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Painted Living Room
Piggy Bank

Yet another grey and damp Pembrokeshire morning. I am back on HRT (trying a different sort) and so far I am sleeping better at night, although very tired in the evening (falling asleep on the sofa every night!) - that could be due to very full days.

Crafting has happened this week, and here is proof. I ended up with even more stash on my crafty table and on the floor. This was on Sunday. All tidy now (except for a parcel from Create & Craft to open - the next Crafters Companion Year of Craft set, which I am collecting).

I was making two of the pop-up cards that featured in one of our Tuesday Papercraft Group classes. Here they are -

In yesterday's class we made this very sparkly butterfly card. It uses heat embossing, glitter and vellum.

After seeing some sample cards on Instagram using stamps from Tracey Easson Illustrations, I went straight to her Etsy shop and bought this fantastic stamp. It arrived in a really cute little parcel, so I filmed the opening of it.

I would like to sit in my craft room all day and finish off Christmas cards, but unfortunately 'adulting' is required - boring phone calls and cleaning our cottage, which is empty after our last Farm Manager left. I am giving it a good clean before the new manager moves in. I am also attempting to keep on top of the housework here. I definitely need a full-time Housekeeper!

Hopefully I will get round to visiting at least most of your blogs this week.

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Good morning from a very dark (and now started to rain) Pembrokeshire. I hate these dark mornings. I don't like to wish my life away, but a big part of me wants it to be spring already. I didn't blog last week, as my mum was staying and then we took her back to Oxfordshire (plus had an overnight stay in Milton Keynes with some shopping and a lovely Cuban meal).

We share our crafty workspaces each Wednesday for What is On Your Workdesk Wednesday - and these blog posts are listed HERE.

There has been a fair amount of crafting in the last fortnight - and it has all been for Christmas.

I am going to a papercraft group every Tuesday now (and returning back to the scrapbooking/mixed media group on Fridays, if I have the time and energy - life is busier generally now). Here is what we have made in the past 3 weeks.

The bauble is a Sweet Poppy stencil and we used Distress Inks (by the way, who loves the new Distress colour? I have started collecting them again and buy at least one colour set each month).

This was Cardio stamping. A great way to use any of your tiny stamps. Again, it is using Distress Inks.

This is a very clever pop-up card. Going to attempt making one by myself this week!

In other news, I have started with the Wool& 100 Day Dress Challenge. We wear the same dress every day for 100 days (for at least 8 hours per day, so there is the flexibility to wear something different - for instance, I changed into jumper/jogging pants yesterday afternoon, as I had a garage to sweep out). The dresses are mostly merino, really comfy and keep you warm/cool. I am on Day 8 today and haven't had to wash it yet (just a spot clean on Day 5 to remove a small mark). If anyone is interested, I am posting pictures of my outfits most days in this Instagram account - @homewithchronicpain. I have had a capsule wardrobe for over 3 years now and this was just another experiment to try.

It is getting light now and is revealing a really horrible wet morning, so I will be mostly doing housework/laundry and more notebook designing for Amazon (slowly getting some sales).

Ali x

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Have you started planning for Christmas yet? Have you planned for Christmas before? I use a Digital Planner day to day (along with Google Calendar and KeepNotes), but I do love using notebooks for specific projects and scribbling down notes when I am at my desk - and having a book that I can carry everywhere with me, take downstairs to the kitchen etc, is super-useful over the festive period.

When I designed my Farmhouse Christmas Notebook to sell on Amazon, I knew that I would be using one to plan for Christmas 2021 (and future years). It just has simple dotted grid interior pages on cream paper. So much freedom to use it for whatever you want. However, perhaps that freedom is overwhelming for you. Are you scared to make the first marks?

Grab a piece of paper and make a list of what aspects of Christmas you need to plan. Will it just be a series of lists? Do you want to have monthly/weekly/daily pages? Do you want to journal your thoughts/goals?

Here are some suggestions for pages:

  • Countdown to Christmas

  • Activities

  • Christmas Lunch/Dinner

  • Favourite Movies

  • Favourite Books

  • Movies to watch

  • TV to watch

  • Favourite Christmas Carols

  • Favourite Christmas Music

  • Favourite Memories

  • Christmas Traditions

  • To Do List for Craft Projects

  • Things I loved about 2021

  • Christmas Decorations Log

  • Weekly Schedules

  • Monthly Pages for November and December

  • Daily Pages

  • Birthdays & Other Occasions

  • Party Planning

  • Stocking Filler Ideas

  • Secret Santa Ideas

  • Memory Pages

  • Christmas Gift List

  • Christmas Cards List

  • What I am looking forward to in 2022

  • Shopping List (Groceries)

  • Shopping List (Drinks)

  • Christmas Movies Bingo

  • My Wish List

  • Wish Lists from Family

  • Mood Tracker

  • Habit Trackers (sleep, water etc)

  • Meal Planning

  • Doodle-a-Day

  • Gratitude Log

  • Write It Down space (I don't like the term, Brain Dump)

  • Favourite Christmas Recipes

  • New Recipes that you want to try

There are so many different options to suit your own Christmas. You can always add in more pages as the days/weeks go by. You can also change how you plan for Christmas every year.

My top tip is - KEEP IT SIMPLE. If you have some time to decorate your pages with doodling/hand lettering/stickers etc, then great. However, don't put off starting your Christmas planning just because you don't have the perfect pretty notebook pages, all themed and looking just like Pinterest or Instagram. If you think you may want to go back and add decorating, then grab a pencil for now, put a title at the top of the page and get planning.

There is no need to have an expensive notebook or 'Bullet Journal'. I have two different Christmas designs in my Amazon store right now (1st November 2021), but there will be more added in the near future, so keep checking back. They cost £5 or less. How about buying more than one, as these make great gifts for those who love to organise their lives/are crazy about Christmas. Of course, one of the designs features a guinea pig - you wouldn't expect anything less!

I also sell on Redbubble, so there you can purchase clothing, stickers, home items, stationery and more. More ideas for Christmas or other occasion gifts, stocking fillers etc.

Take a look at my Instagram for video stories.

Happy Christmas Planning !

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