Tag Archives: crafts

Random ramblings

– Just came back from having an awesome dinner at the Hilton hotel here in Basingstoke. One of the benefits that I got from my new company is the Tastecard. For a single yearly payment of £30*, I get 2×1 or 50% off in many restaurants. And if you’re like Jon and me, you do enjoy eating out from time to time – so this will give us lots of savings. We tried the Hilton recently and we loved it. We had amazing t-bone and rib eye steaks, cooked to perfection, and the total bill -with drinks included- came to just £30: Less than your average dinner out in Nando’s but 100 times better quality!

We decided to go back again tonight, as Jon’s dad is staying with us for the week, and this was like his way of paying for the accommodation. Any other time we would have gone to Nandos or to a generic Grill restaurant for steak, but now that we know about this amazing restaurant at the Hilton, we’re never going back to eat steak anywhere else.

(*I paid £30 as it is subsidised by my company. Your average person who wants to purchase the card as an individual has to pay £80 a year)

– Jon’s now been at his new job for a week and he is really enjoying it. It is such a big change for him, as he was so miserable in his old position. But now you can see his eyes shining again with excitement and hope for the future. It is awesome to see him smile again and be happy with what he does. Well done, my boy. You really deserve it.

– I was thinking today what an important subject weather is in the English culture. You can’t ignore it. A lot of non-English people mock it, but, come on… How else would you start a conversation with strangers or anyone else? Today was an interesting day, weather-wise. It started with very clear and blue skies, then it got overcast. By lunch time it was pissing down proper. Then the sun came out and it got a bit warm-ish. But by 5 pm it got nasty again, with very heavy sleet whilst you’re trying to drive at 70 mph down the motorway… Then we had awesome clouds… The ones that you could just stare at for hours and that make you happy inside. And finally it rained again and it got clear again.

I know the Crowded House song “Four seasons in one day” was not written about England, but it does apply too!

But the thing that makes me cope with the weather in this country is knowing that without it (by “it” I mean the rain) we wouldn’t have the awesome countryside that we have. It’s probably one of the things that I love the most in the UK and I am happy to cope with the rain in order to get the fantastic scenery around me. We went for a walk last Saturday in a village only 10-minute drive away from us. It was just beautiful – farmer’s fields, grass, woods, birds and squirrels, and rabbits and stags… Simply stunning. We also have the rapeseed fields in full bloom at the moment, and I can’t help but stare at the fields as I drive along the motorway…

– We’re off to Spain in a few days and it’s going to be a busy visit. Only four hours after we land I have a hairdresser’s appointment (I refuse to have my hair cut in England: it’s stupidly overpriced and they don’t get my style). Then I want to meet up with a friend for a coffee. Then the following day my brother is organising a “cortijo feast”, with roasted jamón and other delicacies. On Sunday it’s my nephew’s first communion (aka: more party, drinks and food) and then back home. And in between I have to find time to spend with my mum and uncle! Oh yes, it’s going to be busy.

– And if you know about my crafting hobby but want to see more, go and find me on facebook! www.facebook.com/craftsbymarialachica !! – I must say that the page is proving popular. I’ve managed to get a couple of commissions recently and one of my neighbours who also runs her own business wants to make a deal with me, by which I leave some of my cards with her and she offers them to her customers… I’m loving it!



Secondary home

No, I haven’t bought another house (if only I had the money to do so!)

I have just created a separate blog for my crafting musings.

From now on, all my cards and crafting projects can be found here:


Hope to see you there!

Early birthday present!

So, still a week and a bit until my birthday, but I have already received my present!

It’s the Making Memories Slice Elite Machine! yuhuuu!

Making memories slice elite

They only had it available in pink, but I don’t mind… I matches my dressing gown 🙂

For those of you who have no idea what this is (I had no idea what it was until only a few weeks ago), it’s a die-cutting machine used for scrapbooking and card-making. There are tons and tons of pictures out there on the web, so have a go with google and you’ll be amazed.

So, after spending a little fortune at Hobbycraft (both Jon and myself), I arrived home and opened my present despite my husband’s dismay who thought I would wait until my actual birthday to open it. If only….. Nah, I couldn’t wait I am afraid, so that same afternoon, I made three cards, two of them using the slice machine.

I must say that it was a tiny bit trickier to use than I thought it would be. Especially because I think I still have to learn a bit more about the amounts of glue to use on the glass mat and how often to reapply it. But I suppose it’s just a matter of practice and I will get better with time.

These are the two cards I made with the slice machine:

Valentine's card with slice machine It's a boy card

This is not Jon’s Valentine’s Card…                     For some friend’s new born baby

There are still a few accessories that I need to get to be able to produce stunning cards all the time. I reckon that if I tried to make a business out of this, it would take me roughly one year of making cards full time to get a return on the investment 😛 But as Jon says, I will make cards for my own recreation, I don’t necessarily have to try to make money out of them (but if I did, then… result!)

More than a hobby?

I recently made another birthday card for a member of my family. She is a goth and loves anything gothic, steampunk, fantasy-like, etc. So the card I made was in the style that I thought she would like. I made it in less than an hour. From imagining it, to designing it, to putting it together.

Card for Adrienne

She really liked it and she insists that I should sell my cards online. There are a few websites that specialise in selling hand made crafts. Which would be a great idea, however:

1) I simply don’t have the time. I get home too late and have to go to bed too early. The only spare time I have, I don’t “waste” by sitting on a desk (okay, I do.. facebook and spaniards are NOT wasting time…)

2) I don’t mind making 1, 2 or 10 cards just for fun. If for whatever reason I don’t finish a certain card, I can always pop into Clintons and buy a pretty one instead. No one knows any different and no one gets hurt.  But making cards as a business has other implications. At the point when some one is expecting a bespoke-hand-made card from me, if I don’t deliver not only do I get unsatisfied customers, but also puts pressure on me not to disappoint people.

The thing is that the idea is still fluttering in my head. I wonder if it would be worth trying.

Wandering around the web earlier I found the blog of a girl who makes gorgeous cards and sells them in one of the websites that I was talking about earlier. Seeing her blog has been a great inspiration to make me take a decision and I think that I am going to give it a go. I can create several types of cards, from Christmas to birthday cards, and when I’ve got a few I can upload them to the website and see what happens….

Of course it will only be a test and I don’t expect to make any money out of it, although if could at least break even and not LOSE money then that would be fantastic.

Apart from this little adventure that I have set myself for this year, my next project will be a Steampunk birthday card for Chris later on this month… Let’s see what I come up with!