Merry Christmas


Hi everyone!

Though I've been taking a bit of a break from blogging these last few weeks, I just wanted to pop in and thank each and every one of you for visiting and reading my blog throughout 2012. I really appreciate it!

I wish you and your loved ones a Merry and Blessed Christmas time. May you experience peace, love and joy!



Merry
Christmas
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Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Snow!

I
absolutely
LOVE
snow!!!


This is the scene we woke up to this morning


Snow looks gorgeous against red berries!


I took this picture at the same time as the others, around 07h40
this morning.
But the setting on my camera makes it look dark.
Now you can see the snowflakes better!



Winter wonderland!
This was just a little bit of snow however, 
it has already melted and the children will have to go back to 
school tomorrow. They are not impressed! haha



Nothing compared to what we've had in the past.
This was in February 2012:


Does it snow where you live?
Do you like snow?

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

The tree is up!


And by that, I literally mean….. just the tree is up. No decorations yet! While the rest of the world seems to be crafting, grafting, creating, selling and shopping ……decorating and planning, I'm still trying to cope with the normal day to day stuff!


My youngest is swamped with homework and school projects, and now he is ill as well. 

My oldest is busy with his GCSE’s, so it’s crunch time now - practical exams next week, mocks in January, etc. (Is this a good time to mention he has a great dislike in studying and needs a LOT of motivation??) Add to that the pressure of having to choose subjects for A-levels and/ or whether he will maybe decide to do something else like apprenticeship!

Oh…. and my husband is also studying for an upcoming IT-exam!! And so I can continue… though, I thought I'll spare you any more dirty details!

What can I say? It’s really not beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here. However, we've finally brought down the tree and decorations from the loft yesterday and though in my tired, stressed out state it will probably take me a lot longer than usual, I am making progress with the Christmas decorations.

I hope things are much brighter wherever you are and whatever you’re doing today!! And I promise to be more cheerful in my next post, just needed to get this of my chest!! Have a great day everyone!

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Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

These are the difficult days!

If you live far from your family (I'm not talking an hour or two's drive, I'm talking thousands of miles here) then you will know that the high days and holidays are the difficult ones. The special events, the birthdays (both yours and theirs) and the Christmases.......!

Today is such a day. It's my mother's birthday and it's one of the hardest days of the year for me to get through, and what makes it worst, is the knowledge that it's difficult for her too. Knowing that she misses us on her birthday and would have loved to have us there. That being said, it is good to know she still celebrates properly with friends and family, having lots of tea and cake! Mmmmm.... we're missing out on that calorie-laden cake table!

But, we always try to make the best of things, keep the spirits up! We are grateful that we all still have each other and at least we have e-mail, e-cards and Skype. We can keep in contact with all of them everyday, and especially on their birthdays!

Now, while I can say a lot of nice things about both my parents and my In-laws, today's post is dedicated to my mum. Because it's her birthday of course, and because she is always there for me, supports me in everything I do and she's such a good mother and grandmother to us all!


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Do you live far from your family? How do you cope with those "wish we were there" days? Personally, I see to it that I have a LOT of work and/or fun crafty things to do to keep me busy all day. Keep the mind occupied you know! 

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Advent Calender

How are all you lovely people today? Are you slowly but surely getting things ready for Christmas? I have to admit, I cannot bring myself to take out my boxes of Christmas stuff before the last week of November. I've done it the same time and same way for so many years. I just feel it's all become a bit too much.... not only the commercialization of Christmas, but why on earth do we have to start preparing in October already?  One of these days we will all probably just leave our Christmas decorations up permanently! Just kidding! haha

Oke, rant over. We're talking Advent calenders today. Now, anyone who knows me, knows I have a thing for Advent calenders! I mean a serious thing. And there are lovely ones out there. Some gorgeous, but highly expensive ones, some cute, but more affordable ones, and of course, the lovely DIY calenders of all the talented crafters out there! I share with you just a few of my favourites.

First up, this stunning calender in a frame


How cute is this one, made with baby socks?


The calenders with little drawers are always a favourite!


How about something completely different? Activities, instead of gifts or chocolates?


Now, I am ashamed to say, I've been threatening to make this one for two years!
I just LOVE it!!
Maybe next year?


And now for the one that's haunting me at the moment.....


I doubt if I will be able to lay my hands on gorgeous, strong, dry branches like these within the next few days (everything is wet from all the rain here in the UK at the moment)
BUT
I'm working on a plan, will let you know how it turns out! 

Till next time, happy decorating!

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

A Misty Morning!

Oh how I love a misty morning......... something mystical and eerie about it all, don't you think?? And even more so in the evenings when it's dark and the street lights are on...... I'll take some pictures for you tonight if the mist hangs around till then.

This is what it looks like here today:


I
LOVE
IT!!!


What's the weather like in your part of the world at the moment? Nice hot summer? Maybe you've had your first winter snow already? 

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Altered Printers Tray

I have a printers tray that I bought while on honeymoon............. almost 21 years ago! I've used it for different displays in different rooms over the years. With bits and bobs in the living room and kitchen; and even as a display for small Christmas trinkets. But it's been waiting in my craft-room for a while now as I planned to give it a bit of a spruce up and display some craft goodies in it. However, I changed my mind this morning and decided to decorate it for my bedroom instead, to display some of my smaller perfume bottles along with things I love like keys and maybe even some jewellery.


I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to decorate it, although I do know I don't really want to paint it. You know I just love ribbon, so there will most probably be some involved here again! I will show you what it looks like when it's done.

At the moment it looks like this, so a proper clean is needed first:


There are hundreds of lovely ideas for uses and decorating printers trays out there, but let me just share a few I really like with you:





Have you altered a printers tray, or have interesting things on display in one? Then please share the link in the comments below, so that we can all take a look!

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

I feel a craftroom make-over coming on...

I've found this absolutely gorgeous (yes I use this word a LOT, sorry!!) roll of wallpaper at a charity shop last week - for 50p! I kid you not! The moment I laid eyes on it I fell in love.


Needless to say I now want to cover everything and anything in the house that's not moving, with it! haha I'm going to use it to give my craftroom a much needed make-over. I do have a slight problem though, as I've already covered some boxes and files with this paper:


However, as the main colour scheme will be shades of teal and pink, I will try to find a way of incorporating both the wallpaper and the wrapping paper. If you have any suggestions, please do share them with me?

I must admit, I could do with a sunny day here in the UK now! I need to take pictures of some projects I would like to share with you, but judging from the quality of these pictures, it will have to wait!

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Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Gorgeous spider web

One of the things I love about autumn in the UK is the amazing spider webs you see everywhere this time of year. These are spun by a garden spider, so do not fret, they stay outside. (I do NOT like spiders in my house, they creep me out! But as long as they stay outside, I'm fine with them!) Have you ever seen a spider spin a web like this? Mesmerizing and crafty I tell you! And when it rains they are absolutely gorgeous! I had to hang halfway out of the window to take these pictures today. Doesn't really do it justice though, but I thought I'd share them with you.



Aren't they just lovely?


Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Autumn already?

Yes, it's been a while...... again! I look back over this past year and I can honestly tell you, it's been a roller-coaster ride. It's been hectic and busy, and yet I don't have much to show for it! It's those "behind the scene" things that just seem to take over one's life. I won't bore you with the details, suffice to say it ranges anything from summer holiday without the "summer" part, to writing tests and completing loads of forms and what not, to surgery.

Maybe things will quiet down a bit now, and I will get back to posting regularly again and share some projects with you. In the meantime, I would like to thank all of you who stuck with me during my unforeseen absence. I really appreciate it!!




Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Books, books and more books

I think it would be quite fair to say I am a book-a-holic! I have a serious thing for books. Maybe a bit of an obsession.........! Old/vintage books, new books, fiction, non-fiction, different topics.............. simply L.O.V.E. books!! There's that vintage feel of the older book, the fascination with the road the book might have travelled before ending up on my shelve. And then there's that new book smell - nothing beats it! Needless to say my house is filled with books, seeing as my husband and youngest son shares this love of books with me.

We are members of the local library and it is not unusual for me and my youngest to spend two or three hours there on a Saturday. Although my oldest son does not share our love for books per se, he does read a lot of newspapers and sport related articles on the internet. Especially anything to do with rugby and athletics! And we could easily forget about time when we're in a bookshop or library! Not to mention a charity shop filled with hundreds of books at such great prices!

These are the books I have on loan from the library at the moment:


Not my best pictures ever, I have to admit! Nevertheless, they're all great books, but my favourite is Thriftychic. Don't you just love a good d├ęcor book? With great tips and ideas that will not break the bank? Well, this is one of those.  Papercraft and Paper Sculpt Sensations are a paper crafter's paradise. 

Teashop Treats is a cute little recipe book with al kinds of sweet and savoury treats! But the one I'm thinking of actually buying is Compendium of Crochet Techniques. I can do a bit of basic crochet, as mentioned in my previous post, but I'm in the mood to learn more techniques and would like to try different projects (and hopefully finish it!!)  

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends!

 Until next time, keep well!



Back on track

Well, after being ill for two weeks, I'm finally seeing the light again, so to speak!!! After about a week I realised this was a long-term cold, so I decided to just go with the flow and sit (more like lie) it out. Maybe my body just needed a proper rest? To keep busy I did some reading, crocheting and of course watched the Olympics. I borrowed no less than 11 books from my friend and neighbour to read over the holiday! So far I've read two. I have the tendency to read until the early morning hours, so If I do not pace myself, I will never sleep! I loved Homecoming by Cathy Kelly.


I also took up crochet......again! I say again because every 6 months or so I begin to crochet and a few weeks later I "forget" about it again. Those ever-present half finished projects! I'm trying to finish a scarf I started many moons ago and I've just started a cushion I want to make for our living room.


However, all this lying around is now a thing of the past, and as you can imagine, I'm swamped! The house is a mess and I am way behind with all my other work, like the swap I signed up for ages ago, my blogs, Facebook page, websites, stock for my sites, etc. If you see dust clouds in the air over the next week or so here in the UK........ don't fret, it's just me getting a grip on everything....... again! 

If you love shoes (like I do) please visit my new blog http://formyloveofshoes.blogspot.co.uk/ . It's all about the shoes over there! 

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends!

 Until next time, keep well!

Today is the BIG day!

Hallo everyone! First let me thank you all for sticking with me during my absence this past month! Life just seemed to take over and my feet barely touched ground. I am however seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and as soon as I get rid of this cold that's been bugging me all week, I'm hoping things will return to normal and I'll be able to post regularly again!
Now, back to business.......what does these flaming red roses remind you of? (I promise I did not even doctor the photo, don't they look gorgeous in the bright sunshine?) Of course! Today is the BIG day! The living room has been cleaned and everything in place, the food and drinks organised, and the do-not-disturb-sign is on the door..... it's the start of the Olympics today!!! Yeah! We LOVE the Olympics and being here in the UK where it's all taking place makes it just that much more exciting! So, for the next two weeks the boys and I will be glued to the tv-screen.

 If you plan on watching the Olympics; or better yet, are lucky enough to have tickets and will be attending some of the events, enjoy every minute of it all!!

 Go team SA and team GB!!

 Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new (and old) friends! Until next time, keep well!

Crafty Fridays

How are all you lovely people on this Friday afternoon? It is quite windy here today, but luckily I'm nice and warm inside my home. Still using the central heating in June!! What are you all up to today?

On a Friday you will usually find me doing one or even all of my fun-things. Painting, crafting and baking. And maybe even having a chat with someone - what with Skype, Google-chat, Facebook and more, there is always a volunteer available, whether near or far. In my case mostly far. Today I'm talking with my friend Cynthia in Cape Town, via Skype. We like to share crafty ideas and inspiration. Cynthia makes THE most gorgeous natural soap! Take a look on her blog, Indulging my muse; or Facebook page yudhika. I tell you they look good enough to eat!!

I've done my baking for the day (cupcakes of course! haha), now it's time for the painting and crafting. I have a lot to do. I'm creating stock for my website. And I'm also working on the finishing touches for the Heart Swap I've joined over at Mary Poppins. I do hope my swap partner, Manda from The Vintage Hobby House will like what's in her parcel! This being my first swap and all......!


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Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new friends! Until next time, keep well!

Notepad and decorated pencil for my kitchen

How are all you lovely people? It's a gorgeous, bright, sunny day here in our part of the UK today, for which we are always greatfull!


I finally got around to making the notepad and decorated pencil that I wanted for my kitchen, and I'd like to share it with you. I used a piece of cardboard as the base and glued white card to both sides to give it a smooth finish. I then covered the front with scrapbook paper (blue gingham pattern that I've used for other projects in my kitchen as well), and stuck it to the back with double sided tape. I made holes (with some odd tools, but it was to thick to fit in my hole punch), added ribbon, and Bob's your uncle! For the notes, I just cut paper in the required size and glued them on top of each other with a glue stick. If you use only a little bit of glue, the pages tear off easily.


The yellow of the pencil worked well, as I do have TINY splashes of yellow in my kitchen. I used wire to attach the handbag brad (representing the fact that it's for my shopping list), prettied it up with some ribbon and a flower, and that was it. I'm quite happy with how this quick and easy craft project turned out, and it looks great in the kitchen! Now when anyone uses the last of something, they write it on the list immediately.


I think it looks cute! What do you think?

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Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from old and new friends!
 Until next time, keep well!


I am linking this post to:
The 36th AVENUE














Give me a button, or two.... or 200!!

I guess the title of this post says it all...... I looooooove buttons. I have no explanation for this "thing" I have for buttons, all I can say is I just love them!! The colours, the shapes, the sizes. Buttons makes me happy. (Yeah, sound a bit off-the-road there I know, but it is what it is!) Will this be a good time to tell you I hardly ever do any sewing? I use my buttons mainly for crafts (as in gluing them to something) and to look pretty in jars in my craftroom! My stash has dwindled a bit, but I'm working on that.....!

Some older buttons I've collected over the years


Buttons I bought from The Works. Their price is usually just right!! 


And buttons I found at Hobbycraft on Saturday. At the bargain price of £1 in their valuecrafts range!
I'm crazy about that BIG red one!


And of course they look pretty in (reuse) glass jars.


Do any of you have a thing for buttons, or maybe something else like ribbon (don't get me started) or stamps?

Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new friends!

                                                        Until next time, keep well!

Make your own: Room Freshener

You know me, I'm all for reuse/ up-cycle/ make your own. So here is how I make my own room freshener.


What you need:
*A glass jar - It can be a pretty decorative jar, mason jar, or even a food jar, properly cleaned. Like the one  I'm using here.
*Bicarbonate of soda  (Baking soda)
*Aroma therapy oil
*Something to cover the jar if you so prefer. You can leave it open if you're going to hide it high on a shelf  where tiny hands can't reach it...... Or you can cover it with a lid or even foil, in which you made a few holes. I bought some doilies a while back at the charity shop and I'm using one of those today.


And here's the absolutely easiest steps ever:
1. Put some bicarbonate of soda in the jar.
2. Add a few drops of your favourite aromatherapy oil.
3. Cover with the lid/foil/doily.
4. Pretty it up and voila! Your own room freshener.


I find it best to give the jar a little shake everyday to release the fragrance again. Add more drops when needed. You can also use this as a carpet freshener.

One last tip:
To get rid of odours in your refrigerator just leave a small, open container with Bicarbonate of Soda in the fridge. It absorbs all the nasty smells. Just replace every few weeks. 



Thanks for stopping by Life on a Cupcake! If you are a first time visitor, welcome! I would be honoured if you would take a moment to leave a comment; subscribe to my blog or "like" my facebook page, Little Canvas. Do keep in touch, I love to hear from new friends!

 Until next time, keep well!

A Wilderness in my backyard

This constant rain is really driving me up the walls! It's half-term and suppose to be summer, but my poor children are locked up in the house and we even have the central heating on. Why? Because it's been raining on and off for days now! Again!

We barely had summer so far this year. Just a few nice days last week. So, less than two weeks ago, our garden looked like this:


No, I'm not showing you these pictures to scare you with the grass where I do believe a lion could've been hiding in....... I wanted to show you the cute Daisies and Buttercups that grows in my garden! Aren't they sweet? I always feel so sorry to cut them, but to get rid of the grass there is no other way! So, last weekend while my husband was mowing the lawn, the boys quickly picked me some Daisies to savour for a few more days:


Needless to say, with all this rain  I'm pretty sure I can hear the grass growing! ha-ha It almost looks the same again! Hope you're having fun, whatever the weather where you are! 


A Relaxing weekend

Now that all the exams and stress and what not are a thing of the past (for a moment, in any case!), we are all looking forward to a relaxing weekend! Just some family time, spending time in the garden, BBQ, watching movies, Eurovision, Soccer Aid, etc.

The weather has finally turned and today is a fantastic hot and sunny day. I'm covering boxes and finishing off some of my projects (posts to follow at a later stage) and this is where I'm doing all of it. In the sun! I'm so blessed and lucky. Sunshine makes me so happy!


I've also signed up for my first ever swap! Go and have a look over at Mary Poppins' Handmade Heart Swap! Maybe you would like to join in the fun? Looking forward to this and already getting a few ideas together!!  

Have a great weekend everyone! 




It's a bit quiet

It's a bit quiet here on the "blog-front" at the moment! Both my children are writing exams (SAT's and GCSE's), so it is somewhat hectic and tense as you can imagine. To add to that, I've finally decided on a completely new direction for my website (Little Canvas), AND I'm doing a bit of spring-cleaning. (Even though it still seems to be winter in the UK!)  All in all, a very busy time indeed. Hopefully things will return to normal by the end of the month and I will be able to post regularly again and tell you all about my ideas for Little Canvas. I am sooooo excited about it!!




Until next time, keep well! 


Hedgehogs in our garden

From time to time we have all kinds of animals visiting our garden. I like to leave food out for them, and sometimes we even name them. There's always lots of birds, we've had a number of squirrels, and of course our hedgehogs (one or two spiders too!).  Last night we had these two who looked (and sounded) as if they were not to friendly with each other at all!  Aren't they just too darn cute??





Do you have wild animals visiting your garden too?