Sunday, April 17, 2016

Laying out the layouts

My scrapping often gets overlooked - what with me being a rubbish blogger and all, so here is a quick catch up
Crikey - it turns out I have loads!
I won't go into detail then, if you are curious about anything then just drop me a comment.
These are all personal layouts i.e. not for Design team work, although a lot of the embellishments are from Quirky Kits because Leo is so generous with them
This first one comes from a sketch by Susan aka Miniowner who has a great blog here. This is the sketch 

And this is what I did with it
Warning - its bright
 Even all those bright colours don't detract (in my humble opinion) from the riot of colours of the market. All the papers are from Illustrated Faith, as are almost all the embellishments

 And here is the layout that is all about the fruit we paid a king's ransom for in said market. The title sums it up
 That gold mat stuff? I have had that and never used it since I began scrapping 10 years ago.

 Whilst I am in confessional mood, this story needed to be told but I am still cringing...

 The big flower carefully hides a woman who spoiled the view :)
Two more...

No, three!

 I will try and keep up with myself better in future.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Don't panic, don't panic

I am very good at panicking.
Some things don't help.
Like the letter yesterday about the fact that my pension will be frozen as I am changing employer. Seeing that written down made it seem more real.
Then I realised that I only have 4 more services left in each of my current churches.
And my DBS clearance hasn't come through yet and I can't move without it, but I have had to give notice and
Lets just put our trust in God. (But please, police, do my application next)

And perhaps focussing on  crafting would be better.
I still haven't blogged last weeks card and it was my turn and everything.
I chose "Buddha's birthday" as a theme, suggesting that people could go all oriental. I did it in the simplest fashion

I punched out oodles of flowers using a Stampin' Up punch that does three at a time (yay!) I cut them from watercolour paper so that I could paint the middles using Clean Colour watercolour pens. I did cut the branch using a Dienamics die and again used pens to colour it in.
The background is also diecut - a stitched rectangle and as this was watercolour paper I was able to use some different blue and purple paint colours (the Gambai set) that were blended together and spritzed with a perfect pearls wash.
The sentiment was cut out three times and stuck together. 
By this time the background was dry so I was able to put everything together. Some of my cherry blossoms were raised on foam pads and all of them had a little dot of Daffodil stickles in the middle
I've been trying to clear out some of my stash before the move. I'm not being too ruthless yet as I will be working with at least one school who might be grateful for cast offs. I threw out a lot of random die cuts that I had been sent with purchases and never used but I did find a massive word which I decided to hang onto. Lo and behold it turned out to be just the thing I needed for this week's dare which is all about using primary colours.
Yes, I did use watercolour paper, thanks for asking
but no, it isn't pen or palette - this time the colour comes from a rather lovely watercolour dye ink set I have had for about 8 years. Oh I have just found it online here. The colours are really vibrant and I still adore it
 On this card I just used the yellow, red and blue, allowing them to run a little bit. I then die cut the stiched square and attached the sentiment on top with foam squares. I decided the little red gem would be a nice finishing touch  but probably means the card will have to be hand delivered!

I was on a roll so I made another card, this time allowing the background colours to blend and create others. I also used a brand new WPlus9 rose die set on the top.
 the blue ink came up a lot brighter than it was when I stamped the sentiment - but I think it works better than black would have. (I know, I'm surprised I said that too)

I've made a few other cards this week in what Phil likes to call "old lady style". I couldn't resist buying some more WPlus9 flower stamps and they are a joy to colour combined with those Kuretake Clean Colour pens
 You can't really see the Wink of Stella but it is there
all shimmery and lovely

I've coloured the flowers using a few different mediums - but haven't finished off any of the others yet. It is amazing how different all the cards look


Friday, April 01, 2016

Some you win, some you lose...

Well Easter is over, Jesus is risen - hurray!
I've been having a lovely week's holiday - hurray!
but the dog just ate the last of my mini eggs - boo!
(I know dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate. She doesn't pinch any other food and it isn't the first time she has devoured chocolate. We will just have to watch and wait)

Phil and I visited 3 National Trust properties in 3 days - one which will be close to our new house (we were there measuring and looking at what painting needs to be done) and 2 close to here that we always meant to visit and now don't have much time for - Greenway (fabulous) and Compton Castle (very old, doesn't take long to go round). It also means that our NT tickets are already half "paid for" for the year! We hope to revisit Coleton Fishacre before we move as that is absolutely my cup of tea and I would move in if I could!

I've also done a little crafting as well. Its been good to recharge the batteries. I love my card for last weeks Daring dare. This weeks? not so much...
Last week the challenge was to celebrate Spring with spring themed cards that also featured a spring if possible 
 I watercoloured a background using peerless watercolours and then added in some Doodle stamp flowers that have been coloured and on my desk for, well probably a year! So this card also has a spring-cleaning element! I added some doodle stems and then middle flower is on a paper spring so it wobles
I just don't get tired of those flowers and the bright Kuretake clean colour pens.
This week it is an elemental inspiration week as today is April 1st (eek). 
Its a lovely photo butI really struggled with this and don't like the card I have made at all
I like the extra stripes I put onto the pink paper and quite like the rabbit (and the extra arm that comes from one of the other sets) but I'm not happy with the whole thing. Having a splodge from the black ink that needed covering up with a yellow flower didn't help....) The others have made a much better fist of it than I have so do go and have a look.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Its the most busiest time of the year....

Yup, people think Ministers have a lot on at Christmas time but it is nothing to Lent, Holy Week and Easter. The latter is more straightforward in that there is more work but less having to run around and get presents and food etc at the same time. I even made sure all the churches had enough palm crosses this year (that's a first for a while without having to have last minute deliveries!)

Its all good - but doesn't leave a lot of crafting time
I have finished another crochet project which I will carefully photograph so you can't see the mistakes in it. If I ever make another bag I know what to do now - but couldn't bring myself to take it right back again, again. Most of my crochet projects have to be rewound at least once. But they always end up better and stronger for doing so. (And I will always look at my bag and wish I had gone back and started again). There is something profound and theological in the need to go back and start afresh and how that is the best thing. I'll ahve to work on my theological reflections on crochet a bit more. Feel free to ask about the theology of dieting, I can rant about articulate my beliefs on that score more easily!

I have had some time to craft today - I made myself take a real day off, even though it means working like a mad thing the rest of the week. Because that rest is needed to get me through. And it has given me a chance to photograph things I finished in an actual spare moment over the last few weeks.
Two weeks ago the Daring challenge was Speedy

...and of all the die cuts in all the world, Nat and I chose the same one. What are the chances? Pop over to the Daring blog to see how different our cards look. I used papers from the same collection (I am) to create a kind of scene for the bike to rest on. Not my best effort but I tried...

This week I was very late to the party with this card. We were challenged to use Kraft on our cards. I decided to use it to colour on and this was the result
I stamped the Winnie and Walter Addie's garden flowers with white ink and then coloured them in using Prismacolour pencils. I did try to watercolour first - can you spot the poorly leaf? The pencils were awesome though. After colouring them I added Wink of Stella glitter pen and then went back round the images with a white gel pen. The Paper Smooches stamp was embossed onto thick vellum and I die cut the matching word three times - the top layer is glittery - to give it dimension. I added the Prima sparkles because I couldn't get the vellum to lay down flat!

I've also been making layouts for Quirky Kits recently - here are the latest two

 using the same set of papers and embellishments! It shows just how clever and creative these kits are


Monday, March 07, 2016

All change

Yesterday I had the difficult task of giving notice. Being a Minister, you don't do it by letter or a quick chat to your boss (although I suppose prayer is involved...) but by telling a whole congregation all at once. And in fact, as I have two congregations a letter was involved so ignore most of the above!

Anyway, what I told them was that I am moving to a new post, as Minister of Cranbrook. A town on the edge of Exeter which hasn't been finished yet to be Minister of Cranbrook, a church with no building. So, a very different and challenging job with lots of exciting, creative possibilities.  Leaving is hard though and I have not been in Torbay that long so it was really quite a shock. I won't be replaced immediately, which has its pros and cons but does mean people will have to take on some of my responsibilities and that is tough too. But as my Moderator (bit like a bishop) who is a wise and lovely person has said, if God has called me to Cranbrook, then God will look after my churches too.

In crafty news... I finished my crochet blanket JUST in time to send to my mammy.

It is the Spice of Life CAL pattern for those who understand such things. I am disappointed with my edging. I have the same pick up issues that I do with knitting - where I end up with holes. I just hope mum thinks it is part of the design!

It went with this card
 which was also handily, my Daring Cardmakers submission this week. As it is the beginning of March, our challenge was an Elemental Inspiration one.
Here is the picture we had as a jump off point
 Hurray, I thought, I can use my new Clearly Besotted tulips set! So I did. I was also inspired by the yellow painty splodge, the ric rac, the colours and the woodgrain. What woodgrain I hear you ask? Why the enamel dot above the "i". It has a subtle, but honestly there, woodgrain!

The paper is really, really old Websters Papers - but that is not as old as the Doodlebug paper frill ricrac which I have had forever!
Life is going to get even more complex in the next few weeks but hopefully I will still find a little time to craft and possibly even blog


Friday, February 26, 2016

Yes it is actually Friday

And Friday is the day when I plan to post but usually don't manage it.
However that means that there is very little to show as this has been a mostly work and not play week - apart from the great crochet project with a Mother's Day deadline. The Jury is still out on that one being completed on time...

What I can share is my Daring Card this week
our theme is Simply Irresistable and I couldn't resist (hah!) using it as an excuse to try out a technique I saw on Jennifer McGuire's blog.
Now obviously her card turned out waaaaaaaaaay better than mine but as a first go I am quite pleased

You heat emboss a stamp with white powder, then cover the whole card base with dark distress ink (this is the awesome Blueprint sketch). Then you lift colour with a water brush and paint on some other watered down colours when that is dry. I think the cardstock I used was slightly too absorbant so will try this with other cardstock as I love the graphic colours.
I also added some wink of stella shimmer which I don't think you can see even on a close up. Although you can see my imperfect painting!

I trimmed down the image to a size I like and added a white card mat. Then I found a strip of patterned paper that complemented the stamping as the card was a little too bare without a something else.
I used a Clearly Besotted sentiment which was stamped and embossed on one of the offcuts of the first card. The image was raised with foam pads.

I made it while listening to "the Last Anniversary" by Liane Moriarty on my ipod. Oh what a delightful listen. It is probably a good read too, but having it read with an Aussie accent helps with the context I think. I've just finished it and highly recommend it (a few swear words but no graphic sex scenes. I hate the latter in an audio book....)

Right off to have lunch. I know that part of it will feature these
I had a Lent  Bible Study last night and the theme is "Feasting in a time of Fasting". As each study is linked to a food story I thought we ought to have matching nibbles. I did, of course decide this at the last minute and headed to my local shop wondering if there would be anything remotely fish shaped and tasty as the story was the miracle of the loaves and fish
Ta dah!
They even look like little loaves rather than chips to me.
And it turns out they are incredibly delicious.
There are not 12 baskets left over but there are two packets and one is calling my name.
I also saw this on Facebook this morning which might have helped our discussions yesterday :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Missed again

Poor little blog. Still, I do what I can!
I've been away with Phil to see Carys this week. We had a lovely time in Bradford and have lined up some things to do (for free) next year. We were allowed to watch a rehearsal of her next show and sing Karaoke in the bar with the students (my parents would not have been allowed. mind you karaoke hadn't been invented when I was a student)

So here is a craft catch up
The Friday before last the Daring theme was "Party Animal"
and here is mine
(lousy weather for photographing)
Love this grumpy looking horse being made to dress up. I had fun going through die cuts to make him look thoroughly embarrassed! Most are Maggie Holmes. I layered up papers and added a glitter circle as otherwise the star of the show got a bit lost. A craftwork cards sentiment completed the look.
It is quite a bulky card
This week I am late with the card as I was away so to make up for it made two on the Geometric theme.
It was an excuse to play with the three new stamp sets that arrived this week - a background, some flowers and those labels

One was embossed with black and the other white. I used Clean Colour pens for the background of the first and all the flowers/leaves. The second was painted using Distress Pads, water and plastic. I had some trouble with my embossing folder (It is really too thick for a Cuttlebug) and so had to cut down/disguise where it went wrong.
So which is best? I can't decide!

I've also managed to squeeze in time to do two layouts for Quirky Kits (details on the QK blog)

and finally.... something completely different.

One of my Churches has worked hard on a new entrance and toilets and we had the official opening this Saturday. I love the entrance being uncluttered but felt it needed a little bit of art so I made this
I used square 8x8 canvases and iridescent paint. Originally the lines were going to be straight, but they looked much better loose and blendy (I think there is a sermon in there somewhere) (there is a sermon in almost everything). As Brixham is by the sea/countryside I wanted to reflect that. I used 4 colours as well as the gold. A lovely man from church put it on the wall for me. I had visualised it with all horizontal stripes but quite like the verticals too.

And here I am next to it in my uniform so you get a sense of scale
with my phone in my pocket. Tsk!