in three colour palettes, I've chosen Birds
which is this cream/beige design with feathers and appropriately...birds!
When they arrive they are in a panel as above and you just cut around
each section. Pop aside the instructions (which are super easy to follow).
 I've chosen to keep those to use with my own fabric later.

First the triangles are stitched into 4 squares.

These are then joined to make two rectangles.

Then another line of stitching to make one large square.
You can now see the butterfly in the lighter colour.

The cream side panels get added to the block.

The finished block.  I am improving with each one as seams
begin to line up! 

Going back to my very first block, the Windmill, you can see this one 
isn't as good and I also discovered I did not use the correct seam allowance 
so it turned out to be smaller than the other blocks.
I then remembered that with each block you get a spare piece of fabric
to use as you like so I decided to sew on a further border
to make it correct size!

I'm thinking it will still look fine when made into a quilt
as the colours all tone.

I've mentioned a few times my old sewing machine and here it is.
I have turned my house upside down to find the original receipt 
but it is still hiding from me.
My parents bought this for me when I was about 12 or 13 when I 
started secondary school and was studying needlework.
It was secondhand then and came from a sewing shop in Welling, Kent.
It has no fancy buttons for clever stitching, just straight or zig zag
and works brilliantly.  Also speedy to thread up.

And here's another sewing accessory, not quite as useful though!

If you fancy giving this block a go click here for more details.
I've got a couple more blocks to share with you soon.

Take care friends, let me know if you are also quilting.

Monday 18 February 2019

Workshop Kit - Woodland Scene

Hello friends

As mentioned I've been doing workshops and putting together lots of 
different kits.  Occasionally I have kits left over so I will be putting 
those on the website and this is one of the designs.
It's a tri-folded card (although the photo doesn't quite show that)

The kits are available here and the die set here -
both limited amounts.
I'll be popping various workshop kits onto the website whenever I have
any left over so please keep an eye.

Also worth mentioning, all Tina Ashton Art stencils are now £4.99,
amazingly there's still Magical Unicorn in stock - that one has proved popular,
but I have to say Friendly Fox is now my favourite - look at that face!

Take care friends and wishing you a great start to the week.

Sunday 17 February 2019

Projects that flew to Phoenix!

Hello friends

One of the biggest craft events took place earlier this month in Phoenix,
Creativation and I had a lot of fun putting these projects together
for the Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L stand.

I was asked to make something cheerful and bright and I
think I ticked the box!
I created a coordinating trio of card, gift bag and notepad.

All three projects feature the die set Robin and Rosy Mug
and lots of Scrapbook Adhesives products.

I used 3D Foam Circles, applied silver embossing powder
and heat set, these work brilliantly and also make sparkly flower centres! 

Little notebook, I love doing these, jazzing up a regular notebook
bought from the supermarket into something special.

Regular kraft bag decorated to match.

Items used with clickable links:

The Robin and Rosy die set is currently out of stock but can be 
ordered if you would like one,
feel free to message me -

Take care friends, what are you up today?

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