The Week That Was

November 8, 2015 — 14 Comments

Watcha me old mucka. Well, didn’t that week speed by?! Since we last spoke both Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone!

Well, I’ve been working away like crazy but only a few things that I can officially tell you at this point…

First up, I have put on the two stone that I lost at the start of the year, plus another – so DIET STARTS TOMORROW! If you see cakes, sweets, junk food or anything else remotely bad on the blog or Facebook etc, you have my permission to slap my wrists!

Anyway, personal drama over with and on to some things that I have been working on …

First up – fudge packing. No, stop it, don’t laugh – I mean it in the proper sense of the phrase.

Oh wait, hang on, you can’t slap my wrists for this one as it’s already happened, ok?

Well, I’ve been trying out some microwave recipes for home made fudge – I was thinking of whipping up some batches for little extra Christmas presents.

My results were not necessarily what I would have hoped for but nice none the less.

This was my first attempt…

Nutty Fudge

It was a tad of a faff but was ‘ok’ in the end.

The recipe was fairly standard with:

  • 500g caster sugar
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 100g butter

I made several changes to that, mostly because I’m an idiot. I used granulated sugar and a tad too much butter and no vanilla essence.

The cooking process for this one was a bit of a frag as you had to keep watch on the mixture (as the sugar could boil over at any second) and stirring every two minutes. So, as a result, I possibly didn’t cook it for long enough as the mixture whilst ‘set’ was a tad soft but also grainy as the sugar hadn’t dissolved enough.

Oh, I also chucked my mixed nuts in there.

I obviously still ate it! Lol!

This next image was of the chocolate fudge recipe.

Chocolate Fudge

Oddly moorish but gave me proper heartburn!

I’ve been asked for the recipe so here it is:

  • 500g Chocolate.
  • 125g Butter.
  • 1 Tin (approx 400g) Condensed Milk.

Basically you plop all of that into a glass bowl and microwave it for 2.5 mins, stir and then heat again for another 2.5 mins and then chuck the lot in a lined eight inch square container.

I had to change this simple recipe for no reason too! I added a bag of icing sugar. This did have the benefit of making it more ‘firm’ but it also made it quite powdery (unsurprisingly) and was possibly the cause of my heartburn.

I still ate it! Lol!

In either case I have a couple of tips:

  • Use glass bowls. This stuff gets REALLY hot!
  • Use wooden spoons. This stuff gets REALLY hot!
  • WEAR OVEN GLOVES!!! This stuff gets REALLY hot! Like, hotter than the sun hot! (Almost).

Anyway, have you tried this before? How did yours turn out?

Next, I’ve been putting together some new things for the Digital Craft Emporium.

Three rather exciting things to share in this post. The first are the Anywhere Frames.

These little beauties are brilliant! There are a couple of variations in the set. One is the cut anywhere frame (as seen above) which essentially you can cut anywhere on your cardstock, or even directly into your folded card!

The next is the second variation which means that you cut it from cardstock, plop it on a mount and then it’s an anywhere mount – like this…

Cool eh? If you want them they are in a variety of formats – more details can be seen on the product page.

The next one that I am quite proud of is the first in a line of Ready-To-Colour greetings card sets.

This first one features nine designs and is essentially a five inch square card that you print onto A4 paper, colour in the main design and then trim it down and fold it for an instant hand coloured card!

Clever stuff eh? I thought so :)

The final one to let you know about also features colouring in as it’s core concept and it’s the Art Nouveau Mandala colouring pages.

Loved designing these and love the finished result! Need a better look? Here is the preview video that accompanies them.

So that’s a little of what I have been making. I have also been trying to do a few other things too.

Do let me wish you a Happy Halloween though. I know it’s not something that we Brits ‘celebrate’ as such, but it does feed my dark creative side and I just had to do a little jokey picture for you that I shared on Facebook.

It’s wax before you go all feint. I’d been doing some encaustic stuff (which didn’t work out and therefore why I’m sharing the iron and not the finished project) and I thought that this would be a great jokey image for this time of year.

Anyway, you can open your eyes again now.

And finally I’ve been getting cracking with batch stamping some ATCs for the ATC365 challenge – I’m a sore loser so I won’t be whimping out on this, even though I am a few months (about half a year) behind.

Bet you can’t wait to see how this turns out, right? Well neither can I, lol ;)

Would you believe that’s only a tiny fraction of what I have been up to?!

There are more YouTube videos in the pipeline, including one of the workshop that some people missed out on and some more about the Scan N Cut. Books in development, yep, I’ve finally got these fleshed out and sent off. ‘Secret’ product designs being sent around the world … you’d think that I wasn’t doing anything the amount of nonsense I prattle on Facebook but by goodness gracious me, I have been super busy! Just wish I could reveal more now :/

Sheesh, it’s no wonder my bum is numb! lol. But listen, I am not complaining as I am two month’s into being self employed and I’m still going so for that I am truly grateful. There are those that thought that this was a whim … so poo to you! *rasps* :))

Right, I think that that’s about it. So tell me, how have you been?

Done all your Christmas stuff yet? I certainly haven’t!

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to drop by and have a read. As ever, if you have any comments or questions about the contents of this post then please feel free to use the comments section below or the links at the top of the page.

Bye for now!

J :)




14 responses to The Week That Was


    Hi John
    I’ve really enjoyed reading this today. You brighten my day.
    I love the spooky iron pic, but the really spooky pic is the one with your batch stamping of ATC’s…… Just how is that bottle of glue managing to hover upside down???
    Love and Light
    Sioux x



    Wow wow wow! Do u get time to breathe? Well John I’m exhausted just reading, love the blog, keeps me smiling as the weather and days darken. Oooh dark nights morrrre crafting and working time John. Lol. Wishing you well love the look of the fudge, not something I’m allowed to eat now but……yummee……Love the iron! keep up good work loads a crafting love. Maria



    How did you have time to go to work lol . When our children left our nest we felt it was time for something Ian wanted to do , so he left a very safe good job and Ian became a consultant and there was just the two of us .that was seven years ago and not looked back. Reason why I am saying this John is it is so exciting to see how you are blossoming into dreams that are becoming reality and in such a short time . the new designs for de stressing in colouring look amazing so I need to use my cognitive skills to download them , this will help me with holding crayons and using my brain so keep flying you on just at the beginning of your exciting journey I am sure. Nita



    Hi John!
    You have been busy!! Love the anywhere frames & that chocolate fudge looks absolutely amazing! Want to give that a try! Please can I ask, what sort of chocolate did you use?
    Glad you new venture seems to be going well.
    I’m getting on with making my Christmas cards – about third if the way! Had a lovely day at the NEC Saturday, with crafty friends!
    Happy crafting



    Love your frames. Love your ATCs looking forward to seeing more. Thanks for sharing your hard work.



    I shared your chocolate fudge recipe so that I would have the recipe, not done it yet though. Intrigued with those frames but not up to speed on that concept, do you need the scan and cut? xx



    Wow you sure have been busy, I know I don’t always comment but I love reading your blogs, keep it up John and I wish you continued success in your crafting future. Xx



    Wow what a busy bee you are. I really enjoy reading about what you are doing, only wish I did a tiny part of what you do. But since emigrating to the other side of the world, sun surf and sand are filling my retirement and my gorgeous 2 year old grandson! Keep doing what you do so well



    For blimey!! You’ve made me quite dizzy!!!



    Hi John ,
    Well u have been very busy ,fudge looks gorgeous and I will be trying that.
    As for Christmas yes I have started already well nearly all done just a few more bits to do and get.
    Hope you have avert good week .x


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