In, Out, Shake It All About

December 31, 2015 — 36 Comments

Well 2015 is almost done – and what a year it has been!

I started 2015 much like everyone else – with a bucket full of hope that 2015 was going to be a better year than 2014.

As 2016 is set to appear tomorrow morning, I thought that now would be a good time to see whether that bucket managed to provide what it promised…

I’m not going to lie, that bucket leaked a lot in the first half of the year. Practically draining all hope of a positive outcome.

Things that should never have been challenges became ridonculously monstrous struggles and things that would normally slip past, stuck like chewing gum in hair.

So, how was I going to plug that hole in the bucket? I actually had no idea.

Many people had many ideas on what I should do. I don’t know whether you have noticed this though but no-one else’s cork can plug the hole in your own bucket – something which sounds simultaneously filthy but also quite philosophic.

It’s true though isn’t it? ‘They’ say (whoever they are) that we shape our own destinies – well, never more so has this been true. Whether you believe in fate, destiny or free-will let me say this to you – a match maker can make the match but they don’t strike it for you.

The same is true in life I guess.

It wasn’t until I decided to take a leap of faith that the flow began to subside and the bucket began to refill. The seeds of change had been sewn. It was up to me to tend to them, water them and feed them in order to make them grow.

Anybody else getting confused by the multiple metaphors yet? Lol :)

Well, I think that the point is that I am going to give myself a little pat on the back as these seedlings are now growing nicely and will be coming to fruition in the not to distant future. There are also more seeds in little cute (imaginary) packets waiting to be planted – a position that I haven’t been in for a long time.

So, all good so far I think we can say.

What has really stood out for me this year though is the pure selflessness that relative strangers (and by this I mean people that I have not yet met face to face) are willing to offer when things got a little rocky and I was facing a good deal of uncertainty and self doubt.

It doesn’t matter whether you clicked like on Facebook, commented on the blog, bought something from the shop, contributed to the All Counties Craft challenge or simply took the time to have a chat – you’ve all helped me find the metaphorical matchbox and even offered to open it for me so that I can get to the matches.

Although it was hard to tell during the year, now that I have the opportunity to look back, I think that it has actually been a good year.

I know that some of you have faced, and continue to face, your own difficulties so it means all the more to me that you have put those to one side however briefly and given me your time. If ever you need a metaphorical matchbox – get in touch.

Right, before this post gets covered in tears and snot, I’d best go and let you all guzzle the booze and make merry.

As a final thought for this last post of 2015, let me leave you with this amazing quote …

Crafting fills my heart,

My craft room,

My kitchen,

My lounge,

My bedroom …

Oh wait, not that one, this one …

A simple smile becomes a good mood,

Which becomes a great day,

Which grows into a wonderful week,

Which blossoms into a marvelous month,

Which swells into a fabulous year,

Which flourishes into an awesome life.

Smile now or else!

Lol ;)

See you in the new year!

J x



36 responses to In, Out, Shake It All About


    Happy New Year John, keep thinking positively and good things will happen



    Very best wishes for 2016 – there is a saying that it takes just one step to start on the road to a new life, and you have taken a huge leap this year! Hoping that the new year and new adventure bring you much happiness and fulfillment. Susan x



    Happy new year and thanks for all the great stuff you’ve created this year xx



    Smiling here, John, as I have on many occasion reading your posts. Good luck with all you do in 2016 and i hope it brings you the happiness you deserve. Lots of love and hugs. xxx


    Pauline Simmonds January 1, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Here’s hoping 2016 will be good to you John, Happy New Year ( hugs ) xx



    Two years ago I met a stranger and we celebrated new year partying on morphine , both of us not knowing if we would walk again .my stranger has become my dearest friend we have cried together and laughed together and learnt so many new things I have called our journey the university of learning and this year we need to decide a new course mine is going to be sewing and learning about cutting files lol yes life is tough but along the way we can party I love your metaphors John we have both learnt a wonderful lesson when things get really tough we haven’t given up in fact we have become stronger .so I am looking forward to 2016 . Through the storms there is a rainbow for you John , 2016 will be full of colour , and you will be enjoying the fruits of your labour. Happy new year John . Ps. I feel I am a better person for my journey and along the way I have made some truelly wonderful people .



    Happy New year John, now as I think you know by the things I have been reading, a lot of people are behind you. You are such a tallented man and I am not alone in saying you inspire, teach, help, and are there for so many.I have learned so much from you and I thank you for that, what goes around comes around, and you will see all you have given others will come back to you in so many ways, carry on, life is for living enjoy it all, God Bless You xxxx



    Do you accept US dollars? I’m not sure how to pay for things. I love you work. Thanks.



    I totally understand the word challenge, and feel you deserve your happy place having fought so hard to get there. You should be so proud and rightly so. Love your inspirational designs and thank you for sharing. Happy New Year. Hugs Kim xx



    Thank you John for all your inspiration and congratulations on succeeding with such a huge leap of faith, oh that I was that brave! I certainly missed your posts and wondered what happened when you “went off air” for a while there. Thanks again for sharing all your inspiration so gallantly. May 2016 bring more happiness to you, your team. Happy new year! Cheers!






    Well done you. Yes you definitely deserve a pat of the back. You have achieved so much this year & created some beautiful pieces of art. Life seems to be full of uncertainties & hits you when you least expect it but it’s a strong person that can come out the other end a better, more understanding person & we need more of that in this world. I really hope that 2016 is a healthy & inspirational year for John & i’d like to welcome you to the club of hard knocks!!!



    Here’s smiling and hoping 2016 will not only be a good year but a great big one for you! Your generosity is endless. Your knowledge is always shared with us less knowledgeable people especially about the Scan n Cut. Thank you from the bottom of my heart x


    Katie-Louise Sweetlove December 31, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Hi John I’m glad your year eventually got better. I’m hoping to get some money through in the next few weeks can you remind me where to find your all counties challenge page to buy a session crafting with you please.


    christine Anderson December 31, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    So pleased things are shaping up..remember one door closes and another one opens. Happy New year to everyone.x



    What a wonderful walk through your year. You’ve reduced me to tears, but happy ones! I truly wish you an amazing 2016 and I hope it’s a year when your hopes and dreams become a reality. I’m looking forward to sharing, in a tiny way, in your experience of a lifetime and, at the end of next year, reading your thoughts on 2016. Love and hugs Kath xx



    I really enjoy reading your posts.
    You brightened my 2015 with your words and projects.
    Looking forward to see what great cutting files you come up with in 2016.
    Happy New Year!



    Thank you for all the help in 2015. Best wishes for 2016. Happy New Year may the crafting be with you


    Christine in Bulgaria December 31, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    All the best for the coming year John , you deserve to do well and I am sure you will. Keep up the good work and good luck with everything you do. X



    Happy New Year John. Thank you for your help, ideas & inspiration during 2015. Look forward to more in 2016! Good luck in all that you do, hope it’s a successful 2016 for you. Love the quotes… The smiles one – please can I send it to our parish magazine editor? I think it would be something that would be enjoyed by the readers.



    Bless you John, I really hope 2016 is a good year for you xx



    Hi John

    Wishing you all the best for 2016. I hope the downloads go from stregnth to stregnth and the Craft Challenge gathers even more momentum. I’m glad you were able to find that spark that reignited the flame.

    I know exactly what you mean by nobody elses cork mending the hole. No further comment on that I think.

    Got to keep this short, other messages to send and my brain only has a certain capacity for screens at the minute .

    Sending you a great big hug. May your glue never run out and may you always know where your scissors are.

    Love, T x



    Thank you for for your amazing wit, tremendous talent, fabulous humour, great generosity, and for making me smile :-) x :-) Happy New Year,John.



    I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. I hope it brings all that you wish for.
    Take care



    I wish you all the Very Best for 2016 John. May the “hole in your bucket” be plugged soon! Loved the quotes, particularly the one about the Smile. I try to llive by that. Thank you for all the work you have put in for us. Much appreciated.



    I love this post John. You are an amazing man and an inspiration. (and funny….did I say funny?) x



    John I wish you a blessed 2016, may you continue to blossom and bloom. You deserve it, you have put a light in my life and inspired me amazingly. Thank you God bless.



    A leap of faith and voila your life is your own again. May 2016 be all you want it to be. Happy, crafty New Year



    Happy New Year Jon, I’ve enjoyed following your blog this past year. Thanks for all the ideas and tips. Wishing you much success for all your projects in 2016 x



    And a happy new year to you, and thank you for all your creative ideas this last year. X



    Happy New Year John.
    Thank you for all your cutting foles and keep up the good work in 2016



    Loved reading your post John. Happy New Year, hope 2016 is filled with everything you are wishing for X X



    Would just like to wish you all the best for 2016 – let the crafting continue! Take care! Lorraine from Derbyshire


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