Non Crafty: 2015

Moving this list to a post, to clear some page space, and ease scrolling…

Here was my Non-Crafty list for 2015 aka my 30 before 30…

Kay’s 30 Before 30 Challenge!

1: Read 6 Books from my massive book pile! X

  • The Sleeper and The Spindle- Neil Gaiman
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Hamlet (this counts right? Even though it’s a play?)
  • Dr Sleep (seriously I’ve been reading this on and off for a year!)

Close… .

2: Post 1 photo a day onto instagram, for a year! X

Started doing this and got bored with it… New suggestions welcome for next year… 

3: Complete all my scrapbooks!

This didn’t completely happen but I have finished more than one… and will take photos and update the gallery when I have time.

4: Finish two cross-stitch WIPs

I was very disappointed not to do this I didn’t end up doing much stitching at all! 

5: Make Cards for everyone this year!


6: Watch 12 Film Series this year (series of 3+ movies in a collection)

1- Taxi, Taxi 2, Taxi 3 (French version)

2- Back to the Future, Back to the Future 2, Back to the Future 3

3- Indiana Jones: Raiders, Temple, Crusade, Crystal

4- Star Wars Eps 1-6 (and 4,5,and 6 again….)

5- Jurassic Park 1-3 and Jurassic World

6- X-Men, X2, The Last Stand, 1st Class and Days of Future Past

7- Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

8- Edgar Wrights Cornetto Trilogy- Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End

9- Toy Story 1-3

10-  Mad Max 1-3 and Mad Max Fury Road

11- Daniel Craig Bond Films/New Bond – Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre

12-  The Hunger Games 1-4


7: Do 5 crafty swaps

3 by the end of the year.


8: Run 2 Giveaways!

Due to lack of time and my hiatus this year, this didn’t happen, but I’m hoping next year.

9: Learn a new crafty skill

I didn’t in the end due to circumstances beyond my control

10: Learn 5 songs on bass

I have learned some things on bass, but not specifically songs. So kind of half way…

11: Improve my blog photography

I haven’t had to take photos recently, though I like to think I’m more aware of problem areas, and when it comes to photography I now know how to do better.

12: Reach the top of the Eiffel Tower DONE! June 16th

4 Paris Tues 16th (16)

13: Meet Mickey Mouse DONE June 11th

3 DLP Thurs 11th (29)

Because I’m a big kid!

14: Return to Comic-Con – In Costume

Amazing… Totally done and had a great time!

15: Get Fit (or at least fitter)

I can’t really judge this, I have my good and bad days, though I still want this for next year anyway, it was more motivational than anything!

16: Surf – For the first time! X

Didn’t happen – due to circumstances beyond my control!

17: Road Trip!!

Unless Birmingham counts for Comic Con… :/

18: Complete the April A-Z Challenge 2015!

Done, and I loved every minute!

19: Pay off my Debt

This one can carry on for next year

20: Get into a better daily routine Half Done

I have my good days and my bad days. I still need to try harder, but when it works it really works well!

21: Learn something new DONE

I chose to use this one sensibly and have actually just learned to cook more…. and different things! So yes I have, not a specific thing, but just extended my knowledge and skills 🙂

22: Write more letters X

Time was a factor here, I have already got more of a plan for 2016 and this is back on there. Though there won’t be an official list next year.

23: Sing at an open mic night X

Just didn’t happen

24: Throw a big party for family and friends X

Not happening… Out of my control. I would have liked doing this.

25: Go to London and see a show

Half Done

Did see two plays with National Theatre Live, the encore of Coriolanus and the LIVE showing of Hamlet, so I’m half counting it as it was technically IN London, even if I wasn’t… 

26: Cook a roast for Boyfriends Mother

Done 26/1/15

Actually happened more than once!

27: Quit smoking…


28: Finish or be on the way to finishing the Advent Calendar

It needs finishing off… But it’ll get there

29: Make something new for the Christmas Decoration collection!

I didn’t do this but I have prepared it for xmas 2016…

30: Knit something… and finish it!

I did manage this! 

all together around half complete. It was a good motivator though!!


Firsts… A #CraftBlogClub Challenge Post


SO it’s challenge follow-up time!

Unlike the other #CraftBlogClub challenges I have participated in over the last couple of years (almost) the challenge this time was to write a blog post about a ‘First’. And after much thought, it dawned on me that since changing over from my first blog I haven’t talked much about my first crafty love, so I thought I’d write a post on cross stitching!

To read about the challenge, you can click HERE to read the introductory post on the challenge…

SO! Here goes! I don’t have any photos of when I first got into cross-stitch. I was seven, and a family friend who used to look after me sometimes, used to stitch. When I asked about it, she showed me how. And I loved it immediately! I did some smaller pieces, usually just block patterns on off-cuts of aida, as well as the occasional kit. Of course when I hit my teens I lost interest a little, but I picked it back up again here and there, and got the bug again last time about ten  years ago.

When I started again, I made cards, which was a glance ahead slightly into my love of card making now! Here are a few from over the years:

Bentley Bear

Bentley Bear cross stitched card, cover kit with Cross Stitcher Magazine.

Cat Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, made from a pattern in one of the many books in my collection

(Makes mental note to look up which book…)


Butterfly birthday card with ribbon accent, pattern found online.

Train Birthday (2)

One of my favourite makes, my nephews 3rd birthday card!


VW Campers stitched and framed in 4 colours (still hanging on the wall in my living room!)


Bold Blooms, from a Cross-Stitcher kit, stitched with coloured seed beads. Framed and mounted by Helen.


Cthulhu, stitched for Jo, from a pattern found online.

I’ve also done many other projects, which you can see in the cross-stitch gallery (tab above)!

And I’m still stitching today, for both myself and as gifts for others, and I don’t see myself finishing any time soon! I may do many other crafts now, and talk about cross-stitch less, but it will always be my first crafty love!

Catch up with #craftblogclub on twitter from 7pm-8:30 uk time, just use the hashtag!

Until next time!


#CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap 2015


After a longish absence, I return with some fun from Twitter group #CraftBlogClub and the latest challenge!


In March a new challenge was set, (the first since the Secret Santa in December, you can read about that HERE)  – The #CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap. The idea of this challenge is simple,  you are partnered with another attendee of Tuesday evening Twitter craft chat #CraftBlogClub (7-8:30pm every week) and each of you make your partner something using items from your crafty stash! A bit of a ‘spring clean’, in my case also a chance to tidy up my stash, the chance to create something for someone else, and of course in return, you get a surprise in the mail too! (And who doesn’t like a bit of happy mail!)

I was partnered with the amazing Katie from (this is true) Katie Gets Crafty! (No relation 😉 ) And yes we have laughed  over this in the past!

I thought for a while about what to make for my gift, always a struggle as I do so many crafts, though my first craft, and definite go-to is Cross Stitch. It so happens that Katie is getting married in a short while, and after a little bit of digging and quiet conversations in dark corners of Twitter, I decided to stitch something as a keepsake for their wedding day!


Photo courtesy of

I have a huge thread stash, so that wasn’t a problem. Of course I couldn’t go probing for info on the colour scheme, but then I remembered this vintage lilac aida which has been in my sewing chest for so long, as I waited for the perfect project to use it with. I also decided to use one of several of my embroidery hoops, and chose this slightly older more vintage-looking hoop. Then it was a matter of coming up with a simple design, and stitching. I went with a coordinating colour scheme, in pinks purples and a splash of white, and finished the whole thing with a pink ribbon for hanging! I finished the back making the choice to simply trim the edge of the fabric, and seal it to the hoop with a hot glue gun.

I was so pleased with the finished piece. But not more-so when Katie was so happy when she received it, my Twitter went mental(!) which made my day at work! Also upon sharing it with her fiancé, they have decided to take it with them to their wedding! I really am truly honored, and so incredibly glad they both like it.

If that wasn’t a gift enough. I received not one, but two presents from Katie! A gorgeous bag, which is the perfect size for me to take on my upcoming holiday, for all my inevitable shopping! And for winter, (which although far away, it’s always good to be prepared), some gorgeous knitted wrist warmers, which are so amazingly thick and warm, and such a stunning colour, I know I will want to wear them all the time!


I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge, so much so I can’t wait for the next one! Though I do have a couple of personal happy-mail projects I’m working on too, which I will share soon!

Another great thing about #CraftBlogClub is the friendliness of the ever-expanding group, and getting to know everyone, so to share the love I have invited everyone to share their links with me, to their challenge reveal posts, so you can check out some more wonderful creative goodness below, starting with Katie of course!

Until next time!


#CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap Reveal:

Katie’s Post – #CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap Challenge Reveal

Laydey Katabella – Spring Clean Gift Swap Challenge With #CraftBlogClub

ZoFlo – CraftBlogClub Spring Clean Gift Swap

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa Reveal


So we’re into the new year now, and for me at least, this means the Christmas decorations are away (and every year I forget how weird and empty this makes the house look) and the majority at least, of the junk food has been eaten.

Here at Casa de Crafty, we’re still making our way through binge-watching Fringe, and have started season 6 of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix, eating the last of the festive chocolate and I’ve done two days back at work already! We’re fairly officially in 2015, so this of course means I’m posting about… Well, er, Christmas actually! And the #CraftBlogClub secret santa! I’ve blogged about them before, as well as a previous giveaway and you can read about that here and here. (Don’t worry links open in a new window so you won’t lose me).

I jumped at the chance to sign up to the secret santa swap with #CraftBlogClub on Twitter back in November! I already had a pretty good idea what I was going to make for the lovely Fiona, from Fizzi~Jayne Makes. Do click that link to visit her awesome blog too!

Here’s what I made:

CBCSS1.jpgAnd a close up: CBCSS2.jpgI got stitching pretty close to the due date, opting for traditional red and gold, as I didn’t know the scheme she was working with, I decided to decorate with simple stars, stitched with a gorgeous warm gold metallic thread! I’ve posted already about my Christmas Stocking Baubles and they are a joy to stitch! Seriously I absolutely love them!

I also sent along a handmade Christmas card, some Cornish Christmas Pudding flavour chocolate, and a Cornish Piskie which brings good fortune if you carry one in your purse (well if it helps it helps!) Though I’m not Cornish, living here I thought it would make my gift a little unique! If you read Fiona’s post HERE, she’s posted pretty pictures of it all together, because I reeeeeaallly didn’t think that far ahead.

What I received:

It felt like forever til I received my gift in return but it was SO exciting! My parcel and Christmas card arrived from Amanda at Gift Frippery (seriously check out her blog, if not to gaze in wonder at the photos of beautiful things she does to gift wrapping!)

Then this HUGE box arrived… Now those close to me will know, I’m one of those people that LOVES wrapping presents. I’m all about bows and ribbons and folding it so it’s all pretty, and being generally anal-retentive about the whole process… So imagine my delight when I opened the box and saw this!

CBCSS3.jpgI almost didn’t want to open it… I mean how gorgeous is that?!

The camera came out straight away (because I knew I’d have to document this moment here) and then I immediately opened my present (I had an audience as well, as Stu’s mum had come round for dinner that evening! The curious kitten on the left of the photo is Loki of course!)

And inside were these utterly beautiful rolls of hand-printed wrapping paper!

CBCSS4.jpgClose up:


The deer paper is so classically festive and beautiful, as is the stunning bird paper!!

I almost didn’t want to use it, it’s so pretty! I wanted to do something else with it too, I’m undecided but thought I’d think of a few ideas. Though of course it is wrapping paper, and though I haven’t used all of it, because I wanted to save some for this year too, here is a little ‘in use’ shot for you!


I hope I did it justice!

It was amazing, and I’m really glad I took part, I enjoyed making my present, love what I received and now I’m enjoying reading everyone’s blog posts too! I can’t wait to join all the #CraftBlogClub regulars from tomorrow, and don’t forget you can join in too every Tuesday at 7pm (UK time) for chats and tips and all sorts of creative goodness!

Until next time!


#craftblogclub Challenge Launch


Ok, so a random post for a Tuesday evening, but I wanted to share this on here, as something other bloggers may be interested in taking part too!

First an introduction: In September 2013, Emma at Life is Peachy (do give that link a click to head over to her blog) launched #CraftBlogClub on Twitter – a twitter chat hour for craft bloggers, lovers of craft blogs and crafting alike.  The aim was create a fun, non-competitive arena to talk about anything craft-related or, indeed, blogging related, as well as throwing in monthly challenges. [Her own words].

I discovered it a few months ago and have joined in (my posts HERE and HERE for example).

This month Co-Host Fiona at Fizzi~Jayne Makes (visit her too 😀 it’s a demanding post this really isn’t it!) has set the challenge, and has given me permission to copy her blog post (which you can find here) right here too:

#CraftBlogClub challenge launch….

We haven’t had a challenge for a couple of months whilst we enjoyed the summer holidays, if you went away I hope you had a lovely break. Now the kids are back at school and we’ve had the last bank holiday until Christmas it’s time to lift our moods and set a challenge.


It may only just be September but there is certainly a nip in the air and I have even been tempted to put on the heating! (But I have resisted so far) so as we put the BBQ away and find our winter boots at the back of the wardrobe the theme for this challenge is Winter! Thank you to @kay_O who came up with the idea of a winter theme following a chat about knitting on #CraftBlogClub.

The rules….

  1. There aren’t really rules as you can interpret this theme how you like.  If you knit, crochet or sew, you may be inspired to make a winter garment/accessory or use a wintery colour palette to create something for a project of your choice.

I have set up a #CraftBlogClub Winter Challenge board on Pinterest to inspire you if you are stuck for ideas. If you would like to add your inspiration to the board let me know so I can add you as a pinner.

  1. Present your lovely project in a blog post by 7th October. There will be a linky set up on THIS BLOG to showcase your makes and do take some time to have a gander at the other posts, it’s lovely to see some of the amazing creativity we have in our #CraftBlogClub!
  2. Let us know how you’re doing throughout the month and use our #CraftBlogClub hashtag to keep up to date and also #WinterCBC.

I hope you will join in and I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!!…

fizzi~jayne x

As you may have noticed I got a bit of credit here *blush* for coming up with the idea! (It was a team effort honestly!) and I am indeed working on a knitting project I haven’t shared on here! So if you want to see what’s happening, and get involved, do visit us on Tuesday evenings (7-8pm UK time) and feel free to add me on Twitter @Kay_O.

Hope you’re having a great week!