Gentleman Crafter

In, Out, Shake It All About

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 thoughts on “In, Out, Shake It All About

  1. 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!


  2. 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!!!


  3. 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


  4. 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.


  5. 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


  6. 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!


  7. 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


  8. 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.


  9. 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


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


  11. 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.


  12. 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.


  13. 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


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