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?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A quick visit

It's been a funny old day, I was sitting quietly this morning, reading my emails when all of a sudden everything shut down on me. The fire shut off, and the computer went black. "Darn it," I thought, "how the heck did I run out of Electricity  THAT quickly, and what the heck can I do, my purse is bare?"  Well, to start with, I thought I'd stick the key in the meter to gain my emergency £5, whilst I raided my piggy bank, but as I did so I found out the reason for my excessive electricity usage........... I hadn't topped up the meter on pay day, there was still £30 on the key! I called myself several silly names, but it was quite a relief!

I've spent some of my fun money today on 3  of the Lilli of the valley rubber stamps that I've had my eye on for a while, I'll post pictures when they arrive. They had a short sale on and I couldn't resist....I've been so good about not buying new craft stuff for a while now. But I do think I'll have to go through my stash and put some stuff on E-bay. There are things I've bought, that I've used once and then never touched again, it's time to sort out!One bit of good news today I've had an enquiry about my breadmaker that I have for sale on Preloved......fingers crossed please.

I've spent time this evening back on the internet researching a fire and surround for next winter. I've set my heart on a Dimplex optimyst electric stove, and I rather fancy a mantel above it. Unfortunately I don't actually have a fireplace........so I think I'm going to have make a false one and set the stove on a slate hearth.   I really hate a room without character, and a fire will add just the look I want.  I've been working out income and expenditure and savings and thinking I could perhaps get one installed by the end of October........fingers crossed. As they say, watch this space.
  I've begun to get some of my targets for January done, but it's a slow old job, I'd better get a move on, or some of the targets will be moved into February.  My spare days are beginning to fill up for this month. I have the OT assessor coming next Monday to see what adaptations I may need here. My daughter is out on Tuesday's and Thursdays for the next few weeks, so I won't have her help. I had a letter from my doctors telling me I have to arrange my 6 monthly blood tests again.   Gosh, My life is all go! 
But priority is that I must get this desk sorted as I have to make birthday card to be posted off to Holland for the end of this month. Why am I so disorganised?.........there is laundry to be done and ironing to be finished,  ..... never mind, I'll get there in the end!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Preparing to Retire

This morning I have spent time on the phone with the Pension credit people, because, at last, I have had notification of my pension.
 They have told me how much I will receive as well as the first two payment dates and pension credit have confirmed that I will get a little extra from them too.
 I'm so excited, I've been waiting for retirement day for so long and now it's within reach!  I feel that I'm finally free, silly I know, but I'll be officially finished with working and can do what I want!  As I've been on benefits, due to ill health, for about 7 years now, it shouldn't make much difference to my day to day life, but I think the relief I feel is because I will no longer have to feel guilty because I can't work. Also I'm going to be better off financially, I can perhaps pay my bills without going without other things ( like new underwear..........T.M.I..... I know!). 
Not that I'm going to go on a crazy spending spree,( the 'being careful' gene is well embedded now) I'd like a little cash behind me in the bank for rainy days. 
 Still, right now, I feel like dashing out into the garden and dancing in the rain!  This would be a perfect day if it wasn't for the dentists trip and a filling booked for this afternoon. Phooey!

I hope you all feel as good as me today!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Rain, rain and more rain...

Guess what?...........It's raining! 
 I spent time yesterday, (time I should have spent doing other things) trying to price up some raised beds for the veggie garden........and the result was, it's too expensive! Unfortunately I can't bend or kneel very well, so to grow my own vegetables I need them. This means MORE economy than ever is required.  I also priced up some seed potatoes, patio planters and some strawberry runners. I have a few weeks left before I have to order those, so I'll have to see how I go with selling my breadmaker. With luck I can make enough to cover the costs. I have loads of seeds left from last year and (keeping my fingers crossed), a good proportion should germinate this year. I also have managed to aquire some free seeds from various sources. My daughter has been asked to KEEP her yoghurt pots for planting on tomatoes, so no costs there, and I'll make newspaper pots to sow in. Everything is under control, I just need the rain to stop so I can start laying out the pathways. My garden is like a quagmire at present, a sea of mud with puddles of water laying on top. Obviously the drainage is pretty awful, so raised beds should help that too. I have a very bad picture of the weather outside, taken through the window. Please excuse the reflection and also the view of the mop hanging from the clothes line, it's supposed to be drying..........fat chance! I wonder if it'll  EVER stop raining?......I just wish I had a water butt......oh! and some guttering on the shed.

I'd like to save for a small greenhouse for 2015, but for this year I think I'll try to get a pop up one from Garden Skills. It should be enough to grow some tomatoes and cucumbers for the coming season. I saw it here and I'm fairly impressed with the size of it for the price. I only have a small garden and I want to get as much produce as I can out of it.

I'm still struggling with the diet, I've been overeating so long the portions sizes seem tiny. I'm following Rosemary Conley, having had several of her books on hand from when I last had to lose weight in about 2005. I know from experience that her diets have sufficient food in them to stop me actually being hungry, but the first couple of weeks are really hard. Also I'm not yet in the right mindset. I need to really want this weight loss, but I'm still at the point of knowing I should lose weight, without the enthusiasm to go all out at it. As soon as the right connections jump in within the little grey cells, I'll be all systems go.
 I think I would find it easier if ALL the family were all behind it too. My daughter is reasonably determined, bless her. However, my son has agreed to join in, but is constantly asking for extra portions, refusing semi skimmed milk or low fat mayonnaise in his sandwiches as they 'taste horrible' etc,etc. I find that a bit demoralising, and it certainly undermines my effort so far. 

I have a dining table full of books at present. They were in a box under the desk waiting for bookshelves to go up, but unfortunately yesterday morning I was mopping the kitchen floor, and I'd just worked my way back to the door. I put the bucket of water in the hallway, rinsed the mop, squeezed it out on the bucket, when the whole lot tipped over and the water went everywhere: back into the kitchen, down the hall and into the living room, and all under the stairs.......
The box of books was soaked, and I had to unpack them quickly. Luckily the books weren't wet, but they would have been if I'd left it much longer before rescuing them. What a mess.............I managed to grab a towel from the kitchen and throw it down in front of the stream of water flowing inexorably towards my coffee table and under it.....next stop... the rug.

No progress thus far towards my January goals. I must watch how time rushes around. 

Sorry the post isn't  more interesting, but I'm determined to keep at it, but if I wait for interesting things to happen, It'll be weeks before I'm here.

Thanks for reading, and see you soon...

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Wednesday weigh in

Just a quick post to say that although we've had Christmas and New Year.......I've lost 1½lbs which means I am now  16 St exactly. I'm not quite sure how I managed it, (and I bet it's a fluke), but today I start really watching my portion sizes. I also have to up my exercise level, so lets hope it works.
This is my start picture...
..I want to lose 12 lbs by March, and 37lbs by the end of June. That will be half the total I want to lose, in half the year. I wonder if I can do it???