Friday, 31 October 2014


About two years ago myself and a friend were driving home from Athlone. We had about 120 miles to go and it was late enough in the evening. We were full of chat having spent the day at a craft show and neither of us were tired as we had driven down the day before and stayed over.

No need for the radio since both of us could talk for Ireland and so about a half hour into the drive we were both a bit startled when the car dashboard beeped to let us know we were low on petrol. I hadn't had the wit to check the level before we'd set off.

I completely believe the maths when it tells me that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and so I'm not one for following motorways when it looks like I can go more directly from A to B on country roads. I like to think I have a great sense of direction and so I'd taken a cross country route home.

I know there's about 30 miles left in the tank before I really run out of juice and so I'm not really panicking as such but I get my friend to flip on 'Nuala' the sat nav to see if she can pinpoint a service station - it's not like Ireland is that big and there's probably one round the next hedge. It's been pitch dark since about 7 or so anyhow and I'm on country roads that I'm not familar with and so it's handy to have the sat nav to fall back on.

A while back we passed a signpost for Trim, and so I know that I'm somewhere between Trim and Navan and neither is further than 10km so really, there's not a problem.

Blasted sat nav can't find a satellite and so I do what any girl scout would do and keep going 'til I reach a small village, we knock the door of a 70's style bungalow and the nice lady who lives there tells us that we're only about 4 miles from a service station - she even telephones ahead to make sure he is still open - it's about ten to nine and he's getting ready to close up, but he says he'll wait for us - where would you get better?

It's a grand clear night and even though there's no lighting along the country roads, the sky is clear as glass and, for a change it's not raining. I turn into a stretch of road about a mile long and poker straight. I'm doing about 35mph, which I don't think is excessive when my foots takes a convulsion and slams itself on the brake. Thankfully the brakes are great and we don't skid further than about 4-5 feet. About a nanosecond later my eyes register the shape of a big-ish white dog standing in the road, about a foot in front of the headlights -  and I mean just standing there. He's not looking at us, he is standing in the middle of the road, side-on to the car, just standing there staring into the hedge. He gets bigger every time I tell this story, but in truth he was about the size and shape of a Wolfhound. I have no clue how I didn't see him, his back is taller than the bonnet of the car, he is all white and the headlights are practically bouncing off him. He must have leapt out of the hedge on the right, mentally I give him the full 10 points for a perfect landing, he's not even swaying.

I turn to tell my friend that he must be hunting something in the ditch under the hedge, his concentration is powerful and she's laughing at me "What are you, the dog whisperer?" we both turn back to him and he's gone. Must have went in after whatever it was he was hunting, 35 mph now feels a little fast and my heart is still racing, so I put the car into first and prepare to crawl forward a bit, I'm paranoid now that the dog will bounce back out onto the road, and I'd rather not run him over, so I ask my friend to keep a look out on the left and I take the right - for about a split second I wonder if he is lost and should I try to nab him and take him somewhere, but he just didn't have that 'lost dog' air about him and I decide that he's a local and he'll be grand. It's a bit dark out and I really don't fancy running round fields trying to catch a dog while keeping the petrol man waiting. Also he's a bit on the large side. I wonder if he is deaf, or blind even, he didn't take us under his notice and it was odd the way he didn't even look at us. Poor oul thing. This all takes place in the space of about 5 seconds, and as I let down the hand brake and press my foot on the pedal an ear splitting crack rents the air like a gunshot. The shock of the sound makes me jerk my foot off the pedal and I freeze. My friend freezes. It sounds like a ton of gravel is raining down on the car, I hear a huge rusty hinge creaking and the gravel is still raining. The car is bouncing slightly as it stalls and something vast hits the tip of the bonnet, the back end of the car raises ever so slightly then bounces down again and we roll back a couple of inches. The gravel stops raining but I can see nothing. "What the H*** is happening?" I shout. Silence.

It takes about a full 5 minutes for us to realise that we are in the canopy of a massive tree. Neither of us can get a door open, but we climb into the back seats and I pop the boot. We climb out into the road and back into the clear moonlight.

A massive tree has come down in the road right at the front end of the car. We are shaking. Speechless. We walk back to the 70's bungalow. Phone home. Hot sweet tea. The nice lady phones the Garda and they get the road closed off and organise getting the car out of the tree. Few scratches, front bumper is off, but Garda Timoney thinks I have a sixth sense - he notices there's no collision marks on the tree trunk - and he's seen the skid marks on the road - "How did you get stopped in time? you couldn't have known that tree was going to fall?"

I just tell him that I slammed on the brake when I saw the big white dog. Garda Timoney's eyes dart to his fellow officer, who stops writing and looks back at him, nice lady spills her tea.

*Garda - Irish Police

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

...Pin it winner!

Folks, very many thanks for  taking part in our pin-it competition! Congratulations go to our randomly selected Pin-it winner:

Lynn Hardy who said... Pinned here

Lynn, pop us an email on and we will get your £30GBP gift code out to you!

... last minute Halloween freebies and ideas

Folks I'm sure you are all knee deep in pumpkin guts right about now - and have all your gift packs all made up, labelled and ready to go, but, If like me, you are still scrabbling with trying to set up your party and make cards you can get more Halloween Inspiration here on our Pinterest Board (the Vampire blood bottle was a project from the Wanda's Pantry release)

And on the off chance that you are in need of any practical help with your last minute prep here are some freebies:
 Downloadable printable Bat Poop poem, click here to go to the store where you can download it:
This works great with purple or green millions, chocolate covered raisins, or even just plain raisins if your cupboard is depleted like mine...

For super fast treat containers, you might like these twist pouches, click here:

And these open sweetie pouches, great for the table, click here to go to the store and get the free template:

And this fun Warty Witch - click here - be sure to leave one end of her unglued so you can add sweeties!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

...New Stamps and dies for October!

Good evening and welcome to the October 2014 New Product Release at Waltzingmouse Stamps! A great big Welcome to all of our friends and to the new folks joining us for the first time - Hello, we hope you find something different here!
I want to make sure that everyone knows all the important bits so here are a few points of interest:

We offer Free shipping on orders over £60GBP to anywhere. Yep, anywhere.

We now run a Loyalty scheme and folks can gather points each time they order, points turn into discounts so it's worth joining if you have not already, for full details click here. Even if you have not shopped with us in a while, you may already have some points gathered up - we were able to backdate the scheme as far as 1 November 2012!

We have a super Freebie for this release - The first 50 orders over £70GBP placed after the new release goes live will receive a £5GBP gift code for the store. The gift codes will be sent out during the week after the release.

We are running a Pin it Competition for this release - we want you to Pin your favourite samples created by the WMS Design Team or myself for this release to your own Pinterest boards. You can pin samples from any of the 3 preview days on any of the DT blogs or from today's blog hop. Use this hashtag #waltzingmouse, then come back and leave us a link to the pin in the comments on this post. For each project you Pin just leave a separate comment.

 Since we have already been running our sharing giveaways in the 3 days leading up to release, many of you will already have pinned - you can go ahead and use those pins and just leave a comment here to enter this competition also, but we would take it as a great favour if you would care to pin something new from today's release blog hop and leave a comment on that! Thank you!

For those of you who don't have Pinterest, just leave a little comment telling us what your favourites are. One random winner will be chosen just before midnight (GMT) on the 30th October. The winner will receive a lovely £30GBP store code!

Design Team Blog Hop

While we are waiting for the store to open you might like to visit our Design Team to see their creations for the traditional release day hop:

New goodies for October

and here they are!

Flurries clear photopolymer stamp set - size 6x4

Jolly Old Elf clear photopolymer stamp set - size 6x8

Jolly Old Elf Cut Files digital download product represented by red lines in this graphic - for use with electronic cutter.

 Elf Made clear photopolymer stamp set - size 6x4

Elf Made Cut files digital download product represented by red lines in this graphic - for use with electronic cutter.

Pretty panels One die set - one piece

Pretty Panels Two die set - one piece

Hope it tickles, don't forget to enter our Pin it competition - scroll back up for details!

...our giveaway winners!

We ran 3 giveaways during the new release previews, here are the winners:

Suezie who said... 
Lovin the simplicity Claire! wins a set of Flurries stamps
Fay Marie who said... This elf is a cutie!! I will be sharing with my stamp club through email. wins a set of Jolly Old Elf stamps
Susan who said... "I've pinned all three of your cards. Can't wait to see the full reveal tomorrow!" wins a set of Elf Made stamps

Congratulations ladies! If you can pop us an email on - OR if you are placing an order just pop a note on the order and we will get your goodies out to you!

Thank you to everyone who shared, pinned, tweeted and generally helped spread the word!