All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – A Letter From Sandown, A Return To Bristol And A Little Doodle

So this post was supposed to be out a couple of days ago, but thanks to a ‘bit’ of a drive and lack of interweb, it was a tad delayed.

Now we can have our cuppas and catch up though :)

All Counties Challenge Header

Ok, so when I last left you I was heading off down to Sandown Racecourse for the Crafting Live event in Esher.

I am pleased to say that it went very well and we raised another £600 towards the just giving target – that means that we are now at …


Thank you!

Anyway, the weekend was a fun one. I met many people that I’ve only known through social media and the blog so that was lovely.

I also got to shoot some video to promote the colouring postcard book that Create and Craft TV are producing to help raise more money for the challenge.

Even had a little colouring fun with one of my designs that was included.

One of the highlights of the weekend was thanks to the kind hospitality and understanding of the Sandown Racecourse as they allowed Maisy to park in the premiere enclosure which meant that I woke up to this unusual view.


The most heartwarming moment though was when I was handed a gift and a letter. I didn’t get to open it whilst Sharon was about, in fact I didn’t get to open it until the the end of the day, which was possibly a good thing.

I must confess that the tag had me curious for the start…


It seemed a shame to rip the lovely moustached wrapping paper so I carefully opened it – saving that for later.

The first thing that appeared was the Angel mentioned on the tag.


How gorgeous is that?!

Its always good to have an angel watching over you. I’ve therefore put this one where I spend most of my time – nope, not the bed – she’s keeping her eye on things from the cab :)


I continued to unwrap the package and out came the cutest little hot water bottle wrapped in the softest cashmere jacket …


… oh my word this is going to be strapped to my belly in the winter!

The tag makes perfect sense now :)

Believe it or not I’d actually been having one of those internal niggles for most of the weekend but this put a whacking great smile on my face so, Susan, thank you! :)

Now, the next stage in my journey was to get to Bristol. I know, I know, last time I went there I nearly had a meltdown from the road works and road system so why was I putting myself through that again?

Sienna Parilis-Cook, Editor of Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine, had seen some of the cards that I’d made with a free cover stamp they had a while back and she had asked me if I would do one for the magazine – how exciting!

Always a nosey monkey I asked if I could collect the stamps that I would be using from their offices, mostly so that I could see the place where this lovely mag is made.

Now, when there are all of these road closures (red) and roadworks/delays etc (orange) …


… you would wonder why I would put myself through this.

The simple answer is, I wasn’t going to.

Sienna had suggested the park and ride.

GENIUS idea!

Well, it was until I found out that I still had to go through some of the city to get to the only one without a height restriction. :/

I took a very deep breath and made it through, turning blue in the process.

The exhale that was released as I parked could have powered a wind turbine! Lol.

The bus only took a few minutes to get into the city – that’s the benefit of a priority system I guess. Plus it meant I got to see more of the city than last time without worrying about swiping out a crowd of pedestrians.

The offices were easy to find and I was met by Sienna and her team and even given a cup of tea!


No biscuits though :|

We chatted for a bit and I also had a nosey around – I even found the storage cupboard for the quilts that go into Love Patchwork & Quilting!


In fact, Immediate Media publishes pretty much every creative mag that I have ever bought! I can’t name them all as there are way to many to admit to buying.

Anyway, our little chatette came to a close and I headed back to the bus.

The journey back to the car park was again easy and smooth – this is definitely how I will be dealing with Bristol in the future.

There was one small snag when we reached the car park – I forgot which section I had left Maisy in…


Oh bum.

Thankfully there weren’t many other tall vehicles so a little aimless pottering about and we were reunited and on the road.

A couple of days of catching up with various things and also starting work on what we would be doing in Saturday’s workshop, and general mess creating, ensued …

… this was only disturbed by an escaped cow – I’m feeling that one Maisy wanted to meet the other.

Anyways my loves, that about brings us up to date.

I am currently ensconced in a service station again, prepping the bits and bobs for tomorrow so I’d best crack on with that.

Hope you’ve had a good week.

Catch you again soon!

J :)


7 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – A Letter From Sandown, A Return To Bristol And A Little Doodle

  1. Very interesting read John . Have bought 2 of the colouring books . I live on the edge of Bristol and the road works are coming off the M5 past our road .will be glad when it is all complete. Hopefully the new metro bus system will eliviate this on going problem when complete


  2. As always a great pleasure to read. I love your wit and honesty that you show in the dairy. Keep up the great effort and don’t forget you have tons of us pulling for you and your cause.


  3. Hi John

    Hmmm, know what you mean about the magazines… I’m a sucker for them too! How exciting to go to a magazine HQ and be asked to do some crafting with their. Told you you’re talented! 😉

    £3.7+ k that is awesome! You can add another tenner to that cos I brought my colouring book soon as I saw it. I Love that people can choose the donation from 3 different prices, let’s people give what they can afford.

    What a lovely gift from Sharon. Sending her smiles and sunshine *good karma*

    I’m glad it was well timed and helped you feel more sunny. Clouds do appear John, it’s how we blow them away that’s important. Your angel will help keep many away I’m sure.

    Have a great workshop/s this week. Sending some very big hugs and a big box of sunshine to keep in the glovebox in case those pesky clouds come back.

    T x


  4. thanks for the update John, intrigued as to who Susan is when it was Sharon on the gift tag, lovely gifts, keep up the good work xx


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