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Whilst at the NEC I also met up with Jane Gill on the Woodware stand. She was a very busy lady but took the time to chat with me, and Richard took some photos a couple of which I will add here.

Many of you know Jane's work and I have to say I loved the cards she had on show. There were some of the Floral Punch Art flowers and also some with stamped images. Jane also designs stamps for Woodware. I was especially taken with a fish one but it was hard to pick a favourite.

As you know Jane is going to be teaching some classes at the Retreat, and as the classes are very technique orientated there will only be time to make one card per class. But what a card!!!!. One class will be a card with an arrangement of everlasting flowers, another will have a poinsettia and holly leaves - just in time for you to make some outstanding Christmas cards for your favourite people and the third class will be a classic birthday card with an arrangement of 3 roses.

Jane is also going to be teaching a couple of classes here on 10th July. The details and prices haven't been finalised yet but if you want an informative and fun day this is the place to be.






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We went along to Stitches 2010, the trade show at the NEC at the weekend. The weather was appalling for travelling so we came home on Monday morning. The show was a bit of a disappointment. Not much different being shown but some nice Tim Holtz stuff.

I met up with karen Burniston and we sorted out the class that she was designing for the Retreat. She also showed me a mini book that she had designed. I am not a fan of mini books but theis was truly awesome and so I am hoping that she will design a mini book class for us too.

here are some photos



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I would imagine that not many of you remember the singer Frankie Vaughan. Born today in 1928 he was known as 'Mr Moonlight' after one of his hit songs 'Give me the Moonlight'. He came on stage wearing a top hat at jaunty angle and carrying a cane, and during his act he would do high kicks, and his singing was accompanied by squeals of delight from his adoring women fans.

He was born Frank Abelson but his Russian grandmother said that he was her number 'vorn' singer.

He also starred in films and in 1960 he starred with Marilyn Monroe in 'lets Make Love'

His flamboyant act including hits like 'Garden of Eden' and 'Green Door' ensured his fame as a popular singer for over 30 years. He had a great affiliation with the 'Boys Club' as he was a refugee in Lancaster during WW2 and he was greatful for the help that they gave him, so much so that he donated the proceeds from his 1956 hit 'Green Door' to them. Frankie Vaughan died in 1999.
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Today's sad fact is about the notorious Sid Vicious. He was born Simon John Ritchie and was the iconic look of punk, and of course was in The Sex Pistols.

Whilst in the group he met his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, and they were the subjects of a film 'Sid and Nancy'. In 1978 he awoke from a drug fuelled stupor to find her dead on the bathroom floor, from a single stab wound to the abdomen.

He was charged with her murder, and there seems to be little doubt that he was the culprit but in Feb 1979 he was realeased on bail and was 'celebrating' and died of a heroin overdose on 2nd February, aged 22. It was thought to be an accident but a few days later his mother found a suicide note in his jacket pocket.

He said that Nancy was the love of his life and he wanted to be buried next to her, but as she was buried in a Jewish cemetary and he was not Jewish this was not possible, so his mother scattered his ashes on her grave.


When his mother died some time later she allegedly made a deathbed confession that she had given him an overdose, enough to kill 2 people, as she said he would not have been able to handle life behind bars.
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I can now tell you that two of the teachers for scrapbook classes will be Sarah-Jane Dowsett and Laura Buckingham. You will probably know both of them through the Design Team for Scrapbook Inspirations magazine, now sadly ceased publication. And they will both feature in the Scrapbook Inspirations Book which is due out in March.

Both of them produce some amazing work and together with Jane Gill who will be teaching some Floral Punch Craft cards and Zoe Pierson who is a Stamping Up demonstrator there should be some really interesting classes going on.

Here is laura's blog http://mmwwaahh211.blogspot.com/
And Sarah-Jane's blog www.scrappyfairy.blogspot.com
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I threatened some daily snippets so here is the first one.

Mary Shelley nee Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was a British novelist best known for her Gothic novel 'Frankenstein'.

Her mother died when she was eleven days old but brought up by her father, he provided her with a rich, informal education, encouragng her to adhere to his liberal political theories.

In 1814 Mary began a relationship with one of her fathers political followers, the married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. They left for France and travelled through Europe and on her return Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years they were faced with ostracism, constant debt and the death of their prematurely born daughter. They married in 1816 after the suicide of his wife, Harriet.

In 1816 they spent the summer with Lord Byron in Geneva where it is said she conceived the idea for 'Frankenstein'.

They left Britain in 1818 for Italy where her next two children died before she gave birth to her only surviving child, Percy Florence. In 1822 Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned when his sail boat capsized during a storm in the Bay of La Sezia.

The last decade of her life was dogged by illness and she died of a brain tumour on 1February 1851 aged 53


If you are looking for inspiration and have a limied budget you don't need to go to Geneva, why not have a look at our Around a Pound section where you will find lots to fire the imagination.