I'm a Mother not a Martyr…

Archive for the ‘Sam’s Life’ Category

Cakes for bribery?

Today I shall be baking cakes. Not fairy cakes or cupcakes, but big old round ones.


Because my husband promised his staff that if they did a particular job, his wife would make them a cake!

He even got them to choose between chocolate and Victoria sponge. All before I knew anything about it!

Pleased that he’s so proud of my cake baking ability, but I hate baking big cakes…

And wondering what I’ll actually be getting out of this deal except a pile of washing up and a flour covered kitchen.

Papercraft blog

For those who are into their crafty stuff, you can now find my dedicated paper blog at Pootles and over there I’ll be giving tips and hints, and sharing products available from Stampin’ Up! UK, of which I am now an independent demonstrator!

Exciting times ahead!

The Gift Of Knowledge and Love

Recently I heard a man say wonderful things about his late father.

He said that his father had given him two gifts that he was able to keep himself.

His father had shared his overwhelming knowledge of the world, life and his experiences. Yet his father kept that knowledge as well.

His father had also shared his unending love for his wife and sons, but also retained in his heart his love.

To give a gift is nice. To give it without agenda is divine. To give it while keeping it is without measure.

I hope that one day someone will eulogise about me in such wonderful words.

To Dave. A man with a huge heart, mind, spirit.

Website overhaul!

In my other life as a makeup artist, my once super-stylish, ahead-of-the-game website that I built about 8 years ago is looking a bit old and tired and badly in need of a spruce up.

I love that it’s black and red, that’s been my signature colour combination for more years than I care to remember, (Over a decade!) and I shall definitely hang on to that pairing!

I had a logo designed about 4 years ago by Verve who do loads of designs for beauty brands and professionals, but other than getting business cards printed, I’ve never got around to adding the logo to my site.

I love how my initials look like a swish of lipstick, and while I was unsure of the font used on my full name, I quite like that it’s unfussy apart from a tiny flick on the letter ends.

So, before I upload and overhaul, what do you think?


Www.samdonald.com is my current, but tired old website!

Angel Policies, have you heard of them?

An angel policy is a paper crafting term that’s used by designers to protect their designs from being mass produced.

It usually relates to where a designer has licensed their images to a paper craft company who then manufacturer products to be used in the making of cards and other paper stationery.

More often than not, it will relate to a rubber stamped image. For example, hallmark cards license some of their characters (tatty teddy, Wellington Bear etc) to a company called Docrafts who then create papers, rubber stamps, embellishments etc, all along that theme.

When you rubber stamp an image, it’s essentially reproducing an image over and over again, so copyright may come into question.

However, this is where the angel policy comes into play.

The designer and manufacturer will agree a limit to the number of stamped images that an individual can make.  Eg, 50 cards with one particular rubber stamped image is fairly normal.

It is there to restrict mass market sales (hallmark obviously make their own cards and don’t want Jane Smith up the road creating 5,000 cards to compete with them!), and to keep a cap on just how much their image is reproduced.

However, as I don’t do rubber stamping, and don’t use preprinted images all that often, the angel policy is quite a grey area for my crafting.

I’ve just had a lovely conversation with a licensing manager at Hallmark Cards because someone decided that my 6 week old online shop ought to be reported for abusing copyrights.

Fortunately I’m not (I knew that anyway, having checked all angel policies first!), but it did amuse us both that someone took time out from their day to go to my website, then go to Hallmark’s site, find their ‘report’ page, fill in the contact form and send the email.

For 2 notepads.

I have no idea who would utilise their time I  such a way, and obviously for data protection purposes, Hallmark cannot release that information.

I’m not really bothered, but what it has done is put my designs right in front of the biggest greetings card manufacturer in the World.

There’s always a silver lining!

Happy crafting (and don’t forget to check the angel policies, if you’re unsure, email the designer)

Sam x

Paper is so gentle.

There’s something very soothing about pretty paper. No matter what stresses and strains are happening in your life, looking at some aesthetically pleasing paper can soothe and calm.


Don’t get me wrong, the stuff bites back if you don’t handle it correctly (counts paper cuts), but the very nature of its symmetry and singular dimension makes it totally without hidden agenda and without opinion.


The very action of taking a ruler and pencil to a piece of paper and rhythmically cutting, trimming and folding is very relaxing, and knowing that I’ve created something unique from scratch pleases me.


I wonder how long I can craft with paper before I’m so chilled out I’m horizontal!

Happy crafting!

My Papercraft Lovelies!

Calling someone an Evil B!tch is poor business practice.

I adore the internet. It makes a massive world very much smaller. It has reacquainted me with old school and college friends. Introduced me to new friends and kept me in touch with close friends when the ties of motherhood may have otherwise severed those bonds.

I cherish each of those relationships, and am glad that I live in modern times.

And it’s these friendships that have encouraged me to make a go of my Pootles Papercraft new baby, and introduced me to some wonderful crafting artisans who are a long way down the road that I’m just stepping onto.

I call Pootles my baby because it is. I’ve loved and nurtured each product and like my own sons, would find it impossible to choose a favourite.

Like my children, if anyone criticised my creation, I’d be upset, however that would be where the similarities ended.

I’d take on the mantle of Mummy Tiger and tear strips off anyone who criticised my child, but I wouldn’t if someone decided they didn’t like something I’d made.

There is a reason for this post, I’m getting there….

Because I move in lots of different Internet circles, beauty, motherhood, craft etc, I sometimes stumble across things that cross the various divides.

It’s the classic follow a link which leads to another and another and another.

Last night I was watching YouTube videos on soap making. (Did you realise just how much work goes into making soaps? Wow, these people are seriously talented!)

Anyway, one link led to another and I started reading comments. I was shocked to see a viewer make a comment regarding the price of the soaps and the response from the YouTuber was to call her an Evil Bitch!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about loving your product and totally get how passionate crafters are about their products, but one wonders if the soap maker ought to distance themselves a little more?

I have yet to see the supplier of Asda bolognese sauce start calling individuals names, and damn, they’re getting a hell of a lot of criticism right now!

So this post it not about the soap maker, but more as a reminder to myself that while my paper products are my babies, there is a time when I’ll maybe have to come up against criticism and have to bite my lip.

Mummy Tiger to my children, but dignified head on for crafts.

Love to you all, your children and your creations.  Xx

Pootles Papercraft is open for business!

Well, I set myself the challenge last week to have the dotcom shop open by February 1st, and I’ve just about done it!

Pootles Papercraft!

Building the shop wasn’t hard, though I could possibly have tinkered it to death if I’d been left any longer…

It was taking and uploading photos and trying to get coordinating products made in time that took my so long (and some very late nights!)

I haven’t managed to get all the coordinated products completed, but I shall relax and enjoy making them at my leisure (probably tonight knowing me!)

I would love it if you would take a look, maybe leave a message on the guest book!

I’ve opened a new Facebook page too http://www.facebook.com/pootlespapercraft

So, wish me luck and as my friend Lovely says, Pinch Punch first Pootle of the month!

S xx


According to sky, research has shown that it now costs £222,000 to raise a child to the age of 21.


In that case, it would cost my husband (and a little from me!) around a million pounds to raise our 4 sons.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is expensive having children. We haven’t had a foreign holiday in years. We don’t go on nights out, and we do spend time with family as a way of socialising.

However, I’m a self confessed frugal queen and well known for planning ahead.

It was expensive when we were preparing for Jack, our eldest, but family assisted by buying cot, pram etc and though I did choose the pricier end of the market, it was deliberate. And all 4 boys have used the same equipment.

And while these days you’re less likely to find me buying clothes for the youngest 2 from next or mamas and papas, the clothes I bought from there over the years are still going strong and are handed down from brother to brother.

In fact my 3 youngest were all wearing hand me down pyjamas last night!

In recent years though, I have discovered that George at Asda does a good range of ‘scrapping about the house’ clothes. The older 2 are more likely to wear out their clothes before they grow out of them.

And uniform basics (trousers/socks) are good from there too. I have tall but slim children, and haven’t found anywhere else that stocks trousers with adjustable waistbands.

It’s not just clothes that are expensive though. Food costs are rising anyway, without the appetites of my family taken into consideration.

For years now, I’ve shopped on a monthly basis for the bulk of our food.

It does mean some hefty planning of meals, but it does mean a smaller food bill each month.

I don’t buy sweets, snacks and treats on a weekly basis which I know would add a lot to our bill.

I also buy the cheap budget range for those kinds of things.

The children don’t care if they get Tyrrells crisps or Asda own brand. They just want a bag of crisps! And they know that when it’s gone from the cupboard its gone and won’t be restocked til the next month (aren’t I mean!)

And there is nothing wrong with buying a tin of own brand corned beef instead of prince’s posh stuff!

We have our milk delivered and I always have eggs, flour etc in the house and it’s amazing what you can make from nothing if it gets to the end of the month and I’ve lost my inspiration!

And other than stocking up on fresh veg, most of our food comes on the monthly food order, costing around £450 for 6 of us (and yes, that includes nappies and loo roll!)

Okay so it will be some years until we get on an aeroplane for our holiday, but in fact, would you take 4 children on a plane, 1 of whom is a toddler and 1 of whom is a 4 year old? No, me neither.

So while I don’t doubt that it will cost a phenomenal amount of money to raise our family, hopefully it won’t be at the £1 million mark…

Cadbury’s Creme Eggs Are GROSS!


What person dreamed up putting runny fondant cream inside a thick chocolate shell?

Fondant – good

Chocolate – good

Combination – bad!


The fondant is too sweet and too liquid and the chocolate is too hard so you end up with a lump of chocolate breaking off and a sticky, over sweet, goey mess comes out.


Give me a Cadbury’s Mini Egg any day rather than the abomination of a combination that is Cream Egg!


Do you like cream eggs?

(Pics c/o Google images – I’m not going to waste money on a yucky creme egg and the dukan diet doesn’t approve of mini eggs…)