About Blackbutterfly Cards

I started making cards for pleasure in 2007, and quickly found my home was becoming swamped by cards everywhere. I decided to put some of them up for sale on a webpage in an effort to recoup some of the costs of my hobby. I called the webpage Blackbutterfly Handcrafted Cards, and it can be found at http://www.blackbutterfly2007.co.uk/

I try to take my cards to a couple of table sales or craft fairs a year, but make my cards mainly for friends and family. I would love the website sales to take off, as I nowhere near cover the costs involved in this all absorbing hobby, but for me the main thing is the pleasure I have in making my cards.
Recently I have decided to expand my blog to cover my other interests too. It's a sort of substitute for going to work and chatting to people, as due to ill health I was unable to work, and since the beginning of 2014 I am officially a pensioner.
Although I'll still show my cards, I'll also be covering my other interests and how I attempt to make ends meet day by day.

In fact anything that crosses my mind will be on here, so be prepared for waffle and a wasted five minutes as you read.
Make coffee and settle in, why don't you?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dull & Dreary...

...The weather that is!......we had a smattering of snow last night and today it's just wet, grey, cold & miserable. It's been too dark indoors to make a card, even with the light on. So much for my intention to make one a day. Tch!......so I have more decisions to make, do I just miss a day, or make two cards tomorrow?

Anyway, I do have a Valentines card and a general greetings card to show off from the last couple of days.  Here is the Valentines card...

It's quite a simple design, and I used one of my cutting dies for the heart, and added some gems to it.  The sentiment was computer printed direct onto the card, and could be changed to whatever was wanted. The paper was from a pad by Henbury Lane I believe. This card could be made in any colour including white on white, and would be equally suitable for Anniversaries and Weddings.

Yesterday I made a General greetings card using a stamp I've had for a while, but not used yet......I have quite a few of these, and I'm going to try to get around to using them all in the next few weeks.

 This sweet little girl is from Lili of the Valley. The colours aren't showing very well, I'm afraid. She is actually coloured in lilac, NOT grey!
 I used a Sakura stardust pen on the centre of the flowers, and it just gives a slight purple sparkle. The sentiment was stamped and heat embossed also in purple.

It's been so cold here today, I went out to the kitchen to make some soup and my fingers got so red raw and achy preparing the veggies, I was almost in tears with the pain. I've been keeping a check on the cost of heating this flat, and it's been costing between £6 & £7 a DAY and the flat is still cold. 

My daughter has been staying in bed with a hot water bottle and playing on her computer, apart from that we just have a halogen heater in the lounge. We dare not put the storage heaters on at all. 
The dog and the cat are both snuggled up on the settee as tightly curled as they can, and I'm thinking of crocheting a dog coat for him to go out in.
Anyway here's a quick picture of the soup, it's simmering now, and when the vegetables are all cooked I'll blitz it smooth! There should be enough for a couple of days anyway.

My daughter doesn't really like soup if she knows what's in it...( I know, pernickitty!) ... and unfortunately she came out into the kitchen while I was preparing it, so has decided she doesn't want any......we'll see!  
I made it to use up some veggies that we have that are past their best. I have an organic vegetable box delivered, and some of the veg wasn't being used and it's far too expensive to waste anything, so I've made this soup. I used some chicken stock cubes, a couple of carrots, 2 leeks, 2 onions, 1 small Turnip, a couple of cloves of garlic, 1 grated Celeriac, 1 Butternut squash and a tin of chopped tomatoes. Salt & pepper to taste of course and because it's so cold, and I was thinking 'warmth', I added 1 level tsp of sweet chilli sauce.......should be interesting eh?

I'll let you know tomorrow how it turns out.

Could everyone please keep their fingers crossed for us, we have had a reply from someone who may want to complete our three way house exchange on Homeswappers

I would love to get our housing sorted by March if possible, so I can get my vegetable garden planted in time for this year.

Updates on that if  they happen too.  
Bye for now

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Whoopee!......I made a card!

I finally made a birthday card, I'm so happy! I struggled a bit, but I made it in the end. You wouldn't think your creating cells would seize up when you don't use them would you? Well they do, but I think with a bit of determination I could get them oiled and working again. I even found the colouring was more difficult than it used to be, so I'm glad it was a fairly simple design.The card was for a very good friend of mine in Holland, and I shall be going to see them later in the year.

This is the finished result

I haven't added any glitter or 'pretty bits' as the card is for a man, however he did say once in passing that he didn't understand why people thought a man wouldn't like a card with flowers and things, so I hope this will be acceptable.
The stamp was from Little Claire. They do several tree designs and I'd dearly like to get some more. 
I used two different sets of Nestabilites, and layered them up on blobs of silicon glue. The papers are from Nitwits collection, I think it's their 'Promises' 8 x8 pad available from Lili of the Valley.

I'm so pleased with this card, I feel as though I've really achieved something today.

Bye for now....................

Monday, January 14, 2013

Food and warmth

Gosh ! It's cold out! Time for some warming filling foods! So on Saturday I got some Beef Rib Trim  out of the freezer and made us a casserole by cooking it all day in the slow cooker. There was enough for myself and Josie  on Saturday, although I found it a bit bland, so yesterday I added a tin of Oxtail soup to it, and it fed myself, Josie and my son as well. I took pictures of it cooking on Saturday.......
 I'm sorry they aren't very clear  but at least you can see something!  We had the stew/casserole with mashed potatoes, cabbage and carrots and dumplings. My daughter said it was "Lush"
Finished Meal

As promised in my last post I've also taken some pictures of the hot water bottle cover I crocheted, It is really simple, I just made 6 granny squares for each side and added a border of treble crochet all around the edges and joined them, then I made a flap for the top out of double crochet until it was long enough to fold over. I was going to add a loop and button fastening, but I don't think I'll bother unless I find it slips out of the cover too easily.  

My next project is to crochet a top blanket cover for a Moses Basket. I have a table sale coming up in February, and have already rescued and renovated a basket, I just need to make a little cover for either the basket or a pram. Someone locally was going to throw out the basket and drapes so I took them home. Boil washed the fabric, and pressed it all, Scrubbed the basket with hot water with antibacterial cleaner, and washed and air dried the mattress. It looks brand new now, and will do someone a turn I'm sure, plus help out finances a little. I need to save as much as I can to move house.
I'm hoping it won't be too much longer before I can get out of here. I checked at the beginning of January and I was #5 on the transfer list, I also have a mutual exchange proposal that we are trying to find a third person to join in. There is someone who wants my property, but they have a 3 bed House, so we can't do a direct swap. I need to find someone who wants a 3 bed in his area, who has a 2 bed in an area I want.
 I belong to a scheme called Homeswappers, and although there are 3 or 4 people who, on paper, who fit this criteria, no one is actually answering emails or messages. It's very frustrating!
However if I get offered a transfer before we find a third person, I'm afraid I shall take the exchange. I'm going to put my health first, my Angina is going to get worse through the stress and high BP, and I'd like to enjoy a few more years yet , thanks all the same.

I have to set to and make a birthday card for the end of this month. I have no heating in the bedroom at the moment, so it's a bit cold to make cards. I want to get some Valentine cards made to upload to the website and get that running again as well, so I'll have to just get on with it.  

I already have a re-order for 30 Christmas cards to go out to Holland this year. They were so happy  with last years batch, I got a request a few days ago. They have apparently been getting lots of compliments on the cards they sent............that's a boost for me too! This is very similar to the ones I made for them, except theirs were done with rainbow shaded cardstock and had gemstones on. Also their Initials were added under the greeting. Now I have to think up a new design, "simple but classy" is the request! I'll have to do 2 or 3 designs and send them to them for approval.
My daughter has come in quite excited, ....after being out of work for a year, she has just passed a telephone interview for an office admin apprenticeship!
  I do hope it doesn't all fall through, as she desperately needs to work.
 She is looking to do something she can make a career out of, as she isn't interested in having a family/children. I want to see her in a career that can support her after her father and I are gone, 'cos she will be on her own. Unfortunately we were older parents so we won't be around as long as we would expect, to be a support in times of trouble. I know there is no such thing as Job security these days, but a good training will help her.

I've waffled on enough now. I tend to drift from one subject to another, if not forcibly restrained, so I'm off to make tea and walk the dogs now.

til next time

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Taking my time, and doing my best

I've joined one blog challenge this year, although I'm attempting 2 or 3 of them. I just don't want to publicly claim them, as if I should'nt be able to keep to a set time scale I might feel as though I'm failing and lose heart. I'm just privately promising myself to 'do my best' and 'taking my time', The only one I'm claiming out loud and being held accountable for is the sealed pot challenge, which you can find out about, (and join in if you wish,) HERE.
I'm collecting £2 coins and 20p pieces in an old money box I've had for some years now, and I'm already looking forward to opening it on December 3rd.
I began, yesterday, to sort out and declutter my bedroom, which due to lack of space has become a general dumping ground for everyones' belongings that won't fit anywhere else. I haven't got very far yet, and this is going to be a work in progress for some time. Any bits that are suitable to sell I'm going to list on E-bay and then add that to the sealed pot to boost the savings. 

I have my craft desk and supplies in my bedroom too, but don't get a lot done lately as its so dark and depressing. Despite the fact that my living room will become very messy for anyone to visit, I'm going to move my craft stuff in here, the light is much brighter in general and I actually get to see some sun! We don't get that many visitors anyway.

I'm trying very hard not to spend very much this month. I've got plenty of food in the cupboards and freezer. The night before last I cooked some spaghetti bolognaise, and saved some of the sauce for last night. Then last evening I added some cooked brown rice to it and put it into 2 red peppers that I picked up at my local Tesco Express. They were marked down as out of date, but there wasn't a thing wrong with them. Then I had a portion of cauliflour left over from Thursday's meal. It wasn't a very large cauli but it had been sitting in the bottom of the fridge since Xmas and the leaves were all yellowy, and some black specks were appearing, so I cooked it all, and saved what we didn't eat. Last night I covered it with a cheese sauce that I made  with some small bits of left over Stilton , and some dried out Edam and some Cheddar. Then I cooked them both in the oven for about 20mins. It was delicious, and I felt really as though I'd achieved something amazing. A few months ago I would have looked at the Cauli with horror, or at least not saved any to make another meal. I've been inspired over the last few months by several 'Frugal Living' blogs I've been following, so grateful thanks to them, and I'm heartily ashamed of how much I've wasted over the years. Well, retirement on State Pension is creeping up fast now, and I refuse to struggle with costs. I need to learn to live within my means, and I mean to live well!
I'm going to have to remember to take more pictures so I have something to show. Anyway, time to go and do something with wool. I'm making myself a hot water bottle cover, I'll definitely show that when it's made! bye now