Hi Hollowers!

First of all all of us at Hedgehog Hollow would like to wish you a Happy New Year; we hope 2018 is full of everything you have dreamed of and more!  I have sat down to write this post many times but the words have been difficult to find.  Hedgehog Hollow has grown from strength to strength in 2017, far beyond my wildest dreams.  I started the year on a few hundred YouTube subscribers and I end the year on over 11,000. Thank you so much for all your love and support; it has been unwavering and we love each and every one of you that chooses to spend your time at the Hollow.  Below I have picked my favorite eight projects of the year and I have added links to the videos in case you missed any of them.  We have seen lots of changes personally and at the Hollow.  Greg and I bought our first home together; even bigger was that it was in Ohio, having made the move to the States in November 2016.  I know they say buying a house is stressful but I can assure you buying it in a new country is even more so and we nearly didn’t make it!

Our girls have grown up another year; Maddi is growing into a wonderful young women and Tilly is talking more and more; she is such a character and loves the kitchen you all watched us build Christmas Eve! We have just engaged a wonderful team to help us update the Hedgehog Hollow logo, that will be coming in January, we are also moving to a .com; don’t worry our .co.uk will still redirect to the site and we will let you know as soon as that’s ready to go.  We are also launching a weekly newsletter with exclusive content and giveaways plus its a great way to keep up with everything happening at the Hollow.

On a more personal note we have had lots of challenges this year.  Maddi has had her fair share of health issues and we are continuing to battle those; although overall she is definitely improving.  I have also had a rough end to the year, many of you have noticed I have not been posting as often and I thank you for all your lovely emails and messages checking in on me.  It has been a very difficult December; firstly Greg’s grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was unable to join us for Christmas as she had planned; Greg was also unable to ravel to the UK as we were waiting on our Green Card interim approval (which came Christmas Eve!).  Then I discovered a breast lump; the doctors have been amazing and took me straight in for tests.  After many many visits they are still unsure what the lump is and I will need surgery early next year to remove it and biopsy; at the same time they have also completed genetic testing due to a high family history so pending these results I made need further surgeries.  Many of you know I also had a hysterectomy before we moved to the USA due to cancerous cells so it has been pretty tough going and at times I have wanted to throw in the towel. But these big and little people keep me going (this is my view right now)

In July I also learnt my Grandfather had passed away the previous October; a man you all know I was incredibly close to and has inspired my life to much; I was completely heartbroken by this news and whilst I still find there I days I sit and sob it does get easier and over time you learn to live with the news.  However, the Hollow did reconnect me with my Aunt, and for that I am truly grateful; she found me not knowing who I was and was just an avid viewer until she left a comment and noticing her surname we reconnected and email regularly and we both hope to meet each other soon on one or other side of the Atlantic.  She is the only family member I still have any connection to and it is all thanks to the Hollow.  I also have some wonderful adopted family in my stamping Mum, Denise; a wonderful woman who truly cares for the whole Prickle and who I know is always there if I need her and of course all of you who are always checking in and also thank you for all your wonderful cards not only at Christmas but throughout the year.

As 2017 draws to a close it has certainly challenged us physically, mentally and emotionally but we are all stronger for it.  greg and I write in our cards every year how rough thick and thin we work together as a team and every challenge just makes us stronger together.  We truly are a team and look forward to seeing Hedgehog Hollow ingrowing in 2018.  Without all of you we wouldn’t be hear spending time doing what we truly love.  I am so excited to be attending Creativation (formally CHA) in January.  We know that there will be a tough time when Greg’s grandmother leaves us, but we are all prepared to support each other when that time comes.  I have aspirations to have our own product ranges of stamps and dies later on in the year and we have a few things in the works for that.  I would also love to share some British and German recipes with you; I made 15 Stollen this Christmas for family, neighbors and friends and they were such a hit so that’s definitely on the agenda to share next Holiday season!

Some more highlights from the year are the wonderful companies I have had the pleasure of working with; there are some wonderful small business owners in the industry and I’m so glad you all support them so wonderfully.  Some highlights for me were having videos featured on Scrapbook.com’s channel and then being able to film in their studios in Phoenix; I hope I get to go back next year.  Demonstrating for Elizabeth Craft Designs was so much fun and I’m glad I got to meet so many of you.  Plus making the move from Stampin’ Up! it was definitely a hard decision but has opened up a huge world of ideas and products that I can share with you.  A few of my favorite from this year were the Distress Oxides, my new Cricut Maker (of course!) and theres’ so many stamps to choose from that I couldn’t possibly pick one; I have worked on some amazing design teams this year both full time and as a guest and I hope to be able to bring you more next year.  As I type this we have around 8 inches of snow and Greg and the Girls are off playing outside the window (we have moved my craft room from the basement to the office, more on that in another post) but they are having so much fun; I can’t join them as I’ve hurt my foot and need to rest it!  We have so much coming up in 2018 so don’t forget you can follow everything on Instagram (@HedgehogHollow) plus we put lots on Facebook too plus we will be bringing Facebook live back again! We also often pop in for a quick YouTube live so don’t forget to subscribe there too!

Thank you again or all your support in 2017, I can’t wait to share lots of new ideas, tips, product and techniques with you next year and beyond.  I now have my favorite eight of 2017, click any of the descriptions to jump to the video…

1) My shaker box, I loved this idea and will be trying out some other shapes too, but this under the sea one won me the GDP that week too, my first award!

2) Distress oxides inks are one of my favorite new products this year and this was my first time using them; I can’t believe how far our photos and videos have improved since this early one too.

3) I still love this mandala box card; it’s so pretty and really easy with the co-ordinating dies; I still have one of these left and it will forever live on my shelf!

4) Having my cards on TV was a HUGE thing for me; I still have the footage from HSN when these babies came up and theres lots of them too!

5) Waffle Flower is one of my favorite companies, I just love the artist they have and their style; plus their inks are wonderful too! This was a Christmas card I made and sent to Nina.

6) This was great fun to show you how to stretch your supplies, we used one stamp three completely different ways to give you completely different results…

7) I was honored to get an email from Maymay Made It, Mayday herself had found the Hollow and wanted me as a guest; I still love this card so much!

8) Elizabeth Craft is a wonderful company; they are family owned and produces the most amazing products and designs; this card was a favorite of mine this season.

9) OK, I totally suck at keeping to 8; this one had to make it in, it’s one of my best Copic colored images and I was always disappointed with how few views it got (total honesty here!); this little guy is really on of my favorite of all time!

10) This couldn’t not be in; I Amy have had it only a short time but its AMAZING everyone even Greg has been amazed at its capability and I’ve tried so much with it that I just haven’t got to edit yet with everything else going around; but let’s leave it as I’m completely converted from Silhouette!

Thanks so much for doing me today; I know its a long post but thanks for reading it all; I hope you have enjoyed my top picks and some reflection on the year as well as being as excited as we are for all the things to come!

Happy Stamping and a very Happy New Year!