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Monday, 1 February 2016


Hello everyone

Sitting here putting the final touches to Saturday's event and reading the posts on a couple of blogs that I follow, made me realise that it really is about time I pulled my finger out and blogged.  I have often said that I love blogging, yet it is five months since my last post.  Five months!

I am glad 2015 has been put to bed - it was not a good year.  Early in the year my sister was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD).  Although she had a feeling for some time that it was a possibility, we were hoping she was wrong.  Although we have been told it is not hereditary, that is not always correct: our grandmother had it and an uncle has it, so it has travelled through three generations.  It has been very hard to watch someone who was full of beans, here, there and everywhere, become someone that has had the stuffing knocked out of them.  Life for her has by necessity become calmer and slower; like all PD sufferers she has good days and bad ones, in fact she can have a good hour, followed by a bad one.  If she has a good day and does too much because she feels well, she will pay for it with one possible two or three bad days.  How cruel is that?

 A few months after this a good friend had a stroke - it was a minor one, but enough to make her
and us realise how something can just kick you in the teeth when you are least expecting it and cause you to make major life-changes.  She is healthy, plays golf two or three times a week, gardens whenever possible and the very last person we would have expected this to happen to.  How do you plan if you cannot see what is around the corner?

My turn next.  I, like lots of people, have IBS (apparently 1 in 5 people suffer from this) and at the beginning of the year it was particularly bad, but I put it down to life being very stressful at the time.  Around mid-year it became so painful that I had to go to the docs's.  Tests were carried out, one of which threw up something that prompted a speedy colonoscopy (oh, boy, a never to be repeated 'exercise' - I hope).  The diagnosis was (is) Diverticulitis - thankfully not as bad as we had originally thought, but not great.   Interesting really because apparently I still have IBS and one requires a high fibre diet but the other requires a low fibre diet - very challenging.  (Research tells me that diverticular disease is very common and most people have no symptoms).  I know people will wonder why I am writing about something relating to 'that part of the body', but, hey, we all go to the loo and if I meet you and suddenly have to run off, it's nothing personal, I just have to go.

So a year of life-changing events all round.  These together with the dishwasher packing up, swiftly followed by the washing machine doing the same and then one oven on our 'just out of guarantee' range deciding to join them, meant an interesting end to 2015 and an expensive start to 2016.

Well, 'they' say everything goes in three's so three health events and three kitchen disasters must mean we have had our quote for a long time - please.

Lots more to write about, but time to get back to finalising Saturday's event.

Have a good week everyone.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Hello everyone

I love blogging, I really enjoy it as it is a great way to keep in touch with followers, visitors and friends and family who I may not see as often as I would like to.  Recently it seems to be getting harder and harder to blog regularly.  I feel guilty because there are the occasional (very, very rare) days when I look back and can't see what I have done - although I feel I am on the go all of the time.  I was chatting with a friend yesterday about this and we both agreed that despite having so many 'time-saving' gadgets, wonderful technology, etc there really is no time saved, just more time spent on pressing all of the buttons to make the gadgets work!

It is hard to believe that we are approaching the last Bank Holiday of the year before Christmas - frightening and judging by the weather and the state of the trees around here, autumn is well and truly here!  Friends of ours flew off to Australia a couple of weeks ago and are missing this wonderful wet weather - I am sure they are so disappointed.  However, looking at the forecast, I have sneaky feeling that they might just be lucky enough to experience some wet weather when they arrive back in September.

So what have I been doing recently?  Working on my events – lots to do and the first one is less than two months away.  I am still looking for Event Assistants.  I have one person signed up, but really want a team so that I have back-ups if someone is unwell on the day of an event.  I find it very hard to believe that nobody wants or needs work around here – no commitment, just one day (or event) at a time.  I know Surrey is an affluent area, but on social media sites there are people asking for work in this locality, just not interested in my work - perhaps because they have to be self-employed?  Oh well, perhpas nearer the time of the events, people will being to think some extra money would be welcome.

I recently helped my pottery tutor create her website and someone contacted her asking if they could be put in touch with the website designer (er, me?).  Could this be a whole new career?  I don’t think so, but it is proving interesting recommending/agreeing designs, photographs, etc, but not really something I would like to do on a permanent basis - adding another string to my already buckling bow is not on my To-Do list.

Not quite up-to-date in my blog-land, but sort of-ish.  Have a good Bank Holiday weekend everyone, fingers crossed the sun shines for some of the time.


Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Hello everyone

Not much sunshine today, so I am spending time inside - snoozing!  It's something we cats do pretty well, need no training for, can do at the drop of a whisker and, it has been said, something we do for about 17 hours a day.  Not me though, too much to do outside.

However, I haven't been outside much for the last couple of days because the 'visiting cat' is scary!  Yes, I know I don't scare easily and I normally take no notice of other cats, but he keeps chasing me and because he is about 6 times bigger than I am I have spent a lot of time recently hiding behind sofas, under chairs and in cupboards.  This is not the image I like to project!  I may be small, but I think big!  He argues with Jazz, but doesn't seem too bothered with Daisy, Coco or Poppy.  He sometimes nips into our neighbour's garden and rolls in her cat mint - probably high as a kite when he chases me!

Scary Cat hasn't been in our garden today, so it might be safe for me to go outside for a while.  Have to keep my eyes open though because he does sometimes curl up and sleep in one of the flower beds - ready to chase me as I wander by.

A mini post today, I am going to give the big outside world (my garden that is) another reccie - come back next week to see how I am managing my life with Scary Cat.


Monday, 20 July 2015


Hell everyone

It's raining!  Not much rain has fallen, but my garden is loving it.  Fingers crossed we get some more.  Okay, I prefer it to rain during the night, but at the moment I am grateful for any rain.

Talking of rain, I went with a couple of friends to the RHS Wisley last Monday.  Although it occasionally rained, we had a lovely day wandering around the gardens.  So surprised at how busy the car park was and how quiet the gardens were - until we went for coffee and then later for lunch!  Clearly the eateries are more than/just as popular as the gardens!  It always pleases me to see weeds growing in the Wisley flower beds - I don't feel so bad when I look at my bindweed, mares tail and other pesky weeds!

In celebration of Lewis Carroll's 150th birthday, Wisley have a display of Alice in Wonderland sculptures and this is one I particularly liked:

Now, I wonder if this could be my next pottery project.......  As always the lips would be a problem, but I have mastered noses.

I love Clematis and this is a very pretty one, Princess Diana, that is beginning to get established in a container in our garden:

Another favourite flower is this beautiful Calla Lily - we have three pots of different colours place around the pond.  One variety is almost black and when in full flower, I will photograph it - at the moment it only has one flower on it.

I got home from Wisley to the disappointing news that my application to take part in this year's Farnham Maltings Christmas Fair had not been successful.  However, onward and upward and I finished the week on a high having been accepted to take part in the two-day Packhouse Antiques Centre Christmas Night Market.

This week has been a catching up with friends week.  After Wisley Monday, met up with another friend for a quick chat and coffee on Tuesday morning and spent Friday with my sister.  In between tried to keep up-to-date with event organisation work and making stock - the good weather makes it hard to work inside, but lucky for me 'making' can be done outside.  We finished the week off with a BBQ at a friend's on Saturday - great fun and with 25 of us there, the 'Chef' did an amazing job: everything ready at the same time, nothing burnt - very impressive.  Well done Hugh.

We have a very beautiful cat that keeps visiting our garden.  Apparently he lives locally, but not too sure why he would want to be with us.  Five cats and four next door - not an ideal place for a strange cat to linger.  He has beautiful blue eyes:

Back to work now - it is still raining so I am a happy bunny.

Have a great week everyone - 'see' you soon.


Sunday, 5 July 2015


Hello everyone

Wow!  What a hot week it has been.  If anyone dare says we haven't had a good summer, I will be just a little bit upset.  Okay, I know we still have lots of potential summer-time to go, but so far, so good.  The garden loves this weather, means lots of watering, but everything is blooming (including the weeds!), my tomatoes are doing very well and the sweet peas are gorgeous.  We planted some near to our back door and they have done really well, they are in a position where it is easy to water them, which really does help.

This week was spent getting work ready to photograph to send with my application to take part in the Farnham Maltings Christmas Fair.  This was a very successful event for me last year, so I really would like to be part of it again this year.  One of my submissions was a hessian bag I had decorated with glittery butterflies - these bags have proved to be and still are very popular and I do enjoy working on them

I don't take part in many fairs these days, I am more 'this side' of the table and working on my application did make me stop and think about where I am going.  Organising events is incredibly time-consuming and hard work and even though I have planned for my events to take place in the last four months of the year (one or two at the beginning of the year as well), they still take up around 2, sometimes 3 hours a day on admin.  I have also added a new string to my event organising bow: Surrey Village Vintage.  The aim of these events is to have all things vintage, but only vintage - I am being helped with this new venture by Fee Fraser, who is my 'Vintage Consultant'.  Fee has a lot of experience in this area, lots of contacts and great ideas to help the events go well, standout and become established.  If you are into vintage, check out the events on the website and make a date to visit one of them.

As the title of this blog post says, can I be a crafter and an event organiser?  The event organiser part of me wants to continue with them because apart from the hard work, I really do enjoy them and the chance to see an incredible amount of beautiful handmade work all in one place makes if worthwhile.  Much better than a department store - and the staff are often much more fun and friendlier.  When I begin work on an order or to make some stock, or browse a website of gorgeous card-making materials, fabrics, ribbons and buttons, I wonder why on earth I am spending so little time on what was my original craft-world, and craft-love.

It isn't decision time in Christmas Pie Crafts, but possibly time to become more organised so that both crafting and event organising can be part of my life without feeling one misses out.

Off to the garden now - our pond is looking a bit too full of water lily leaves.  Beautiful though they are, they are rapid growers and soon cover the surface of the pond.  The fish just about manage to peek out - mind you it is partly their fault that the lilies grow so well.

Have a great week everyone - see you at my next blog post.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Hello everyone

How are you coping with this very hot weather?  I am very sensible and stay in the shade for most of
the day - being black and white means I have some sensitive bits and have to be careful.  We cats are struggling in this weather, but Jill and Richard make sure we have plenty of water - plus you can't beat a drop of pond water, water from a plant saucer or from a puddle.  Yum!

I forgot to tell you last week that Jazz had to go to the vets.  That boy is a regular visitor there and I understand there is talk of him having his own named seat.  Jazz had a very poorly eye and Jill had to give him half an antibiotic tablet twice a day and squish some eye ointment into his poorly eye.  Poppy, Coco, Daisy and I thought it was hilarious watching Jill and Richard trying to get Jazz to take his medication.  Not sure why, but they didn't find it so funny.  I have said it on many occasions, humans are weird!

Poppy caught a magpie last week, but it got away.  She dragged it into the hedge, and it shot out squeaking and squawking, followed by a rather embarrassed Poppy.  She doesn't appear to have tried to catch any since then.

It's hot inside, so I am off to find a cool spot.  I will be back next week and paws crossed, the weather will be a little cooler.  Before I go, please don't forget to take care of your animals in this heat:

Don't leave them in cars
Make sure they have plenty of water
Take dogs for their walk very early or late at night when it is cooler.

'See' you next week.


Monday, 29 June 2015


Hi everyone

It is hot and getting hotter.  Can we cope with 32 - 34 degrees this week?  Of course we can, we moan so much about the weather when it is hot and then moan when it isn't, but it is so nice to have sunny days.  Perhaps some rain at night would be welcome - we have recently had a water meter installed (compulsory) and to long watering sessions for my plants are no more.  The information given out that 'you will probably pay less than you used to' is not quite true - well not for us, in a short space of time ours has shot up by £5 per month.  Will be interesting to see what the cost is after one year of metered water.

I had planned to take time off during the summer from event organisation, but the best laid plans, etc, etc.  Last year I applied in July to take part in an event that was taking place in November.  Despite the paperwork saying 'you will be contacted within two weeks', no contact was made - in fact in all it took them nearly three months to reply and then it was to tell me I had been unsuccessful.  I did contact them a couple of times because there were other events taking place around the time of theirs that I was wondering if I should apply for.  Perhaps they were offended that I dared to question their professionalism as one of their replies to my chase said 'it is summer and we are busy with our families'  I appreciate and respect that, but they are running a business and should remember that communication is a vital part of their business - it shows their commitment and interest, both of which I feel were lacking.

Sorry, hadn't meant to whinge, now back to what I was talking about.  I had planned to take a break to concentrate on my own craft and wedding stationery businesses.  However, as applications for my events are coming in every day, I cannot ignore them and aim to reply to emails from stallholders and potential stallholders within 24 - 48 hours from receiving their message.

This week has been replying to emails, emailing potential stallholders for my new venture Surrey Village Vintage and preparing my applications for some two and three day events I would like to take part in.  If you are a 'strictly vintage' seller and fancy joining me in my new venture, please do get in touch - there is an application form on the website and it would be lovely to have some blog followers join me.

Off to cool down - something long and very sparkly in a glass would be nice.  Hope you have a good weekend and remember to keep cool.


Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Hello everyone

Lots of gorgeous sunshine today - just my kind of weather.

Jill and Richard went on holiday and we are lucky that we don't have to go into a cattery while they are away.  Our friend, Jean, looks after us; she feeds us, reads us stories, plays with us and makes sure we are safe.  I was very well-behaved, I didn't remove anything from the local wildlife while they were on holiday (but embarrassed to admit I made up for it yesterday).  We did miss them very much while they were away and gave them lots of cuddles and purrs when they got back.  No presents from them for us though!

Jill read in the newspaper this week that Alan Titchmarsh's cat, Spud, had died recently.  Jill remembers watching Gardener's World when it was presented by Mr T and Spud often used to steal scenes from him by walking by, moving into shot, sitting in a spot where he was trying to plant something - all the things cats are good at.  Bye-bye Spud.

We had a strange cat visiting today - a long-haired Siamese boy.  Our neighbour has cat nip and we think he was after that.  It is very hard to resist and Poppy and Coco are always rolling in it and come home looking very spaced-out.  I am very strong-willed though and it doesn't really interest me - mind you when Poppy and Coco are on the scent, nobody gets a look in!

Bed-time for me - the sun rises really early and I make sure everyone gets up so that I can spend as much time outside as possible.  I want to top up my tan.

Have a good week everyone - see you next week.


Monday, 22 June 2015


Hello everyone

Just back from a week in lovely Xlendi (pictured here) on the island of Gozo.  The temperature was around 30 degrees all week and it was a good excuse to relax, read lots and get a nice sun tan.

We stayed in the San Andrea Hotel which is 2 seconds (well possibly 3) from the sea and I really recommend this hotel for its location, friendly staff and great restaurant (the Zafira).  Despite on two nights having over one hundred guests in the inside part of the restaurant for events, the staff still maintained their usual excellent service for all diners.  This was the view from our hotel:

There are lots of beautiful bays on Gozo, which is a very popular island for divers.  Every morning during breakfast, we would watch the divers from a local school go off for their morning dive.  I used to think 'no way could I get into those suits in this heat'.  On their return they looked as though they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and came back the next day for another session.

There are many beautiful churches on Gozo and this is one that we photographed because of the spectacular paintings on the towers on either side of the building:

As well as being a cat fanatic, I am also a seafood/fish fanatic.  This holiday allowed me to indulge my fishy taste and every day was a fishy treat for me: lobster, prawns, seam bream, squid, octopus and many other delicious goodies.  The restaurants we visited were all in and around the Xlendi bay and throughout our stay they were visited by three lovely tabby cats - did we feed them?  Of course we did, how could we not.  Here is photograph of one of them:

You can see that he has one ear 'tipped'; this means he has been tipped, neutered and returned and is supported by the local SPCA.  Needless to say they are very friendly because they are hoping for food.  The restaurant staff are very tolerant of them and the majority of diners are too.

It's back to work now, although I did try to keep an eye on business communications while I was away.  My new venture, Village Vintage is up and running and I am recruiting stallholders, so if you are 'strictly vintage' and would like to take part in my vintage events, please do get in touch.  The Surrey Bazaar events are filling up nicely and I am planning to spend more time on my wedding stationery business.

I hope you all have a good week and I will be back again very soon with more Christmas Pie news.


Wednesday, 27 May 2015


Hello everyone

Feeling incredibly guilty here, even more guilty than Jill is feeling - no blogging for absolutely ages.  Now, what excuse can I give?  Busy looking after foster kittens?  No, Jill isn't looking after them now, so my caring, helpfuness isn't needed.  Busy looking after my fellow house-cats?  No way!  They can take care of themselves.  I don't do 'looking after'.  Apart from the usual cat-like things that cats do, I have been busy just being me: beautiful!  It isn't hard work for me to be beautiful, but I do like to spend time on myself and despite Jill's saying my white sometimes looks grey, I don't believe her!  My black fur always shines and my white fur is always sparkling - nearly forgot my nose, which is always pretty pink.  Miss Perfect it is then.

Sorry, got off track there a bit.  Now, why haven't I blogged for ages and ages?  When you are small, or delicate as I like to think of myself, it can be difficult reaching a keyboard - I have asked for a smaller gadget, but as usual my request has fallen on deaf ears.  I have to wait until someone thinks 'oh, I wonder if Milly would like to write her diary' - yes, of course she would!  Every week I give a gentle reminder, a tap on the face, a delicate claw stuck in a knee, a live frog brought into the kitchen but sadly most weeks I get ignored - is that any way to treat a beautiful cat?

But as you can see, I am back!  My blog is alive and kicking and I am one happy black and white girl.  How did I manage it?  I brought in a slug that was stuck on my head!  As you can imagine, they gave in pretty quickly.

Have a good week everyone - slugs permitting, I will be back next week.