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?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Trying very hard...

I'm trying very hard to keep in touch more often.  I thought about making it one of my New Year resolutions, but I don't want to put myself under that much pressure. I find I don't DO pressure very well. Some days are still better than others I find. 
Christmas was lovely, the best one for several years. We didn't have a lot in the way of pressies, but then we don't have a lot in the way of money! Anyway, we did have lots of company popping in and out and it was lovely to see people. Since Jo and I had managed to decorate the living room, the house felt warm and cosy and relaxing after months of boxes everywhere, Of course now we have to do the rest of the house.

 Jo was given some cash by my ex, so she is going to spend it on a new bed and mattress, and the next job is to sort out boxes in her room and then decorate it so she has a comfortable place to spend her time. She has decided to ask the sister of a friend of hers to paint a sunset mural on one wall, and she has several pictures and some other accessories she received for birthday and Christmas to change her room into the 'Gothic Sanctuary' she has always wanted.  I'll ask her if I can post pictures as we go along.

I got the three season DVD set of Mrs Browns Boys and I watched some of it last night. The best bits are the errors that are made. I sometimes think they are funnier than the scripts. It wouldn't normally be my type of humour, but somehow it just makes me laugh!

Today will see the end of the Turkey, (thank goodness). Again, it was the nicest, moistest, tastiest one for many years, and yet it was only a last minute frozen purchase from A**a. I didn't even push butter under the skin this year, I just put a lemon and a satsuma in halves inside the cavity, and layered over the whole breast and legs with smoked streaky bacon. It took forever to cook too .....I decided to cook it the day before and it was a good job I did, we would have had dinner at teatime otherwise. I expected it to be dried out, but it was gorgeous.  We also had Roast potatoes, parsnips, sprouts, swede and carrots and home made stuffing. Followed, of course, by the Christmas pudding. Jo had choc mint ice cream as she has never liked Christmas pudding. We got 3 little bottles of wine from A**a. Each little bottle holds about a glass and a half of wine. They were selling 3 for £4, which was cheaper than a full bottle of wine ( £5.98) and as I like White Grenache, my father likes Merlot, and Jo likes Chardonney, that worked out better and cheaper for us, plus there was no waste, as none of us drinks really the rest of the year.

I decided I wasn't going to make New Year resolutions, There's some things I'd like to try to do, but I refuse to tie myself down, as in my state of health that would be a recipe for failure for me. So I've just decided that by next Christmas I'm going to attempt to get my weight down, clear off everything I owe on my credit cards, and also try to minimise my possessions. If I don't get there, It's not a failure because I didn't promise.
 I have far too much "stuff" and I'm tired of tidying around it.  It ranges from books, to ornaments to clothes to cooking equipment. I don't need it, I haven't got room for it, and in lots of cases it is pure sentiment that makes me hang on to it. The problem is, that Jo is a worse hoarder than I am, so lots of it will have to go out when she isn't watching.
Anyway, that's all for now. If I don't get back here before New Year, have a good time and I'll see you in 2015.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

4 Days to go.

With only 4 days to Christmas, I wish I felt more organised. Mind you, when I think about it, I have sent off my cards and I have got my Christmas cake made,(although not yet marzipanned or iced), but that will come. 
Sausage rolls are in the freezer, as are the mince pies, and the Turkey (with a capital 'T') will be coming out to defrost, along with the ham.  My father is coming to us on Christmas day, and my son on Boxing day. My son has finally got a flat and has been lucky enough to find some employment starting after Christmas, so with luck, 2015 will be a good year for all of us.

Since my son has moved out, my daughter has been able to have her room back as she has been bunking in with me for the last 17 months. A situation neither of us was very happy about, but we have our own space again now. We are both feeling a hundred times better now, and although it's only been a month, we feel much more relaxed.

We've also rushed and got the living room decorated now the boxes and extra furniture have gone from the space. It felt a bit like living in a storage facility to be honest, and of course only having been here a fortnight ourselves before my son arrived, we hadn't done any decorating ourselves. In fact we still had unpacked boxes of books etc. Now we can get to them, we can slowly get this house right.  Who knows, I might even get the stairwell decorated, and carpet on the stairs by next Christmas! 

 I've set myself a couple of challenges for next year. 

First off, I want to try to get rid of a lot of 'stuff'........You know, the sort of things you look at and think 'it might come in handy' or ' Auntie X bought me that in 19 oh dot so I have to keep it'  I've decided, I really  DON'T........especially as Auntie X probably passed on years ago!  So I'm minimising, less
tat means less dust, and I hate dusting.

Secondly, I've grossly overspent this last year. I don't have a huge amount on my credit card, but it's virtually maxed out. So I have to stop spending, and to aid that, I'm going to stop watching Create & Craft on the TV for a while. I also have to pay off a cooker and a dining table on my catalogue. I got them a couple of weeks ago, ( I gave my son my old ones as he had nothing in the way of white goods).   Long story short...........I've got debt I need to clear swiftly. I was going to save for a polytunnel this summer, but that has to go on hold for another year, and my holiday is cancelled. I have to get my priorities straight.

Jo and I have decided we are going to see how long we can live out of the cupboards after Xmas. We'll have plenty of leftovers, and then we will work our way through the cupboards and freezers. the only shopping will be for fresh veg and milk, eggs etc I've limited my money even for these things. As pure chance would have it, my next pension day is Jan 1st, so from that date we're being very careful. I'm pretty sure we can get through to the end of February, and I'd like to see if we can extend through to the end of March. After that any extra time is a bonus, and any housekeeping saved during this time will be paid off the debts.

So, feeling much more hopeful about life all the time. Looking forward to Christmas for the first time in several years, and to cap it all I sold my first card on Etsy. I'm hoping that's a good omen too!