Papercrafting Haul from… Lidl, UK

Today I’d like to talk about a recent unexpected purchase I found in an unlikely place.

Dan and I had been out for the day on Saturday and decided to pop into Lidl on our way home as he had been told that they had some tools in stock so we thought it might be worth having a look. We didn’t really find anything in their tool section of any use to Dan but I did get a couple of papercrafting goodies.

The first thing that Dan spotted was a paper trimmer… I have been saying recently how I have been struggling to get new straight blades for my Woodware Fingerguard T200 trimmer recently as it is an older model and not commonly stocked in a lot of places now – we have mentioned looking at replacing it but I wasn’t in any rush but when we saw the paper trimmer Aldi had in stock we were both very interested.

This Crelando paper cutter looked very intriguing so I decided to investigate further… it’s interesting design is more than just a ‘funky looking design’ – the green circle on the end is actually a dial with twelve different blades for straight cuts, decorative cutting patterns, perforating and score lines. Instead of having to change your blade cartridge on your trimmer, you simply select which ‘segment’ of the dial you want, lock it down and away you go. This is far easier than having to keep a box of different blade styles next to your trimmer.

This paper cutter easily fits a twelve inch sheet of paper and rather than having one extending ruler like my Woodware trimmer, it has a fold out ruler on both sides which will make central cuts on a large sheet of paper or cardstock much easier to guarantee a straight cut. Both rulers also have a patterned edge which can be used with either a craft knife or a pencil. The Crelando trimmer also has measurements in both centimetres and inches.

It all looked very promising to me so I decided to find out how much it was – £7.99!!! Can’t you believe it? £7.99 for a paper cutter with TWELVE integrated cutting blades… I’d say that’s a bargain so we decided we were definitely having one and since I got it home and tried it out I can honestly say that I have not been disappointed.

The only down side that I have found to the Crelando paper trimmer is that I cannot see a way of changing the cutting blades but when I take into account that the cost of a single replacement blade for my Woodware paper trimmer averages at £4.00 each, I really do not think that the Crelando is a bad deal. The fact that it is relatively flat rather than having a chunky blade cartridge will also make it easier for crafting at crops, events, etc.

Lidl also had a great range of Crelando paper punches in different sizes, the large punches and the sets of smaller punches were just £4.99 each so I decided to get the large butterfly and large star.

Both of these punches give a lovely intricate cut which are approximately one inch each – a perfect size for any papercrafting needs. They are quite weighty and seem like good quality, they are easy to use and give a good quality cut so I would definitely recommend these too!!

All in all, I definitely think we found some bargains and I would recommend looking in your local Lidl store next time you are passing as you just never know what you’ll find… great products at great prices 🙂

Now I’m off to use my new goodies and have a go at my first scrapbook layout of the day.

xxx Laura xxx

P.S. Photographs were taken from Google Images

A New Year, A New Plan… Moving Our Business Forward

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We are back!!!

Happy New Year, I Hope you all had a wonderful festive period with your loved ones and are having a great start to 2017.

Today we re-open Cards And Candles For All Occasions after our extended, one month, Christmas break and along with those closest to me we have decided that I need to make some changes to the way I run the business.

As much as I love the handcrafted work I do and dealing with so many amazing people, both customers and suppliers, over the past few months I have been forced to stop and look at my own health too. Since launching Cards And Candles For All Occasions in April 2010, I have been working full time hours every day of every week, some times working straight through the night to meet customer deadlines or get things all done and the realisation has now come to me that I cannot continue in this way.

At thirty six years old, I have been suffering with Fibromyalgia, Depression and Anxiety for a number of years and especially over the past eighteen months my health has been deteriorating, there are days where I feel unable to function but I sit at my desk doing the best that I can to fulfill all of my commitments to our business and customers.

The end part of 2016 was particularly difficult for me as my health was not in a good place due to the hours I was working, I was taking on more orders than I could handle as I did not want to disappoint anyone and in turn this was adding to the need for working excessive hours and stress levels were rising. It was getting to the stage whereby I could barely function effectively as I was so exhausted, in huge amounts of pain and I constantly felt stressed. Something needed to change.

I took the decision to have an extended break over the Christmas period to give myself some time to recharge (I slept most of Christmas, only really waking up for my pain medication), re-evaluate the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and plan the best way to move forward with my business. The thought of closing the business was considered and discussed, but this is the last thing I want to do. I know what I want to do, I just have to put those plans into action.

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Over the last couple of weeks we have made a lot of decisions about the future of Cards And Candles For All Occasions and how we plan to move the business forward… in order for me to be able to continue with the handcrafted business which I love, the biggest change I have to make is to reduce the hours in my working week.

Until now I have pretty much been working seven days a week, every hour possible and it is having a detrimental effect on my health – the increasing pain, the insomnia and exhaustion, the mental effects of Fibromyalgia, they all contribute to making me miserable and the thing I have found hardest of all is accepting that I cannot keep up with the lifestyle and working life I held before Fibromyalgia took over.

I never thought I would end up in a wheelchair with a chronic illness at just thirty five years old!! But here I am, this is the life I have and now I have to move forward with a plan to make the most of what I have, make things so that they are manageable and in the bigger picture remember to look after myself too.

I need to find a suitable “Work + Life = Balance” otherwise, as a friend stated this morning:

You need to stick to the plan sweetheart or you will be permanently closed. Invest in you xx

The last thing that I want to do is to be forced by my health to close my business, but I can totally agree with the above comment as the way I was going before Christmas I was heading for a serious burn out and I cannot afford either physically, mentally or financially to risk this in the long-term.

Today is a big day for Cards And Candles For All Occasions as not only are we re-opening for 2017, but today is also the day we are implementing the changes which have been decided upon which will allow me to continue to work with you, our wonderful customers, on the unique, handcrafted and personalised products we all love.

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As I have said above, the biggest change we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions is our business working hours, with immediate effect our working hours are as follows:

Monday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Tuesday – open from 12:00noon until 6:00pm

Wednesday – CLOSED

Thursday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Friday – open from 11:00am until 5:00pm

Saturday – CLOSED

Sunday CLOSED

We hope that you will understand our reasons for reducing our working hours and in time, once we adjust to our new schedule we are hoping that it will make us more efficient in dealing with your enquiries and processing/handcrafting your orders. My hope is that by reducing my working hours it will help to improve my mental and physical health allowing me to be more productive when I am working, therefore if all goes to plan there should be minimal disruption to our customers.

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The second change that we are making to Cards And Candles For All Occasions to help in moving forward more efficiently is lead times for our orders, with immediate effect we have listed below the minimum amount of notice we will require for each product we sell to allow us to source materials, design and handcraft your product ready for dispatch:

Standard Greeting Cards
Minimum 10 days notice

Keepsake Cards (eg. Bookatrix, Easel Drawer, Handbag)
Minimum 14 days notice

Exploding Box Keepsake
Minimum 21 days notice

Ecosoy Candles
Minimum 14 days notice

Wooden Gifts (eg. Themed Frames, Plaques, Candle Holders)
Minimum 21 days

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you throughout 2017 and beyond.

xxx Love Laura xxx

Cards And Candles For All Occasions website

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Happy Post – Little Rainbow Moon

There is a mixed media artist who I have been following on Etsy and Facebook for some time now… the style of their work is so well suited to my own art journaling techniques (although she is far better than me) and they sell a range of planner and journaling stickers and accessories. The shop is Little Rainbow Moon 💖

When I discovered that Little Rainbow Moon has started selling Monthly Subscription Boxes I was absolutely gutted that I had missed the July box as this had an arrows and feathers theme… anyone who knows me will know of my love (or is it obsession?) anything feather or wings related, so when Jo announced that the items would be available in her Etsy shop individually, needless to say I was sitting there waiting for them to be loaded and checked those items out instantly just to make sure that I didn’t miss out!!

So my order has arrived and here it is… I love everything about it and can’t wait to order more of Little Rainbow Moon’s goodies!!!

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First of all we have this gorgeous Personal Size Planner Sticker Set – I love the theme, the artwork is beautiful and dreamcatchers are something I have always had around me so this kit really speaks to me and I can’t wait to use it.

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Of course I then added to my shopping basket the Feather and Arrow Ephemera pack which I am over the moon with, there are so many pieces in this pack that I can’t wait to start using them in my journals and planners.

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I also purchased a co-ordinating “Dare To Dream” dashboard for my Travelers Notebook – this is the first TN dashboard which I have bought so other than it looking pretty, I’m not sure if I’ll use it for anything else. My dashboards in my planners have my page flags, post its, etc on them but those are not really needed in my travelers notebook.

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Even although I said I was only going to buy items from the Feather and Arrows kit this month, I couldn’t help adding in a few extras!! Jo’s work has a very addictive quality – once you start collecting her work, I really don’t think you can stop lol.

I love the quote on this Butterfly Tag, and like feathers, wings and dreamcatchers, I also have a love of butterflies as they have some personal significance to me and are just so beautiful and elegant. In this photo also shows the Journaling/Planning Word Stickers – the colours are gorgeous!!

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The Rainbow Ephemera pack is also fantastic value for money and such pretty artwork, they are perfect for adding a little colour to any project you’re working on and I can already think of lots of ways of using them.

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As you will have worked out by now, I also love using quotes in my work so the set of Quote Cards from Little Rainbow Moon were an obvious choice for my journaling – so many great quotes and lovely backgrounds to choose from 🙂

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Lastly, I couldn’t go shopping on such a fab Etsy shop without feeding my Washi Tape addiction lol… I have another set of three Washi Tapes to come but here is the haul so far 😂

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Lastly, I have pre-ordered my August and September Mystery Kits and if the goodies which I’ve already got are anything to go by then I can’t wait for them to arrive.

Don’t forget to pop over to Little Rainbow Moon on Etsy to see more of their fab work and treat yourself to something pretty.

xxx Love Laura xxx

It’s A Miracle – We’ve Done It!!!!

As many of you will know, those who follow us on Twitter and Facebook will hear us mention it quite regularly, our office has been like a bombsite for some time, in desperate need of sorting out!!

I decided to bite the bullet at the weekend and start sorting through everything, put the boxes we least use into the cupboard and sort out all the surfaces – I’ve managed to get the office looking relatively organised so that I now know where things are, I have clear surface space for putting work in progress pieces while I wait for glue and/or paint to dry and I feel really satisfied with how things are now. I feel like I’ve achieved lots over the past three days!!

I am so lucky in that Cards And Candles For All Occasions on Facebook is based in an office within my partners industrial unit – I have an office with masses of storage and I know that many people would be envious of this, as there are so many full-time crafters who work from their dining table or a corner of their bedroom. I really do appreciate the space that I have and am very lucky that my work space is completely independent of my home space.

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Some people say that I have a stationery addiction, but I disagree… I just love notebooks, business planners, order books, blog planners, etc… do you think I’m obsessed? 😉

Without my notebooks and lists I would be lost – I have various notebooks for various things and they do so well at keeping me organised. With having Fibromyalgia, I do have a lot of memory problems so I need to write things down as soon as I think of them or remember them or I will completely forget which is a nightmare. I can honestly say that I love my stationery collection ❤

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To go with my collection of notebooks and stationery, I also have a huge collection of coloured pens and pencils which include:

BIC fibre tip pens
Crayola fibre tip pens
Papermania watercolour pens
Papermania metallic pens
Sakura pens
Art Therapy pencils
Art Therapy Fine Line pens
Art Therapy markers
Sharpie pens
Spectrum Noir pens
Spectrum Sparkle pens
Promarker pens
Aqua Marker pens
Metallic Promarker pens
Posca pens
Selection of fine line and gel pens

I do use my pens a lot in my cardmaking, particulary for colouring digital stamps and images so go through a lot of these, I am a little addicted to coloured pens though, I will admit that 😉

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After I have done all of this, I decide that the back of the wardrobe which I use for storage (the back side of it faces my desk) needed a little decorating to make it look less like a hardboard wardrobe, so I added a few completed ‘adult colouring sheets’ and I intend to fill that surface with the various designs. So far I have used colouring sheets by Voodoo Dolls and Zombie Friends, Shell’s Cards, Colouring and Crafts and PixieRah Designs.

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On the side of the wardrobe space, I painted myself an mdf laser cut plaque in memory of my late Mum, who is a massive inspiration to me. The plaque reads “Your wings were ready but my heart was not” – this was painted in a selection of metallic and pearlised acrylic paints and then mounted using double side foam tape.

Below this I have a magnet which my Dad bought me, which reads “Be Reasonable, Do It My Way” then a Fibromyalgia related badge, reading “I may be a spoonie but you’re a twat”, a Winnie the Pooh magnet then finally a very special #HugsForNoah sticker 🙂

Eventually I would like to cover the entire cupboard in artwork, colouring sheets and little niknaks but we shall see!!

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Now the biggest question is… how long can I stay tidy and organised? Will it last long or will it be back as bad as ever in the near future? Would love to hear your thoughts in our comments.

Don’t forget you can follow our work on Pinterest and YouTube as well as the links mentioned throughout our blog 🙂

Thanks for reading, love Laura xxxx

Blogs I Follow – The Fat Cactus

I recently found a new blog to follow – this blog belongs to one of the lovely ladies who works in the craft shop I regularly use. The Craft Room at Garners is my favourite local craft shop as it stocks such a wide variety of crafting supplies and the ladies who work there are all fab, I can easily lose hours in this shop between browsing and chatting 🙂

When I found Teresa’s blog I knew that I would be adding it to my “following” list and checking it out regularly as her work is amazing and she incorporates so many different techniques and it’s definitely a blog to follow if you’re looking for inspiration, on those days when the crafting mojo has gone walkabout.

While browsing this morning I came across this blog post “THE EAST WIND NEW RELEASE – TRANSFORMATION” and I instantly knew I could relate to the sentiment of this piece ‘It’s never too late to find out who you want to be’ as with all the life changes I have gone through in the past twelve months and personal challenges I continue to face, this is a really important sentiment and something we should all remember.

Teresa’s use of colour and patterns in the background are beautiful… the main image and sentiments are stamped perfectly and coloured in such pretty colours – she has a wonderful talent!!

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I would definitely recommend that you pop over to visit “The Fat Cactus” blog and take a look around for some amazing work and lots of inspiration 🙂

Thank you for sharing your work for everyone to enjoy Teresa!

xx Love Laura xx

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Wordless Wednesday – Kilchurn Castle

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Happy Fathers Day 2015

Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful Dad, I love you very very much!!

I wanted something unique and personal to send my Dad for Fathers Day, he is always there for me through everything in my life and I want him to know how much I appreciate him.

I decided to contact Melody Moo with an idea of what I wanted… I wanted a unique drawing incorporating my Dad’s Mazda MX-5, his Eriba Puck caravan and the background I wanted to be based around Lochy Holiday Park in Fort William… this is what Melody came up with for me and I love it!!

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Then I saw this from Handmade With Love Designs and just had to buy it lol.

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And to complete Dad’s Fathers Day gifts I handcrafted a greetings card for him:

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Happy Fathers Day to my Dad, both my Grandpa’s in Heaven and all other Dads, Stepdads, Grandads and Father figures 🙂