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31 December 2012

Oh My!!!

I am happy to report that there has been activity of a crafty nature going on here at Manic Towers. No pics today though....sorry. The light is awful here at the moment so I am going to dig out my daylight lamp and try that tomorrow.
A lot of the cards are only quickies as I desperately need stock for the shop. I've gone through my unfinished cards and finished those off.....and packed them....go me....lol!!!
The money I got for Christmas has been well and truly spent on some fabulous crafty goodies. The XCut sewing themed dies are now awaiting a playing session as are the new Chronology paper stack and cogs dies. I also bought the latest Creativity magazine for the free stamp set to go with the paper and I have my eye on a few more things yet such as dies, fabric paper, stamps and buttons....like I need any more......lol!!!
Tomorrow I have the Doodle Bird for the day and it should be a good day as I have spent some time over the weekend cooking stuff for the freezer to pull out for meals. This means Ruby can have all of my attention....she hates me being in the kitchen. As soon as my apron goes on she is telling me to 'take it off ganma and come and sit down'. Well tomorrow I can do just that and she will be well chuffed.
Anyway.....I had best go and get some sleep.....although I am wide awake so it will be a reading session first.
Thanks for your visit.
Sheila-x-

26 December 2012

All Is Calm!!!

I hope you are having a lovely Christmas.
All is calm at Manic Towers today. No visitors or visiting. Just a quiet relaxing day.
That will change tomorrow as we have Ruby Doodle here for the day as both mummy and daddy are working. I think I'll try and give her a quiet day as she has had lots of excitement for the last week or so with four visits from Santa due to not being able to get everyone together for Christmas Day. We have lots of new story books and films and a beautiful farm set to play with so we'll see how it goes.
Santa was very good to me with crafty things, smelly things and money to spend on yet more crafty things.
I'm just off to sit and watch a film with Mr Manic. TV is diabolical so I'll have to dig something out of our collection.
Thanks for dropping by.
Sheila-x-
 

24 December 2012

.......And Breathe!!!

This last week or so I don't know if I've been on my head, my posterior (to put it politely), or my elbows. I've been here, there and everywhere doing stuff mostly for other people and haven't had a minute to myself. Consequently I am feeling rather stressed and not at all festive but hey ho it's here now and I can breathe a bit easier knowing that the shops are shut and what we haven't got we can do without. 
Having said that we are doing without quite a lot this year as I have been deeply touched by stories in the newspapers about people who have to resort to food banks to be able to feed their families. 
I decided to look at where I could make reductions in our Christmas food shopping and spend the saved money on food to donate to the collection point when it came to our local Tesco. 
This is something I would like to carry on in the new year and I'll be researching to see if we have a local bank I can contribute to regularly either with donations or voluntary work. 
I'm no 'do-gooder' but the stories I have read have broken my heart.

Anyway......I wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Hope Santa is good to you and you get your wishes.
Love from
Sheila-x-

20 December 2012

House Gremlins And Stuff!!!

Well The Gathering was fabulous apart from the fact that I ended up with no hot water in the kitchen due to a busted mixer tap. I could only get cold water so was filling kettles to boil for the washing up.
Got a new tap in for the plumber to fit yesterday. He arrived before nine and as hubby was here DD and I went off to town with Miss Doodle to get a few bits and bobs. When we got back the plumber was still here so I knew something was wrong. He had discovered a problem with the whole water system for the house and was having problems getting the hot water flowing. He's sorted it for now but I think we are going to have a very expensive time ahead as we will need to get it fixed permanently.
Miss Doodle has been very good today....even around town. She was a little angel. This was my last day to have her now until later next week but I'll see her Saturday as we are off to Shugborough to see Santa and I am being treated to breakfast at Frankie and Bennys before we go. I am really going to enjoy the day.
Tomorrow DD and I are off out for the day to finish off the shopping but I will be avoiding town like the plague and visiting Bridgemere and Trentham instead.
Hope you are all on track with your festive preparations.
Bye for now.
Sheila-x-

16 December 2012

The Gathering!!!

Today is our annual gathering of the clans (our family and DDILs').
I was up faffing about until 2am then had a quick sleep until 5am.
So far I have tidied the back room, baked some ginger cookies for the goody bags and wrapped the last of the presents.
Not much to do now apart from a last minute once over on the lounge, a shower make the crumble topped mince tarts for pudding and roast some potatoes. Hopefully then I will get to have a sit down and a natter instead of spending the day welded to the cooker.
Poor Mr Manic is at work and DD has to work tonight so they are missing out a bit but today was the only day we could organise it for.
Hope you all have a fab day whatever you are doing.
Tara for now.
Sheila-x-
 

09 December 2012

No Christmas Today!!!

I really shouldn't try and take pics at night in this back room but hey ho......I think you can get the gist of it.
A last minute order late last night which needs delivering tomorrow so I thought I would give my new Sewing Room die an airing.
Papers....I haven't a clue as I just dragged them off the shelf and got to work.
The dies for the mirror are Go Kreate and XCut.
I cut the mannequin, spool and buttons from chipboard and used a Snow Cap Dabber on them.
I think I shall be making more of these for the shop.

Today has been rather frustrating. I finished Ruby's angel costume and took it down to try it on her for length etc and everything was perfect so I said to keep it there to show London grandma who was making a flying visit. Today Mr Manic picked it up to be washed and ironed and instead of going with my instincts and giving it a gentle handwash......I put it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and the bloody voile on the wings has frayed and the lace has come away. So the evening I was going to spend playing with a couple of new Cricut cartridges will now be spent sewing the lace back on by hand....ooooooh I could spit. And once that's done I need to tidy the workroom and get all of my stuff out of the way of the little fingers that will be here early in the morning and make a lasagne for tea tomorrow. I need a wife I think......lol!!!
Anyhoo...best get to it.
Tara for now.
Sheila-x- 

06 December 2012

Dark And Dreary!!!

Well.....I don't think the light has been any brighter than twilight today. Not a good day to try and take pics in here. The lights have been on all day and the fire has been lit since lunchtime. DD and I have been busy doing our own jobs......she laundry and me sewing.
The dress part of the angel costume is now done. Just the wings to go and that will be a job crossed off my list. The curtains for the cottage are nearly finished and I'll just need to find some time to go down over the weekend to fit them and make sure that the Doodle family will be a little bit warmer.
So two jobs down.....1,998 to go. You know how it is at this time of year.
Mr Manic is off for three days so I expect there will be a little more Christmas shopping to do before he goes back to work and some preparation to do for next weekends visit by the London family (DDIL's mum and dad and sister plus partner). There is no way I can do a sit down meal for ten of us due to lack of space so I shall be doing a carvery with roast meats and accompaniments to have in rolls and a couple of desserts and mince pies. I'll get a head start by making the apple sauce and stuffing to freeze this weekend.
Right....I had best go and see if the fabric for the wings has dried so I can crack on with those.
Tara for now.
Sheila-x-

04 December 2012

Christmas No 24!!!

Well, my last Christmas card for 2012.
Wreath-Cricut December 25th
Paper-Basic Grey
Flowers-Punch
Pearls-MeiFlower
I know 24 designs doesn't seem like much but they are made in multiples of 6 or 12 and using different papers within each design.
My Christmas paper stash is at an all time low now....which was what I was aiming for. At the times of their release I used to go bonkers for the Basic Grey Christmas collections and I had loads of it. Now I doubt if I could make a card with more than one paper from each collection so I think it's time to clear out what's left into the paper bags I make up for the car boot sale and start again next year with new papers.
I still don't feel much in the mood for Christmas but I'm sure it will come when I go to see Ruby in her nativity play later in the month.
Also, there is still Winter Solstice to read as one of the books we got from Tesco did turn out to be rather good so I did finish it.
DD and I have watched Miracle On 34th Street tonight as I needed a night off after a full on day with Doodle Bird but even that didn't bring on the festive spirit. Having said that though I did keep drifting off so I probably missed half of it.....lol!!!
Another busy day tomorrow with Ruby here until about 2pm and then out comes the sewing machine for a few hours before Mr Manic gets home as I have all the stuff now for Ruby's costume.
Thanks for visiting today.
Tara for now.
Sheila-x-

03 December 2012

Doodle Takeover!!!

Today has been a bit of a non starter in the craft department as far as my own stuff goes but boy have we been crafting up a storm for Miss Doodle.
We decided to make a stack of Christmas cards for her teachers and friends at pre-school. She was really good while she was doing it but I think the repetition got to her in the end and she went off to play with some diecuts. Then we made a start on her costume for the school play so we made her halo. Just a very simple wreath of wire covered in double sided tape then plain silver tinsel followed by a wrap of silver tinsel with stars.
Tomorrow we have to nip into Derby to pick up some white fabric for her dress. My sewing machine will be going into meltdown at this rate what with curtains and costumes.
Now I just need to catch up on a couple of housey jobs before I can retire for the night.
Thanks for stopping by.
Sheila-x-

02 December 2012

Christmas No 23!!!

Another Cricut card. This time I have used Doodlecharms as the card is for a little boy and it has some very cute stuff on for kids cards.
Paper is Dovecraft Basics.
Holly is a punch and the berries are some dome shaped stickers from Papermania.
Letters are cut using the Winter Woodland cartridge.

I popped down to the cottage this morning to measure up for the curtains. Miss Doodle was in a fabulous mood and we had a fun half an hour before we had to leave. I had to borrow her daddys' tape measure so while we had it out we measured Ruby to see how tall she is. At two years and nine months she measures three feet and five inches. I think she is going to be a tall girl......not surprising as daddy is well over six feet and mummy is about five feet ten or so.

Last night I came over all DG (domestic goddess) and decided to try a recipe I had seen on Barefoot Contessa for Ultimate Ginger Cookies. Well I have to say that they are without doubt the most disgusting things I have ever tasted. I think the problem is the amount of cinnamon that's added.....2tsp. It is so overpowering. They would be nicer with it left out altogether I think so I may try it again sometime. Mr Manic doesn't seem to mind them though.

I'm so cold that I think I will have to go and have a hot shower. I don't think I have been warm all day despite a wonderful lunch cooked by hubby and a fire roaring up the chimney.
Last Christmas card post tomorrow so see you then.
Tara for now.
Sheila-x-

01 December 2012

Christmas No 22!!!

I think I'm getting near the end of my Christmas card designs for this year now. There may be a couple left to post but then I shall be on to other things.
This one is just a simple vintage style with an image from the Dover Pictura Vintage Christmas Cards collection. The girl has been printed multiple times, cut out and decoupaged.
Snowflakes are....largest and smallest Sizzix and the medium one is a punch.

Nipped out to do a bit of shopping today and it is completely mad out there. I have never seen Byrkley Park so busy. The craft shop was packed as there was a demo going on. Luckily I knew exactly what I wanted and didn't need to browse so I was in and out in no time.
Back home now and we are just about to light the fire and snuggle down for the rest of the day....me in the workroom and Mr Manic in front of the telly. Poor DD has to work a nightshift tonight so there will be no snuggling for her.
Tomorrow I am off down to the cottage to measure up for some door curtains to try and eliminate some of the draughts for DS and family so the rest of the day will probably be spent sewing.
For now I have to try and find space for all the new cardstock that arrived today so I had best get to it.
Tara for now.
Sheila-x-