My shop is having a complete makeover. The walls have been lined and the wooden floor has been fitted.  The last two weeks have seen the building of a display cabinet. Light have been inserted now and waiting for the finisher to polish it. Then glass shelves will be added and then it will be ready for me to add some stock. I will show the projects I am making in this blog so the crafty ones among you can have a go. I will also be doing workshops in my newly refurbished craft room when all work is complete.

Here are a few photos of the progression

  line wall  subfloor  floor and start of display  display development  Display lighting

It is coming along nicely now and we will make a start on the office and storage under the stairs.  Watch this space.

The hot water in the craft room is supplied by a Quooker boiling tap that is one of those rare “must haves”.  This simple, ultra-safe idea immediately renders kettles out of date and takes kitchens a giant leap forward.  This is one of those gadgets that Trendsetters buy, their friends see it and immediately want one, kitchen designers and chefs recommend it and eventually it becomes a “must have” in every kitchen.

Enchanted Space recommended the tap to me and I immediatley fell in love with it!  As it says, it is a “must have” once you have seen it!

Quooker Tap    Close up tap

This one is fed through a water filtered supply as we are in a very hard water area and limescale is a problem.

While we are waiting for the electrician to come in and do his bit, Rob has been employed on upgrading the toilet! The pipes and water filter unit have been boxed in and a shelf added for storage of cleaning materials.  The floor has been laminated with surplus laminate from the shop floor has been fitted. The tiling has been started on and is waiting for grouting. A wood strip has been made to link the carpet in the craft room with the wooden floor. A water heater has been fitted and a new toilet seat, toilet roll, and a towel holder have been purchased for fitting on Monday.  Painting and decorating soon!

The downstairs is now being refurbished into a top class retail shop. Walls have been insulated and the floor has now been laminated. Currently, the wall under the stairs is being studded, insulated and power and telephone points fitted. The parts for the display cabinets have been ordered today. The shelving is going to be adjustable glass shelving with spotlights and the cabinetry is a nice maple colour. Card display units are going to have drawers under to put stock out of sight neatly until required.  Keeping current displays in line with the seasons, and holidays. The office area is going to be behind the counter under the stairs.  There will be some seating for crafters to sit and natter about crafting or anything else they would like to chat about. This will be good for hand knitting, embroidery, and cross stitching classes and get togethers too.

The walls were studded and lined with insulation and then plasterboard fixed after cabling for electric sockets were sorted.


The area was cleared ready to lay the floor, and then insulation and plywood subfloor were laid.


The laminate floor was started and then work commenced on the office wall under the stairs.

Follow the making and fitting of the display and card display area.  Stephen of Enchanted Space has designed a most unique retail shop and office area, and I am looking forward to seeing the end results. You can view more pictures of the whole refurbishment on his blog

The workshop is nearly complete and will be opening soon! Adjustable stools are being sourced to sit on if you prefer to sit while crafting. Personally, I prefer to stand to get a perfect birdseye view of the project working on. I sit while cutting decoupage etc. so a seat is essential to rest my weary legs while crafting all day! My very dear friend, Bob Gee, passed away recently and he wanted to leave a legacy to me to use in my business.  I propose to purchase the seating with his money and display a plaque in his memory. Lots of people will remember him helping me at craft fairs and workshops at The Eagle and Lichfield House in Stafford. He worked very hard promoting my business and I miss him so much.  He was looking forward to working in my shop and I am sorry that it was not finished before he left this earth to stay Jesus.  I promised him I would make a success of my company, and so I will!

Bob with Me at Craft Fair   Bob at a craft Fair

Bob loved helping at craft fairs and was very helpful with the selling while I was busy with the personalising! Even though he was very ill he still made it to the shows up to Oct 2011. He spent many nights cutting up the teddies and sorting them into packs of 40 for sale, he took over the laborious job of sorting the invoices into date order ready for me to input into the computer, and he was always very jolly and made me laugh so much, so the bad days were always ended on a happy note. At the end when he couldn’t make it up the stairs to my flat, he rang every night and we chatted and he encouraged me when I felt like giving up, gave advice when I stepped in the wrong direction, and was always there for me. I just took it for granted that he always would be there and I am sad that he died while I was away for the weekend with the church.  He was like a Grandfather to Abbey and she used to call on him most days for a chat and a cup of tea and cake or biscuit. She saved up the puzzle books that he gave her and now has so many she will be doing them for quite a while yet.  He often gave her pocket money and they just spent time chatting.  Bob said that Abbey was very grown up in many ways and loved talking with her. Abbey also misses a very dear friend.  I certainly do and you always wished you had done things differently, said something more than you did or maybe not have said some things. There will always be regrets, but I will always remember him fondly and thank him for all the help in getting Top It All on its’ feet. God Bless You Bob Gee…

Today, I went to my second workshop at The Glitter Girls House. I took my son’s partner, Andra, and we had a wonderful time.  The Girls weren’t there today as they were in Peterborough on Create and Craft TV but we still had a great day of crafting and a lovely buffet lunch. Andra spent the whole time on one brilliant masterpiece that she gave to Steve and I made 3 complete cards and 1 half done that I took home to finish off later.

Card 1 

This is 2 of the cards and I will upload Andras and my other ones later.

The Workstation.  It has now been painted and looks great! The carpet has been laid and makes the workshop look more finished. I have purchased 8 cutlery trays and filling them with equipment for each of the 8 workstations.  Also I have some plastic baskets for each workstation that have various glues and foam pads etc. I have to purchase 3 self healing  mats  to make sure everyone has one, each workstation has a glass cutting mat and a small trimmer. My aim is to have 8 fully stocked workstations. I cannot wait to start classes and crops and it will be so much easier for me to work and make lots of goodies to sell.

The workstation.   the scrapbooking are

The scrapbook area was stacked up with all the boxes I had on the floor while the carpet was being laid. These boxes still have to be unpacked and a home found for everything. The two drawer storage that is stacked on top of one another in the centre contains all my off cuts of paper. After a project I sort all the bits into colours and pop them in these drawers. When I start a project, I find I go to the drawers first before I cut into a new sheet. Every now and then I have a mad session and use my dies and Grand calibur and also punches to cut out lots of shapes, either for matting and layering to add a deacoupage topper later; or punch lots of shapes to use to embellish cards and toppers!

I won a place on a glitter Girls workshop when I was drawn out of the “Spotty Potty” on a Create and Craft TV Show earlier in the year. I planned on taking my daughter Abbey along but there was a hiccup this morning and so I ended up going on my own.  I arrived late as I took a wrong turning and spent half an hour running around the dual carriageways close by but eventually I turned up and  I had a most wonderful time creating cards with Glitter Girls Embossing Boards.

This was the first creation I made using the Boudoir Board.

Boudoir Board

The second creation I made was a 3 layered butterfly:


Being late I didn’t have time to finish the next card, but I took it with me to complete at home, I will post on here when it is done.

The workstation is almost finished and I have plans to run 1 or 2 children workshops next week during half term! There is still a lot to do in the craftroom but it would be good to give the children something fun to do. Must get cracking on planning kits and advertising to make it a success!  More news to come as things are finalised, watch this space…..

The workstation has been painted, just the top to have its gloss coat! I planned the drawers to be different colours and to mark the tools to match for each workstation. When I had picked my colours I set up a spreadsheet to plan everything, and it looked fine on paper, but then when I came to actually ask the painters to do it I realised a big clash in colours.

This was what I was presented with on arriving

clashing colours

I was not keen on the red and purple together as they clash in my mind. So I decided to change the red with the pink so that pink and lilac go together and red and orange go together.

This is the result and looks much better on the eye.

new colours

The scrapbooking station is coming along nicely, almost finished now. The tiling on the wall behind has been completed and it makes the area look more finished off now. The white area behind is having a magnetic roll stuck to it so that I can attach all my dies for easier accessibility and to look attractive. The scrapbook area, below.


I am going to tidy it up in preparation for the kids crafty workshops during the half term holiday, it won’t be completed but it will be well on its way to being functional. Off to the craftroom now…

I was commissioned to create a Bookatrix card with the Twilight theme from Stephanie Meyer’s popular series of Twilight books. I love the films and have the books but not reading Breaking Dawn until I have seen the final part of the film.

This is what I came up with for my first attempt.

card on stand    card in box

It comes with a box made to house the card perfectly and I decorated the inside so that it becomes a further item of display while the card is being displayed on its own stand.

Box with Lid Open box to show inside

The Bookatrix card has 4 layers including an acetate top layer. The layers have quotes from the various books written on them and a personal message has been included on the back. This one is done in red but the colours can be varied and the pictures will also be different so every card will be unique. I will put some on my website very soon so please keep coming back to check when they have arrived.

I have been selling Gothic style cards in my shop on ebay and I was approached to make this for a Twilight fan. I do these Bookatrix cards in many themes and the Gothic ones are the most popular, followed by Art Deco Ladies.  I think that Twilight ones will soon be taking the lead!