All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Up North, Down South And An Accidental Trump

Maisy and I have been all over the place this week, up north and down south.

Fancy a cuppa and a catch up?

The week started out with a quick visit to see Noreen McKie at Katy Sue Designs to collect what I will be using for the workshop on Wednesday.


I suspect that Maisy wanted in on this photo too. Not easy for a 3.5tonne Motorhome to photo bomb but clearly she is a pro.

Quick chat done and bits collected, then it was to work, prepping and making. Deliberating and worrying. The usual.

Very difficult to do when a view like this is on your doorstep …


Or this …


Or this!


Anyway, I managed to rip myself away from the lovely views and focus, despite the above average temperatures that we’ve been having this week.

Not an easy thing to do in Maisy. I even dripped sweat on some of my prep pieces! Ew!

Thankfully I managed to get some sample designs sorted and ready to go. Quite proud of these actually …

The fairy silhouette stamps from Katy Sue Designs really work well with this fantasy single layer card type.

What do you think?

I’ll try and get a blog post done explaining the method soon, maybe even a video.

So the day of the workshop came and I headed off to Katy Sue Designs HQ.

On arrival I had cake shoved in my hands – I think I’m going to like this day! :)



Delish!!! A very appropriate saying on the cake too!

Hehe. After drooling over the cake (not literally because that would be a tad disgusting) I noticed that Noreen and Doreen had created a wonderful display showing a ton of ideas that can be completed with the range of products from Katy Sue Designs – good for a browse whilst nibbling on cake and supping coffee…


Aren’t they fab?!

10am arrived, and so had the lovely group of ladies so it was over to Noreen to kick of the workshop with a Christmas clay creation.

Noreen went first as she won the wrestling match between us.

The group were very studious and listened carefully to Noreen.

I, on the other hand, went a little off piste and started creating some weird variations using the head mold.

Eventually I did go all sensible and made this cherubic chappy.


I was even brave enough to use a scalpel and shape the mouth a little differently.


It then came to painting it. I started out with a light wash. It was at this point that it started dawning on me that this actually looked like someone.


And then it hit me. It looked like Donald Trump!


Dont believe me? Check this out…


Lol, well, almost.

I guess you could say that I did an accidental trump! Lol

Eee, I do make myself laugh sometimes :)

Anyway, the creations that the ladies made were much more on piste, and rather well done!

Lunch came around and it was time to cut the cake … apparently this was my job! Rarely have I shared cakes, so usually favour the ‘shovel it in’ or ‘dig in with fingers’ method so I learned something new today too! Lol. ;)


Next it was my turn to lead class and we worked our way through the range of design ideas that I had come with. It was interesting as some of the class had never stamped before and some had not tried the technique before so everyone went home having learned something.

We even went live on Facebook! Another new thing under the belt :)

Sadly the time went too quickly and it was time to say goodbye and head off on the road again.

Not before we gather around Maisy though!


Bidding a fond farewell to Noreen and Doreen, and the rest of the team at Katy Sue Designs, Maisy and I trundled off to our parking spot for the evening, just in time to welcome the predicted skies of doom.



As usual though, it passed on by with very little to report from a weather point of view.

At least it meant for a cooler night and not waking up in a pool of my own sweat. :)

Up at the call of the cock on Thursday I packed up and hit the road because I had a VERY long drive down to Surrey on Thursday to be ready for the Sandown Crafting Live event.


A VERY long drive. Luckily my home town was on the way so I used the opportunity to pick up the mail and briefly see my mum and sister for a quick chat and a loo break.

Also on the way, sort of, was the Manor House Hotel, where I held a workshop earlier in the year and am planning another later in the year so I popped in for a final catch up with Ian and Katy who are helping me organise the weekend of fun!

Manor House Image (1)

Exclusive email invites have gone to those that came last time and a blog post will be released on Monday with booking details for everyone else.

Friday was an admin day. Having cleared 1200 emails a short while back I already have another back log so wanted to clear this down and get some more workshops sorted and on the itinerary.

Bashing away at the keyboard for hours on end can send one a tad nutty but I made it through, lol.

Done! Even managed to book Maisy in for a thorough clean and also onto a ferry bound for Northern Ireland at the end of August.

Details of these, and venues that are now coming through for Scotland can soon be found on the itinerary page.

Popping away the phone I got some sleep before being rudely awoken by the alarm telling me that it was time to go and meet the good folk that were coming to the Sandown Crafting Live event.

Some morning views are not the same as others.


Oddly managed to stay asleep as 30 lorrys that were parked around me left before I woke up – those HGVs can certainly tip toe!

It also often strikes me as funny when I park at service stations that sometimes it can look like I have moved in or am on holiday …


That seat is mine! Lol :)

Anyway, time for me to sign off.

I’ll update you re the Sandown event tomorrow once it’s all done and dusted. Day 1 has been lovely and I’m sure day 2 will be just as nice.


How dramatic!? Lol.

In the meantime, thanks for reading!

See you soon.

J :)





11 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Up North, Down South And An Accidental Trump

  1. I really had a fantastic day at Katy Sue Designs with you, Noreen & Doreen. The whole day with both the modelling and stamping being great fun. Thank you for visiting us up in the North East, you’re doing a fantastic job raising money for a very worthwhile cause xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi john. I’m a newby to your Channel…. I liked reading all about your sojourning and your blue sky days. wonderfully entertaining and those budda type creations were very tongue in cheek… I really giggled. Actually they were very well created. maybe you could start an alternative design of cake decorations. slightly avant garde – anti socio political genre. I’m thinking nonsense now. I’m tired as I didnt get to sleep until around 4am. I love all you are doing John and as a fellow Mind sufferer, you have my full support. onwards and Onwards John. Debbie D


  3. I love the cards John. I too have been a bit distracted this week as one of my little dogs passed away. Not felt much like crafting until I saw these. Thank you they have helped.
    Love and Light
    Sioux x


  4. Hi John …how I love a good catch up over a coffee. You always make me smile with your wonderful stories and even a few lol moments……much to the amusement of the numerous customers in the coffee shop! Looking forward to you next update but this time I will choose a quiet corner. Keep on crafting. Karen


  5. Hi John, thanks for getting back to me so quickly, as I said, I think it would be great if you and Tracie hooked up and talked, now please bear in mind that I am hoping to wangle my way into this arrangement too purely for work purposes of course but I’ll get Tracie to contact you and you can let her know how best to go about it, now, that said, I realise that the proceeds are for the benefit of mental health services, so if you can suggest any ways in which we can assist you with fund raising, then please let us know. Many thanks Yours Paul William


  6. Hi John

    Stunning views, I’m not surprised you were distracted… Wow!

    Speaking of stunning, those samples you made are absolutely fantastic. John, you are one seriously talented chap… As good a stamping as I’ve seen anywhere. I think pretty much all of us melted in the heat, I did, quite literally. As a result I’ve had an ‘eventful’ week.

    That post certainly gave me a good giggle. Great cake, agree it had the perfect sentiment! I think I need a picture of that on my craft bit of a room wall… Cake is vital to the creative process IMO. The “Trumpling” was kinda spooky though… *Shiver* I wonder if that was the result of a sugar high?! … Only kidding 😉

    That was quite a drive but I bet it was worth it for a catch up with your family. I do hope Sandown has been great fun so far, I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the weekend.

    Sending you a big hug and a pat on the bonnet to Maisie,

    Oh and a happy smile and a friendly hug to all your followers 😆

    T x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s the word, entertaining. I’m sitting here chuckling, with the dog’s head going from one side to the other, as dogs do, looking at me as if I’m completely mad………me…..??!! Sounds like a good week, apart from being too hot. Don’t forget Maisie’s sea sickness pills before you go on the ferry. Keep it up. Anne x

    Liked by 1 person

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