Tuesday, 17 January 2017

So this happened....

Last year I joined a local business group to me, called Bird Board. It's all about Women Business owners helping each other with their businesses - instead of being jealous and putting other women down Bird Board helps women empower other women and it's freaking awesome.
So when our chief Bird Frances Day heard about the fire she told all the other Birds at the annual Christmas lunch and they all decided to help in the only way that was really possible at the time...so Frances set up a Just Giving page. She asked me if I was ok with it and having had every ounce of pride stripped from me and replaced by the most incredible gratitude and humility I agreed. Quite honestly at the time I thought maybe it would raise £100, I'd only been a member of Bird Board a couple of months and had only met about a dozen ladies, but I was just incredibly grateful for the kindness that people I barely knew were offering.
Everything was such a whirlwind I forgot all about the page and then, my lovely friend Dee Paramour shared the page on Facebook with all you crafters too and this happened!....

Both Kris and I are just speechless. I cannot ever convey how grateful and overwhelmed we are by this humongous shower of kindness you've all washed over us, it makes me cry thinking about it. We're not ones for gushing sentiments and all that mushy stuff normally but we have both shed many tears at what you've all done for us and we can never in a million years thank you enough. The thought of taking money from someone is totally cringeworthy and not something I am ever comfortable with at the best of times but the knowledge that you have all done this out of sheer kindness and a will to help is just incredible, especially when there are so many names on there that I don't even know personally, it's just overwhelming.

So all I can say is a huge big fat 
THANKYOU
again and a million times over. 

Thankyou to Frances for starting the page and all the Bird Board birds and Dee and everyone else who shared this to reach this phenomenal donation...
And I know I've said it before but also huge thanks to everyone who has offered other help and all the messages of support, I just couldnt respond personally to them all, there's been 100's and 100's but each and every one has been appreciated so much.

So the update on Chateau le Charred right now is...

I had made an appointment to see my MP before Xmas but my head was all over the place and I had a visitor at work and forgot to go so I'll rebook it when I'm in a better headspace in the next 3-4 weeks, in hindsight it was probably a good thing I may have been like a raging banshee at the time!

Electrolux are currently still testing the machine but it's moved into phase 2. I think this means they are going to blow it up LOL...we're visualising a scene from Top Gear rather than James Bond but you never know lol....

We've totally gutted the house now - all the walls are down to bare plaster and we're starting the first fix!
The joiner and my dad have (almost) built our new staircase : )
The electricians are currently in and rewiring : )
The gas fitter is coming tomorrow to start on all the plumbing and to fit a new boiler and central heating, rads etc : )
The plasterer is coming this week to start putting up new ceilings downstairs etc : )
Windows and doors are ordered

We've made incredible progress thanks to my mum and dad and brother in law who have all helped us beyond compare. My mum and dad as ever have just been a powerhouse, their work ethic is like no-one else's on earth they just don't ever stop till they drop so whilst I've been sat on my backside at work keeping things going they and Kris have done all the clearing out, cleaning up and wallpaper stripping etc. Although the damage was severe it could actually have been much worse and both our neighbours have also had some smoke damage too, but I'm just incredibly thankful that it did not manage to get into the loft thanks to a weird DIY disaster a previous owner had installed on our stairs where they'd boxed the top of the stairs in so that you couldn't easily reach the loft hatch above. Now we also know that had I been working from home that day as planned I actually probably would not have been able to get out unless it had been through the bedroom window.

Our neighbours can't believe how fast we've managed to get on with things and considering it's only been 6 weeks (wow, 6 weeks today in fact!) the amount of progress is staggering. Maybe that's one good thing of not having insurance, that you're not hanging around months and months waiting for stuff to be done and can do it in your own time.
What has come out of all this for me is the number of people I've since spoken to who also don't have insurance (mine had lapsed: I had a letter saying the policy was ending but as I thought I'd paid Direct Debit I assumed it would just continue and I hadn't read the letter properly, a mistake I shall never make again! (Bizarre as it might be we are now insured against any future events!)).
My Brother in Law is an electrical contractor so he is playing master juggler and pulling in loads of favours to help us get the work done as quick and as cheap as we can which is just making such a massive difference, I think we are now on babysitting duty till the next millennium.  The biggest cost has been getting a new boiler and all the plumbing sorted out, and this is where you guys and Just Giving come in.
...The Just Giving donations will pay for the Boiler and all the new plumbing throughout the house, so thankyou for making that happen and making such a massive difference to our situation. 

So tomorrow I fly out to the US to be part of the Little Darlings team at CHA this year...leaving Chateau le Char in the hands of everyone else for a week...I've been pretty poorly the last few days, I had a bad cold all over Xmas, got rid and now it's come back with a vengeance the past 3 days so I'm hoping I've got rid of it again I feel a smidge better today, I think having to keep on going and not lie around in bed all day actually helps you get through it better anyway (that's my theory and I'm sticking to it!)...so my head is all a-fuzz and I need some Arizona desert heat in my bones for sure I think. I have a feeling I will be shatter-ood when I get back next week, a holiday it certainly won't be, trade shows are incredibly hard work, standing around for 12 hours a day every day and all the chit chat and business talk is very draining but hey, it's Arizona, not a smelly house in York LOL...see you on the other side with some piccies hopefully...

Friday, 13 January 2017

Getting a little excited...

I absolutely LOVE January. Not because of the whole 'new beginnings' thing, I just like it. It's the start of a new year, my birthday (usually let myself just forget that one nicely lol)...

But this month it's a whole different kind of excitement and anticipation...

I'm very lucky to have been asked to go to the world's largest craft trade show in Phoenix, Arizona to be with the Little Darlings Rubber Stamps team and I'm so excited!

When I was asked to go way way back in June last year I jumped at the chance but as a non-flyer bad travel sickness kinda traveller it's also had a bit of apprehension attached (I get really really bad travel sickness going anywhere, there have been many a time when I've thrown up all over myself sat alone behind the wheel in a traffic jam stationery, seriously I can be so bad it's a nightmare!)...anyway, now it's here and I can't wait to get there! CHA here I come - although it will be work work work all the way, I will be amazed if we even get chance to look around all the other stands, trade shows are ridiculously busy!

And then yesterday we released this little cutiepie...
And, of course, sod's law that whilst I'm away everything is starting to happen at le Chateau Charreville...the joiner's been there this week building our new stairs and next week the plasterer and electricians are starting the first fix, closely followed by the gas fitter with the new boiler and plumbing....eek!
Shame we still have no front door LOL! From the outside the house looks like the local crack den with the smoky windows all looking like nicotine stains off the pipes hahaha!
But what is really nice is getting rid of all your years of hoarding 'stuff' in one fell swoop so that you can actually see everything properly - and I was trying to explain to someone earlier how liberating it actually feels not to be burdened by posessions....like not even having to think about excess baggage when I pack next week because I have so little to take... customs will probably question why I'm not taking much stuff with me, one week and I could fit it all in a handbag nearly lol.

And then today we had loads of snow. Another reason I love January, it nearly (nearly) always snows within 2 weeks of my birthday, what joy.

So - if you're a retailer attending CHA please come say hello on the LDRS stand - we have lots of yummy LDRS/Polkadoodles goodies for your stores, so drop by and say hello!

I'll be back after the show and promise to post lots of crafty pics - after the jetlag wears off of course! Laters! xx

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year - Silver Day 25

Happy New Year!

We forget how lucky we are.
There is always someone so much worse off than you and I now remember this every day when I am about to complain about something.

Starvation.
Loneliness.
Homelessness.
Losing everything you ever had - or almost everything.
Dignity.
Illness.

Kindness can help to conquer all these.
And unkindness can crush when you have just one.
Most people are just 1 or 2 paychecks away from losing their home.
In my book if you are not listed in any of these categories you're pretty damn lucky to be here on the planet with a good life.
So I'm grateful, truly grateful for everything.

It's there, all over my social media timeline...can't wait for 2017, what a sh*t year it's been etceteraaaa etceteraaaa.
Don't let one or two bad events, bad days, weeks, dictate your life.
Think negatively and you'll be negative and it will seem that negative things happen to you. I don't understand why we all insist on waking up each day with this mindset. You just have to sit and think about it for 10 minutes and it becomes SO obvious.  Even on the crappiest of days look at the positive things which have occurred and you will only see those. And the next day and so on. Positive people still have crap things happen on a daily basis, they're not special, sh*t happens to us all. Don't let it define you. I don't have sh*t days any more. Sh*tty five minutes yes, I experience sh*tty events that occur, hey ho.
I totally get that being ill can put a different spin on all of this of course, but being ill, however serious, doesn't mean you need to spend the rest of your days living in a negative mindset. On December 6th I could have died. Simple as that. If I had, I wouldnt really have known about it anyway, it's hardest for the people you leave behind. And when my time comes then so be it and the thought that the people who care whether I'm here or not will think of me being miserable fills me with horror, I want them to think of me as happy and a joy to be around not 'thank god the moaning minnie has shuffled off'.
We all have the choice unless we're so ill someone else has to turn off the machine.
So choose to make yourself happy, deal with the crapola, push it out of the way and continue on your way. When youre walking on the footpath you don't stop when you see the dogpoop in your way, you flick it away with a stick and walk around it.

For us, 2016 was...
  • working hard and feeling worn out ALL the time
  • battling with permanent deadlines which almost made me lose my sanity and give in at times
  • having the car stolen from outside my house whilst sitting 5ft away blissfully unaware
  • opening the door to see the thieves bring back the car, only for them to drive it away again
  • my hair starting to fall out
  • business partnerships which promised the earth and were exciting but let you down creatively to the point you wish you hadn't bothered wasting the time and effort
  • losing out on a business award and not winning £3000 because of a technicality that didnt exist
  • the fire and the loss of 2 kitties
  • realising you have no insurance because you were a dumbass and didnt read the letter properly
  • throwing out almost every posession you ever had due to fire/smoke damage
  • standing in the street with one carrier bag with 3 things in it and nothing else but the clothes on your back and the car...
  • being lucky to be self-employed and not having to answer to anyone else
  • the sense of achievement of getting through seemingly impossible deadlines
  • getting the car back 5 weeks later when it was found hiding in the next street
  • having our products launched in the US on the world's largest TV shopping network and working with amazing people that helped us to get there - being in a partnership with someone who totally 'gets me' and my ideas
  • being selected for a major business award and being told we'd have won if I had just explained something a little better, together with the great experience we had and having to make a proper speech in front of some very VIP people, and being proud that my speech was totally different to all the others even though the other people were clearly more corporate big businesses and should have been way way better than me
  • realising that winning the award didnt matter and really rooting for someone else to win over yourself and being more gutted they didnt win when you really felt they deserved to
  • throwing out 16 years of hoarding, stuff you don't need, never did need and never will need again without any regret other than all the money you wasted buying it in the first place
  • the realisation that finally you can actually do the house up and put right all the things you should've done when you first moved in but never had the time to do
  • realising how kind people actually are that complete strangers have your back and will offer a helping hand when you need it and are at your most vulnerable without even having to ask
  • feeling the most humble and grateful I have ever been
  • realising that it's ok to not be proud sometimes and that letting people help is an ok thing
  • truly valuing and being thankful for the people in your life that really mean something
  • being more forgiving and realising there are bigger issues in the world than your own even when you think your own world just came crashing in
  • realising that there is ALWAYS someone much worse off than you, even when you are at your lowest
  • realising that you are so strong nothing can actually break you because you won't let it
So to all of you who've helped me get through the past 3 weeks - yes it's only 3 weeks and it feels like 3 months...THANKYOU. Truly, Thankyou. Not enough but right now I can't say anything more powerful than that. Thankyou for your messages, your help, your support by buying our latest products, your offers of stash, furniture, hair products, offers to help come cleanup, even offers to buy us new cats. Thankyou all so so much. You will never know how much it has helped and is appreciated.

So, let's all have a very very Happy New Year.
Hello 2017!
Nice to meet you, can't wait to see what you have in store cos I'm ready and waiting!



Thursday, 15 December 2016

Overwhelmed and Humble

OMG!

I don't really know where to start with this post other than I feel I need to in some way express my thanks to everyone.
When I did my blogpost yesterday and posted about the fire it was to highlight the issue and if in some way I could stop just one person ever going through this my mission was complete. Little did I know!

My social media has gone ballistic LOL

But I have seen so many of you saying you have unplugged and will never leave them on again - thankyou!! Thankyou so much, phew! I've even seen some people cut the plugs off and I'm pleased about that too! We were actually throwing the Fusebox switch off when we were leaving work till we came in next day and realised the fridge stank and the milk was off LOL, so fusebox stays on but everything else goes off now.

And I don't know what to say, it seems like just saying thanks isn't enough, it can never be enough.
I keep choking up at all your messages but today is day 8 and at day 3 I vowed not to cry any more and I've tried to keep to it - not always succeeding but almost. The way I figure it is that sad doesn't make you happy it just sucks the life out of you. It's there yes but it won't win, positivity is the winner always.
But Kris and I just don't know where to start thanking everyone for all the 100s and 100s of amazingly kind thoughts, wishes and comments you've all thrown at us, it really is an incredibly humbling experience.  So many offers of help to decorate, send craft stuff, clothes, makeup, furniture, money, our jaws ache from dropping and we can never in a million years express how grateful we are that you all care enough to even offer to help.
That old saying you find out who your friends are when you need them - could not be more true. And I have found that I have the most amazingly generous and loving friends and family I could wish for and whom I will never be able to repay enough although I will do my damnedest to try.  And you guys - all of you, most of whom I don't even know other than that you craft or have maybe bought my products - you have all restored our faith in humanity this week, you've all just been incredible.

One thing we came to realise though within 24 hours....the things you need in life are not 'things' at all. The Fire Brigade took us into the house to recover anything we needed...we walked out with a pair of smokey trainers, a coat and medication and nothing else. We didnt need anything else and even after clearing most of downstairs (we can't get upstairs at the moment as there are no stairs LOL!) we have just taken 1 small carrier bag of stuff out that we didnt want to lose.

So please don't think we're ungrateful if you offer and we say we don't need anything. It's just true, and both of us are very adamant that going forward 'We will have less and give more'.  You read all this stuff and scoff when you see it, but genuinely, I totally get it.

Some amazingly kind and wonderful people from my crafty world have sent me craft stuff this week - thankyou ladies, you know who you are and I am forever grateful.

I know some of you have read between the lines and figured out we had no insurance - I won't even go there at how this ridiculousness has happened, but make sure yours is up to date.  Bizarrely I took out a new policy the other day - who knows, a lorry might come crashing through the front wall and what is left will just fall to a small heap of rubble LOL.
And overall in the face of adversity my only advice is this - make a plan. A long term plan or goal. I never liked this house there were a lot of things that needed fixing, updating and changing and we could never afford or had the time to do, we've had a lot of rubbish things happen while we lived in this house. So my plan is this...we're gonna fix this house now and in 7 years time it's our Silver Anniversary and we will be living in a lovely new house and it will be called the Silver House. So we have our Silver plan, it's realistic and achievable and it will happen. This is Silver day 8 already so I need to get a move on, I havent done much the past 7 days and theres a lot of things that need to be fixed.

And to leave you on a positive note about seeing the funny side of things....
1. We got a new bargain TV 4 weeks ago.... some bargain that was!
2. Because we got the new TV we had to get a new TV unit which made the TV not a bargain at all. The TV unit was a nightmare to put together - we both just looked at it and looked at each other and swore at it
3. The fire was Tuesday. The day before, Monday, we had a brand spanking new mattress delivered which we got in the Black Friday sale. It was a nightmare to get upstairs and we slept on it once LOL! You can't make it up!
4. The fire burned the cobwebs away
5. Mr Doodles pretended to the Fire Service the fire had wrecked the back bedroom when in fact the stuff all over was in fact just his mess strewn everywhere!
6. We were slighly disappointed that I'd moved a packet of corn kernels from the cupboard directly above the dryer to another one when in fact we could have walked in to a whole kitchen full of freshly popped popcorn which would have been hilarious
7. The only clothes left were IN the dryer - figure that one out.
8. When I was clearing the dreaded 'junk' drawer in the kitchen the guarantee & warranty for the dryer was still in there! #karma
9. A neighbour popped round with a tray of tea for us when we were clearing up - my dad pulled said washing out of the dryer exclaiming 'look at this, how are these not ash' , to my horror holding up the washing which is welded to a big clump of melted plastic and hanging from said clump by a thread was a pair of big blue horrid nickers. Thanks Dad!
10. I was intending to start decorating over Xmas - thank god I hadn't already done it I wouldve been livid LOL.

And this is why you gotta laugh. Cry, laugh, blow your nose, move on.
Millions and Millions of people with no homes, no sleeping bag, no food, no family, no money to buy new nickers.

Ciao you lovely lovely people xxx

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

How one day in time can change your whole world in an instant....

So, last week this happened to my house....(the edited version)



See the big fat hole in the top of the dryer below? That is the control panel that started the fire....uneblievably my wet washing is still in there, now melted into a huge clump of fabric and plastic!....


(I have loads more photos and videos but don't want to bore you to death they all look the same)

I am not one for putting my private life out for public debate but I am doing this to PLEAD with all of you who have any kind of tumble drier to unplug it when not in use and whatever you do, do NOT have it running when you are out of the house or as I often do, overnight when in bed.

My entire house, small as it may be, has to be gutted and we are starting from scratch with not much more than the clothes we were wearing when we got the phone call that our house was on fire.

MY DRIER WAS NOT ON 'THE FAMOUS RECALL LIST' AND IS (was) A ZANUSSI TCE7227W.

REALLY IMPORTANT PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!!! THIS IS DIRECT INFORMATION FROM THE FIRE BRIGADE AND AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER:....

IT WAS NOT WORKING AT THE TIME, IT WAS PLUGGED IN THE WALL ON STANDBY, WITH WET WASHING INSIDE IT, WAITING TO BE TURNED ON WHEN I GOT HOME....

IMPORTANT INFO FROM THE FIRE BRIGADE:
When you put wet washing in the drier the moisture can actually get into the circuits and cause a combustive reaction and it sets alight...because of the way the circuits are made, this does not affect the fuse, so it doesnt fuse out and switch off the power supply and just keeps on burning.

This had been smouldering and on fire for several hours before it was noticed so we have extensive damage to the house but luckily still have a roof and 4 walls.

Sadly my 2 cats died in the fire which we've both been devastated about as you can imagine..... RIP Mod and Scooter Ninjas.

We need all new windows and doors because they're all cracked and the Upvc has melted, new ceilings and floors downstairs, we have no staircase as you can see, everything, almost every single thing, gone, in a puff of smoke. The heat has been incredible, it has melted things that werent even in the same room as the actual fire.


I just want to take this opportunity to thank all the amazing people who have already helped me beyond words this past week, my DT girls have all been absolute troopers helping me to keep going when I could barely function and our friends & family for just being there when we truly needed help. Claire, Dee, Louise, Clare and Susan and Jan you have no idea how grateful I am to you for everything this week, you've been total superstars. ....I can't actually thank everyone enough, words fail me every day at the kindness and support we've had, not just from people we know but also complete strangers offering us things and places to stay, it's just incredible how people are so kind, it gives you hope for humanity quite honestly, if only everyone could be the same the world would be so amazing.

We have cleared a lot of downstairs out already, sweeping everything into bin bags takes no time at all, and on Saturday begins the biggest task which is tackling 15 years worth of craft stuff which will all have to be skipped. Yes, everything gone, that's one way to declutter your stash, although a little extreme maybe! I think the only thing that will be ok is all the metal dies, anything plastic absolutely stinks to high heaven and the odour just can't be removed no matter how many times you wash it.

The entire house has to go back to bare plaster because of the smoke damage, the only room saved is actually my bathroom because it's tiled head to toe which is a godsend. It will be several months before we can get back in and in the meantime we have moved in with my wonderful parents and are commuting 45 miles each way every day to the office.

We were actually very lucky to still have 4 walls and a roof still standing, it's only because of a door being closed and the time that the alarm was raised just in the nick of time that the whole house didnt raize to the ground and maybe take our neighbours on each side with us quite honestly.

If we are slow with your orders please bear with us, we still have a lot of things to sort out right now and we are a little slow.

I'm on Create and Craft TV on Friday 16th December at 11am and 3pm with some lovely new products so I hope you can join me - I WILL have my curly hair back because I have no choice my GHDs have melted into an alien like object LOL! ....
(and in a week where I have learned to accept help and not be proud if you really want to help us in any way please buy the new paper kits we're launching Friday, we kinda need the cash right now LOL!)

Next week will see commencement of the big cleanup so PD Towers will be on semi-closure for the first time ever until New Year (we will still be working but not full-time, operation cleanup will be underway)...

All I ask for Christmas this year is that everyone thinks of all the people who are alone, lonely and who have nothing and if you can do something to help just one person, maybe just taking a neighbour a mince pie or a christmas card so they know someone is thinking of them please do.

Losing everything is a very humbling experience and it makes you realise that you are indeed lucky to be alive and part of this planet. Standing in the street with nothing but what I took to work with me looking at my boarded up house in the dark made me realise how incredibly lucky I am and that I do not care about posessions and 'things' they are irrelevant.
Yes, we've both had a bit of a cry, but that doesn't fix things, it won't change the fact we have to start again so to be honest we've just put the rubber gloves on and got stuck into clearing up and moving on. Pronto.

Mr Doodles, one of the kindest people I know, said to me that he feels like he just needs to be 'kinder every day' and I could not have said it better myself.

Lots of people have said how it couldn't have happened at a worse time of year but well, just because it's Christmas makes no difference at all, Xmas trees and Santa aren't on our horizon right now, every single thing pales into insignificance quite honestly.

All you need is the clothes on your back, family & friends and a roof over your head, the rest is just a complete luxury and there are billions of people around the world who don't have a roof over their heads and family & friends so we both count ourselves the luckiest people in the world this week and I for one will try to maintain that thought for the rest of my life.

I might do a diary kind of thing so that I can look back and see what we achieved this time next year, not for anyone else but my own benefit really so the old blog might get a bit boring lol.

Right, over and out, work awaits and I need to go buy scissors and glue to be able to make things on Friday!
xxx

P.S - OH! Before I forget - yes we will be pursuing Zanussi over this, of course! Perhaps Watchdog might get in on the act, I will keep you informed on this score!



Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Busy Busy week - and very exciting!

Heyyy!

November has been a bit of a whirlwind here at PD Towers...way back earlier this year I was doing some boring old 'business' stuff, doing research, filling out forms, yada yada. So I came across this great website where I was researching lots of information about exporting - did you know here at Polkadoodles we actually serve and ship our lovely products right across the whole globe...well maybe not to EVERY country in the world of course, but half of them...

Some going for a titchy little company like us, huh, kind of awesome when you think about it in those terms...
Anyway, so there I am snooping for some info on something and I came across this great tool which was to help you focus on your exports and work out if you were doing it right and what you could do better. So I filled it all in, ticked a tiny little box about some kind of competition at the end and thought nothing else of it.

2 weeks ago we suddenly received a phone call and emails to say we'd beaten 30 other Businesses from across the UK and had been shortlisted to the Final 10 to win a big prize worth £7000! Like, WHAAAAAAAAAT?

I just love how life throws these curved balls at you from nowhere sometimes!

So, last week off we trotted down to a major exhibition for Business at Hammersmith Olympia - nervewracking was not the word! This was a huge event with 4 different events under one roof, with lots of movers and shakers from the business world strutting their stuff.


I had to pitch my business export plans to 5 important judges in front of all the other finalists, along with anyone else who wanted to sit in and listen - 10 minutes of nailbiting pitch and 5 minute of questions afterwards. The judges were big cheeses from across different industries, including CEO and Directors from the Institute of Export, the Head of Procurement at Heathrow Airport and head of Financial Services at Bibby Financial, as well as last year's winner.  It was such a great day - the other businesses were all awesome and very diverse, from a Pasta Company who literally supply millions and millions of pounds worth of pasta across the globe, air conditioning units, plant hire, a brewery, to a lovely lady making luxury handbags and shoes in Italy.


I really enjoyed just sitting back and listening to everyone talking so passionately about their business and what they were doing and their future plans, really inspiring.  There were several points beforehand where I almost didn't turn up because I thought we would never win anyway and the lure of the big London Red Bus Tour was calling me and my blistered bleeding feet and agonising back pain to give up, but no, I was determined not to be a chicken and to go for it (the persona you see on TV is so not the reality of me as actually quite a shy, quiet person believe it or not).

In the end, we were beaten by a tiny smidge to the top spot by a fantastic Frozen Yoghurt Company from Brighton, Lick UK, who were very deserving winners, but I actually think all the finalists were winners anyway and we got to take home some great prizes ourselves too which will really help our business! Cool!
  

So often on social media I see such doom and gloom, people wanting to give up crafting because they can't sell their things - let this be a lesson to never give up, you don't ever know what's coming around the corner and who you'll meet next week...it could be something great but if you gave up already how will you ever be there to get those amazing opportunities.

You can read all about the adventures in some of the lovely Business Press publicity we received this week....
  

   

   

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Winnie Winterland Skating

Hello! This is the 3rd card I made the other day which is from my Winnie Winterland collection released last week. I've used one of the Design Sheets with this gorgeous pre-coloured image which can just be cut out. 



These are the products I've used today...
   

     
  



Saturday, 22 October 2016

Anything Goes with the Pencil Case

Hi! Time for a new challenge at the PENCIL CASE BLOG today! Make sure you pop over and see the amazing colouring from all the girls, they all did such a great job this week and you can win some Polkadoodles stash!

I love this cute Winnie Fairy image which is from my Winnie Winterland collection released last week. This collection has been one of our biggest selling ever, I'm humbled how much you all adore Winnie so much, she just seems to tick all the boxes which is really lovely...I've coloured her here with Lyra Rembrandt Polycolour pencils.

    
My colouring has taken a real dive at the moment, I don't seem to be getting much release from my neck and hand pain and any kind of colouring is really aggravating it so I'm struggling to really sit and do much colouring at all...it's so noticable that you really do need to practice practice practice and the more you do the better you are for sure, this colouring was very messy for me so excuse the fluff around her chin but it is what it is lol....
I've been dying - literally - to get some proper playtime with my new die range. It's the same old story - things are so manic I barely get chance to craft any more and time flies so fast I go from one launch straight into the next without barely touching the stash, it's a CRIME, I tell you, a CRIME! Today I decided to take a little time out and actually MAKE something for a change and I had some fun....
One of my favourite dies from our first release is the completely awesome CHERRY BLOSSOM die which is so unbelievably versatile. I looked at it and just decided I wanted to make it into a Christmas Tree....
So all I did was cut it from 3 different colours of green...oh! I just got a Gemini die-cutting machine (because of my neck issues, thought it might help and it does) from Crafter's Companion....I LOVE it! I read a few reviews where people had had issues and returned theirs but mine is perfect and you know me - I only recommend things if they really work and I LOVE this machine! Perfect cuts every time and a reasonable price too, definitely one for your Xmas Lists, peeps!
Anyway, I wanted red baubles and I confess I kinda messed it up a bit here...could I find my red pearls, Nuvo Drops from Tonic or anything else for baubles? No, of course I couldn't!
I had it in my head - you know where you won't move from the thought - that I wanted to HEAT EMBOSS my baubles because we have just got WOW Embossing powders in the Polkadoodles store and I've been itching to use this Burgundy glitter one. Anyway in the end I fluffed it right up, I made baubles from Collal glue, then realised it was going to dry flat and in my total stupidity instead of letting it dry I decided to go straight over the top with a random colour of Nuvo Drops. Yes, over the top. Now...

I KNOW....
this...
Doesn't work...
ever.
I have done this so many times.
And it never ever works...it's like sticking your finger in your Stickles glue to see if it's dry. It never ever is, but you repeat the stupid behaviour every single time, without fail. We all do it, I've done a survey! Go on, admit it!
But I still keep repeating the same dumbass thing...
and this is how the baubles turn out...LET IT DRY, my crafty friend, LET IT DRY!
I can't!
It's torture!
I have to heat it I can't wait. And it doesnt work. Trust me, I'm a plank.
Anyway, so I sprinkled some more embossing glitter and opaque vanilla embossing powder on the embellies and heated them to it looks like sprinkles of snow. Sort of. Pffff.

So my tree was made just by adding the branches together and turning it upside down, I just trimmed what was the trunk away a little at the top to make it more pointy.
I cut the image using our Bubbleicious die which is just amazing, and the flowers and foliage are all from the Flowers 1 & 2 dies and Super Sprigs. I think Super Sprig might be my most favourite die ever ever ever I just love it to death. I want to sleep with it I think, I love it that much.

I've also fallen in love with the Flower dies too...the way they all work together is just fantastic and I've added little cream flowers from the Cherry Blossom set here to finish off.

Now I have something else in my head to do with these flowers and I need to make it SOON. Stay tuned! 

These are the products I've used today...
   

       

    
  




Friday, 21 October 2016

Mr & Mrs Christmas under the Mistletoe!

Welcome! Today I have another card from our Winnie Winterland kit which is available HERE.

I'm always so busy I often don't get chance to use my own collections, I literally have to jump from one collection straight into designing something else and it's terrible sometimes, I could cry at all the lovely stuff I miss out on creating with lol...

I've had a day today where I've been a bit under the weather, just feeling a little 'meh' so I decided to take some time for me and just make a couple of things and this is one of them....
I just love Mr and Mrs Christmas here arent they so cute?
This was such a simple and quick card to make, I just printed off the image from the collection and cut it using the 'FITTING ROOM' sheet and the corresponding die which is the 
Ribbon/Gift die - which incidentally I LOVE!


I also wanted to play around and use my lovely new dies as I've not even barely had chance to use those yet either, too little time, too much to do lol! I decided these 2 had to be standing under some mistletoe so I used our uber mega versatile SUPER SPRIG and the FLOWERS to make a little lovely sprig for the top....







Friday, 7 October 2016

HSN | CraftingTools & Supplies featuring Stamping 10.05.2016 - 01 PM

So as if it wasn't enough having ONE kit on HSN.COM, we had this beauty on air too!

Whoop whoop!







I actually missed this show live because I was such an idiot with my time conversions and I was in such a spin I can't tell you, but this beautiful Christmas kit was a massive hit! We had a little more stock on this one so you can still buy this but I know there aren't many left and obviously it won't be restocked so get it while you can, you will LOVE these kits!



They are super duper high quality and Angie and I have literally been stroking the boxes, they're sublime in quality! I am very lucky that Angie from LDRS is totally on the same page about quality standards with me so we both just know that every kit we put out is the best it can be because we won't accept anything less.



So if you want to get your winter mittens on this beauty of a kit, get it HERE! 



In the meantime I have to also thank the LDRS Design Team who made superb samples for both shows and really pulled it out of the bag!



I've not stopped saying all week how thrilled I am - I don't normally get mega excited about things because I'm one of those people who takes things in her stride but this week I've been like a bee on hot bricks over here, I admit it!



Right, over and out, I'll be back soon with more news - there's just TOO TOO Much going on around here I'm meeting myself coming backwards!!! xxx