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