Friday, 27 September 2013

September, happy new beginnings

Ever since my eldest son, now in his 40s, started school as a rising 5 in September 1975, I've always thought of September as the start of a new year. Even now, with my youngest having finished education and taken his place in the world of work, I still use an academic diary rather than a January to December one.

This year is no different, September has definitely been a month of new beginnings for me, firstly I restarted my Phoenix business, which you can read about here.

Back in August I made the decision to write a book, and the ideas for that were buzzing around in my head for a while before I finally got started on it proper this month.

I've also joined a group on Facebook, which is basically a course to follow over the next twelve months, covering the content of "The Artists Way" by Julia Cameron. Julia's book is designed to work over 12 weeks, but as it's a rather intensive course, the group members are going to cover one week each month over the next twelve - that starts on 1st October, and I'm hoping it will give me a sense of direction for my creativity, which I'm sadly lacking at the moment. There's still time for you to join this group if you wish, just leave me a comment below (You'll need to be on Facebook though!).

And finally, my friend Clare Josa has just released her latest book, Gratitude, which is not only a book but a journal covering a whole year, so I'll be starting that also on 1st October.


So here's wishing all my readers a Happy New Year

Monday, 23 September 2013

Flopsy reunited

If you read my earlier post (here), I'm sure you will be pleased to have a Flopsy update.

When Flopsy left Warminster last Monday she was carried by Royal Mail to Suffolk, where she arrived on Wednesday and spent a few days with her Gran and cats, Benny and Tess.




On Saturday she flew, with her uncle Dan, to USA (business class, no less!), and spent the night in a hotel in Manhattan


and then on Sunday she was reunited with her little girl


A happy pair of bunnies!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt, phinal photos.

Well, here in lovely Wiltshire summer has come to an abrupt halt, with lots of rain, strong winds and cool temperatures, just a phew days before the end of Rinda's Summer Scavenger Hunt, which you can read about here.

I've managed to phind all the items on the list, with one small proviso, the animal that I phound was in a phield in North Wales, rather than a zoo, aquarium or nature reserve, I hope that doesn't disqualify me?


My phinal phind is a picture of me (well, a small part of me) with my crochet hook and yarn.


Many thanks to Rinda phor organising this challenge, I'm already looking phorward to next year's.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Flopsy's emergency treatment

Meet Flopsy. This photo was taken when she was just a few days old, and ready to be sent off to USA as a gift for my friend Kate's granddaughter.


Little did I know then that Flopsy would become one of the little girl's favourite things. It was only when Kate came to visit recently that she told me how fond her granddaughter was of Flopsy.

Fast forward just a couple of weeks, and I received a desperate email from Kate's D.I.L., saying that Flopsy had been involved in an accident involving a dog. I had a quick look through my yarn stash, discovered that I still had some of the original yarn both for Flopsy and her dress, so asked for her to be sent back to me. She arrived last Friday, looking rather sorry for herself,


but not beyond repair. Thankfully just her face and her dress had taken the worst of the damage, so straight away I set about knitting a new face.


Some extra stuffing was needed,


double stitching around the aperture to stop any further damage caused by running



then the new face was stitched into place, and compared to the original.


As she was such a well-loved and well-travelled rabbit, she was a bit grubby, so I gave her a bath


and while she dried out in the airing cupboard I set about knitting a replacement dress.


One fully repaired rabbit, now on the first leg of her return journey.


p.s. the parcel is finished using one of the dots and spots range of tapes, they are just fab, why not take a look?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

My new job

Well, to be honest, it's not really a new job, it's a return to an old one. I'm a Phoenix Trader again.

I first found Phoenix Trading and became a trader in 2005, I just fell in love with their fabulous and unique range of greetings cards, and I built up quite a little business selling to family, friends and neighbours. A major relocation in 2008, from Surrey to Wiltshire, from our large house into a temporary smaller one and then back into a slightly larger one, meant that I knew I wouldn't have time to look after my business, so in July 08 I reluctantly gave it up.

However, finally (or so we thought at the time) settled into our new home in the town of Devizes, I decided to pick up my Phoenix business again, it helped me to meet new people in my area and for about 3 years I once again enjoyed selling the fabulous range of cards and other stationery items. However, after a while we realized that the house we had bought was not, after all, the house we wanted to spend the rest of our days in, and so we embarked once more on house hunting, selling, buying and moving - this process took almost a whole year and during that exhausting and thoroughly draining time I closed down my Phoenix business again.

We have now been fully settled into our "forever" house here in Warminster for over a year and are slowly turning it into our dream home. Then, completely out of the blue, I received a letter from Phoenix asking me if I would consider rejoining, and with an offer I couldn't refuse, and realising that I was still very much in love with the range, rejoin I did.

So briefly, that's my Phoenix journey. Phoenix Trading have been in business now for over 18 years. Their range is not available from retailers, only from traders such as myself, which is why they are able to offer such fabulous quality cards and other products at such competitive prices. Why not take a look at my website www.phoenix-trading.co.uk/web/joyshallcross where you can browse the range at your leisure, learn all about the company, their ethical stance, their charitable contributions, maybe even submit some artwork to them? Should you wish to, you may then buy products direct from my page, pay by credit card and receive your fabulous purchase within just a few days. Or, if you prefer, you can contact me directly for a brochure and card sample so you can feel the quality. You might even like the look of my little business and decide that you, too, would like to be a trader - in which case please contact me for further details of how to join the team.



The thing I like the most about being a trader, apart, of course, from the fabulous cards, is the flexibility of the whole thing, I can put as little or as much effort into my business as I choose, I can keep small, just selling to family, friends and neighbours working hours to suit myself, or I can, if I want, build my business to become a full-time earner. I am part of a team with an enormous amount of support from my team leader and from the company as a whole, the company customer support is second to none, there are no monthly targets to complete, no pressure from anyone, the rate of growth is entirely down to me and how much effort I choose to exert. What a wonderful "job".



Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Ten on Ten for September 10th

I love joining in with Rebekah's (A bit of Sunshine) Ten on the tenth, when you spend the day finding the beauty around you over the course of ten hours.

Our day starts early, as GM is up soon after 5am, and I have a cup of tea in bed just before 6, so my first photo is taken at 6 am, I'm still in bed, and writing my "5 positive things" from yesterday.


By 7am we are up and dressed and ready for breakfast, this is one of my two meat-free days each week, my breakfast looks rather delicious, dont you think?


8am, and I'm wearing these slippers that I recently bought for myself, they are really, really comfortable.


9am. My third son, GO, and his girlfriend recently brought these flowers for me, after over a week they are still looking good.


10am, well almost, speaks for itself


11am. I am very excited to receive this parcel. If you follow my blog over the next few days, weeks, months, you'll find out why


12noon, a couple of raspberries that just need to ripen up on the windowsill for 24 hours, then they'll be perfect.


1pm, lunch time. Another tasty meat-free meal with home grown tomatoes.


2pm, and it's down through the park to the supermarket for some shopping


3pm. Back home again, through the park, to say hello to the ducks.


I hope you've enjoyed sharing these brief moments of my day. To see lots of others who also share their day with us, please click here.





Saturday, 7 September 2013

Summer Scavenger Hunt

With just over a fortnight left to complete Rinda's Summer Scavenger Hunt (here), I had to cheat a little bit to get some of the required items.

No.15. Fire truck or police car. In all my travels I haven't seen one of either, so in desperation I've taken a photo of this photo on the back page of our local paper.


No. 16. Windmill. I meant to take a photo of the toy windmill my son had in his lounge, but forgot, and the only windmill in Wiltshire is more than several miles away from where I live and with no other excuse to go in that direction it simply wasn't worth using the petrol, so instead I found this in my card box.


No.5. Sunset. I've already shown one, but this one was so spectacular I just had to show it


11. Animal in zoo, aquarium or nature reserve. Actually this isn't in any of these, it's in a field in Wales, just outside Portmeirion.


And now I have only one picture left to find, and that shouldn't be too difficult, it's a picture of me with an artistic tool or craft supply, will have get my crochet hook out this evening.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

5 on 5

I've just joined Sandie at Itchifingers for my first 5 on 5, you can read about all about it here and join this month's here

My five photos were taken this morning in my garden






New Linky added . . .

. . . to my previous post. Easy peasy. Please add links to your window views here

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Views from my windows, September

From the kitchen window, runner beans still in full flower, with a newly moved fig tree planted in front of them.


From the back door, the trunk of ONE jasmine plant which covers the whole of one side of the pergola


View of the garden, along the southern boundary


From the front room window, the front garden is a work in progress, and hopefully you will notice a month by month decrease in the amount of grass.


From the bedroom window, looking westwards towards the evening sun


From my studio across the top of the pergola and the back garden


This is a monthly challenge, you can see last month's views here
I'm off now to see if I can find a free linky to add. If you would like to join in with this challenge, please leave a comment with a link to your blog post for the time being, until I add the linky. This is something I haven't done before, so if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Slowly easing back into it . . .

. . . blogging, that is.

My summer has been very busy, I really dont know where the time went, it's all passed way too quickly, I've hardly had the time to draw breath let alone do much in the way of blogging.

But, dear readers, never fear, I'm still around, and hope to show some favourite images from my summer in the next few days.

Hope you have enjoyed your summer. I may not have written much but I have been keeping up to date with my blog reading and enjoying seeing your gardens, your holidays and your crafty creations.

Back soon,

Joy