…Creating on the Hill…

Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them


…taking steps…to a healthier me

…as I type this I can’t quite believe I have made it to day 12!!..


It’s been an interesting few days and I can’t lie …it hasn’t been easy.. but has been made so much better by the support and encouragement I have had

  • AMY…where would I be without you, on Monday I didn’t have food on ‘the hill’ that I could eat, there was couscous and cookies ….I was SOOOOO crazy hungry that when I looked across the street at the chickens running around (there’s allotments with a chicken coop) I started to wonder about the possibilities!! Amy rang and asked if she could bring anything …OH YES YOU CAN….DSCN1633[1]she arrived with cooked chicken and an amazing ‘protein pot’ from M&S…..It was just in time because Claire was getting nervous at me eyeing up those chickens!! I devoured the lot in under 10 minutes…did I mention that I have been experiencing cravings like you wouldn’t believe.
  • One of the most thoughtful gifts was delivered to my front door by Moira and Lewis……I love you both for this and your encouragement
so many goodies to keep me going and bubble bath and candles to chill and how cute is this card x
  • One of the things I have really been over the moon with is that I have still managed a date out with David and received the best service even though I asked for things not on the menu ….we went to The Marquis of Granby
I asked for hot water with lemon and the waitress bought a teapot of hot water and cup and saucer with slice of lemon (simple I know but made me feel good) DSCN1643[1]
then I asked for grilled chicken and salad with no dressing or sauces
you might be thinking NO BIGGIE…but for me eating out with my one and only was a BIGGIE for me.. and
can I just say in case you were going to report me to ‘Cruelty to husbands’  David tucked into a 12″ pizza and 2 pints of real ale so he was not subject to the detox!!
  • Yesterday we celebrated Kirsty’s birthday with a family breakfast at Frankie and Benny’s……JOY.. JOY.. JOY
Vegetarian Scrambler was on the menu.. roasted peppers, mushroom and scrambled eggs on a platter + yes you guessed hot water with a slice of lemon x…. I loved our family get together..making memories
…..I am learning a lot about myself while doing this, and here comes the confession:-
I AM ADDICTED TO SUGAR…there I said it, makes me annoyed with myself that I hadn’t done anything sooner..yes I have dieted before ( too many times to mention) yes I have lost weight but this time would you believe its not about the weight It’s about the healthier me.
I’m half way through now and finding some really nice recipes to try out…I’m enjoying keeping this blog diary…keeps me accountable…focused.
Thanks for all the encouragement and help xx


..taking steps….to a total detox

….I’ve taken more steps since I last wrote…today is day 5 of the 21 day Sugar detox ..

I have written a little diary this week, it has helped focus my brain on the positives as well as an outlet for the negatives..

DSCN0996[1]maybe I should let David add a few words about the negative department  and my bad attitude!!

Day 2

  •   –    I woke up to such a pounding head I thought it was going to explode
  •  +     smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast…soooo yummy
  •  + and –    hot water with slice of lemon..i did miss my morning cup of tea
  •  +     the amazing support and encouragement  I received on the blog/FB/texts and e.mails…really helped me take the next steps
  • +      went shopping and organised what I could eat rather than what I couldn’t
  • +      wrote a weeks menu…I included snacks as well because I’m such a snacker  ‘Sandra the Secret  Snacker’…(not to be said 20 x fast because it then sounds really funny!!)
  •  –    must remember to drink more water, really need water to flush out the system.
  •  +    really nice sautéed chicken with ginger/lemon and coriander.
Day 3
  •  –    thought I had got away with the headaches….ohhh no!! must be an indicator of how much sugar and processed food I have been eating.
  •  +   made my self eat breakfast this morning, really glad I did because it really helped with cravings. I had scrambled egg and mushrooms + a juice of spinach, cucumber, pepper and beetroot.
  •  +  had to take my aunt to hospital…really glad I took snack of almonds and drank a lot of water.
  •  –   skin,ears and scalp felt really itchy.
  •  +  my lovely hubby took me out to eat…..I stuck to plan with mixed grill, exchanged steak fry’s for salad and the lovely waitress brought me  hot waters with lemon….would usually had a couple of lattes and glass of red wine.
  •  –  really missed cuppa tonight
  •  + writing this diary is helping
Day 4
  •  +  no headaches………aghhhh.. bliss, to everyone who battles with migraines I am sending you a massive hug x
  •  + breakfast today was a big glass of juice..beetroot with carrot, spinach and pepper
  • –    I should have taken something to work for mid morning munchies ( didn’t follow my own menu plan!!)
  • +   But I did take a salad and opened a can of sardines….
  • +++++ a BIG thank you to Amy for bringing me mixed nuts to snack on in the afternoon…you saved me drooling every time someone took a biscuit from the ‘biscuit tea pot’!!
  •  –   cravings have been the big battle today…I CAN do this…
  •  +  I had made a big pan of Mexican bean soup yesterday and that was soooo good to come home to.
  •  +  thank you again for all the encouragement I have been getting…it really is helping x
Day 5
  •   –  I have to admit that this morning I REALLY WANTED a bacon sandwich, not only that I WANTED as many peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches I could eat before feeling sick…..I know.. I hang my head…you all know now the reason for my treble chins!!
  • +   I didn’t give in, instead I juiced spinach, carrot, pepper, celery, beetroot and cucumber….it DID not taste like bacon or peanut butter but I am happy I didn’t give in.
  •  – I have felt really dizzy today and a bit nauseous but reading what has happened to other people on this detox it seems normal.
  • + Mexican bean soup for lunch and avocado and egg salad
  • + tried hot water with fresh ginger, a nice alternative to the lemon
  • +   I’m no longer feeling like ALL of the seven allergy dwarves – itchy, sneezy, scratchy, stuffy, puffy, drippy and whiny.

….so the next steps today are…to go shopping and top up on lemons, nuts and fish +prepare a nice stir fry for evening meal + a long soak in the bath + catch up on programmes taped this week Doc Martin, Downton Abbey and my podcasts from Saddleback…





…taking steps..

…a major step …I have decided  to challenge myself to a 21 day sugar detox!!..it’s nearly the end of day one and i’m beginning to wonder if I have LOST THE PLOT!!

I should take 3 steps back (mother may I?….did everyone play that game at school?) and explain WHY I made this decision..

  1. DSCN1516[1]…although I love my boots and I am smiling, all I see is the tired eyes, double chins and joints that are hurting
  2. Pumpkins in basket

..there is a ‘pumpkin’ on the way…our daughter Kirsty is expecting (thanks giving day, hence the name ‘pumpkin’) and I really want to be bright eyed and bushy tailed when this little joy arrives.

3. …on a serious note…it’s time for me to stop using food as a comfort blanket, it has helped me in the last 18 months to not take on any big challenges BUT now is the time for me to tackle the issue of comfort eating. I have in the past used this plan to help with my Crohn’s Disease, a detox helps get my system on track.

4. Writing about this on here I think will help me take the 21 steps

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this is the basic list of what I can and cannot eat, as you can see there are plenty of healthy wholesome foods, so I won’t go hungry and portions don’t have to be counted.

  • Today not having my endless cups of tea wasn’t the best…hot water didn’t quite do the trick
  • my slices of toast with lashings of butter and marmalade were a big miss
  • I do have a headache but that’s normal on day one
  • On a positive note I really enjoyed avocado, mackerel and scrambled egg on the menu (not on one plate I might add)
…So tomorrow/ day two I will be out shopping to fill the fridge for the next few days…
i’m happy to be taking steps…..Happy Steps..


..HOME…on a budget


..I love creating new projects and especially when I find creative “goodies” that don’t bust the bank..

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.. I LOVE finding creative bargains!…The Works and Poundland often have items that can be turned into cute decorative projects with what i already have in my stash ..


Poundland had the vinyl ‘Home’ wall stickers (you guessed it a £1)..The Works had 8×8″ canvas’s on sale and i used an old 8×12″ canvas too (for the letter M as it was wider)



The vinyl wall stickers were available with other words too

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I covered all the canvas’s with flowery napkins using gel medium under and a generous coat over the top

…you have to be gentle while applying the top coat because napkins can tear (remember to separate the 2/3 layers of napkin, you just need the top layer)


..dry the canvas’s thoroughly before moving to the next step


..i then applied a thin coat of chalk paint (or you can use acrylic paint/tester pot paints)

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..i used a baby wipe to rub back the paint to show the pattern….baby wipes are one of my trusted painting/cleaning tools when creating.. dry canvas’s with hair dryer.


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..cut out the vinyl letters as close to the letter as you can (this gets rid of the border) ..apply a generous layer of gel medium to the canvas ,pull letter away from the backing card and lay on the canvas making sure to center the letter on the canvas. Apply layer of gel medium over the letter to seal to canvas.

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..once everything is dry you can now ink the edges of each canvas and add stamps/doodles/embelishments

I applied some gold ‘rub’ around the edges too….embellishing and doodling is my favorite part ..dots and spots..swirls..lines..flowers


..I’m loving the result…


..Big thank you to my artistic/photographic assistant Karen !! for helping me get the Photos taken..

..she just popped up (or is it down Karen?) to ‘the hill’ for a short while and got roped into helping x


…taking steps…

This blog post is more of a personal post, i’m going to be writing more of these ‘taking steps’ posts along with my usual posts of whats happening on ‘the hill’. It will give me a place to  write about things that are close to my Heart,document faith and share… it is part of who i am….this is me..


…by now most of us have been through events in our life that are ‘uncontrollable’…

there is absolutely nothing we could do to stop it..a bit like the runaway train with

no brakes…after things are out of control we tend to do one of two things:-

1) we go into overdrive…filling every last minute with activities/work and events.

2) we are fearful…..scared that the same thing or similar will happen again ..we tend to retreat.

both of these tend to ‘cushion’ us from feeling …


I had a thought …what if we flipped the negative and turned it to a positive….

…what if we let go of the ‘steering wheel’ in life and enjoy those times when we don’t look at the clock and we get lost in a moment..

..i love baking when there’s no dinner to prepare

..i love sitting and doodling in my notebook when i don’t have to draw straight lines

…i love reading new books by trusted authors and i get lost in the pages

…i love wearing leggings and old sweaters and curly hair (‘baggy pants and curly hair days’) when i don’t have to  be dressed up

…i love singing to Bon Jovi at the top of my voice (..it has to be ‘It’s my Life) even though i sing it out of key

…i love creating in my journal until I’m lost in the page and my thoughts are mixed in the paint

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..after being lost in a lot of those moments i found my head was clearing…


..i could make decisions

..i could choose my direction


..this has been our decision (‘our’ is me and mine)

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…’on the hill’…a week in June


….oh how lovely this sight was this week…to have Amy on ‘the hill’..she is having a little break before

she moves into her new home in Nottingham..she will be back for the summer but will be working quite a bit so I treasure the times I have with her…


..this is my prayer for her as she tackles new challenges..love you Amy…my daughters are strong women going through different challenges in their lives..


..why a picture of a table cloth?….because its the new cover on the table on ‘the hill’..its clean and fresh looking and I’m loving it!!


…LOOK what came in the post today…a book of sample card and paper from a supplier…do you think they knew I needed a new challenge for Journaling!!….I was doing a journal jig on the hill when this arrived..be still my beating heart x


..re-loving of very old and broken step ladders…David was a gem and fixed it and added extended steps for my plants..there is a wheel barrow (thanks to Theresa) in the process of being re-loved

Davids birthday 1Davids birthday 2

..talking of David…its his birthday tomorrow..and I made him a mixed media card this year..he loves it when I make his cards and I haven’t made him one in a couple of years so I think hes going to be HAPPY..

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…talking of happy…a we are learning how to paint Teddy’s on ‘the hill’, on Saturdays class we began with water colour teddies..

Teddy 1

..its a quick and easy method and im loving that you can make a card from the practice sample..Anne and Eileen are having a go in the morning too

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..today was catch up on orders day…baby hearts..

Christening Cross 9christening confirmation cross 2

baptism and confirmation crosses


…im going to try and make these for you know who and me if possible….i’m Mad you say

Yes I’m madly in love with the idea of becoming a Grandma xxxx

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….new flowers in the garden…

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…i can’t get enough of these chunky flowers…such fun to paint

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..i created the blue and pink flowers before i found out i was going to become a ‘Grandma’

….I’m soooooo excited…..now i can paint ‘Grandmas little flowers’

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…i loved the patchwork on this custom flower…for a patchwork person..

I haven’t got pictures of the others i have made yet but my ‘garden’ of flowers

is growing!!

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..i’m seeing Daisy’s everywhere right now..you just can’t beat Daisy’s….

Daisy Time

By Marjorie Pickthall

See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.
Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies’ dance
All the meadow over.
Blow, O blow, you happy winds,
Singing summer’s praises,
Up the field and down the field
A-dancing with the daisies.
…a cute little felt daisy….the link below has a great tutorial
…on my ‘I really want to make this’ list ..a crochet cowboy/girl outfit
..for the ‘Texas’ side of our family..
….I have Hope when I think of this: The Lord’s love never ends;His mercies never stop.
They are new every morning…   Lam.3:21-23