Friday, September 26, 2014


How did that happen? Practically a month has gone by since my last post.
Well there is a four letter answer - WORK
September is always busy for Ministers. And if you have been away from post for 3 months, even busier.
But there was also getting 2 kids ready for and off to Uni which took up a suprising amount of time (my kids have all chosen to be at least 6 hours away from home) (Mind you Torquay is pretty much miles away from most places. It takes 2 hours just to get to Bristol and that is still the South West)
Actually thinking back over the last few weeks, it has been mostly work.
I have done no scrapping at all in that time (sob)
I also had a poorly computer for 2 weeks and had to use the slowest machine in the world which did nothing for my patience. (I apologise to Phil for all the deep sighs, drumming of fingers and occasional rude word from my side of the study).

I have managed to make cards for 3 out of the last 4 dares on Daring Cardmakers. Not necessarily on time I grant you, but they are there now!
Firstly the colour combo for September. Sharon chose this lovely inspiration photo
which I decided to take fairly literally for my card
I have quite a few blue/beige paper pads and used a variety on here. I used a Clearly Besotted Vase die and a Dienamics twig die. And yes, I did die cut and stick lots of leaves on to a base branch which was as time consuming as it looks!
The card is based on a Case This Sketch idea. I do like the offset panel. The CB sentiment was stamped onto a Dienamics tag.
A lot of fiddly foam pad cutting went on to give dimension
And there is also some lovely Wink of Stella shine - so hard to photograph
I had to skip the next Dare due to time constraints but had a great deal of fun with last week's Stencil Revolution
This is the card I put on the DCM blog
I used a die and the die cut space to create a stencil. First I cut a panel a little smaller than the card base. Then I die cut a Spellbinder's cross from the centre. I placed the panel with the cross shaped hole in the middle onto the card base and used Tumbled Glass Distress Ink around the edge and in the middle of the card. Then I put the cross die cut back in and inked the centre again using Peacock Feathers. Finally I took the cross die cut out again and covered the whole cross with diamond glitter paste and left it to dry. When it was fully dry the sentiment was inked and embossed with silver powder. A sparkly gem was a little finishing touch.

Here is what the die cut cross looks like on its own
For this card I covered it in Versamark and then sprinkled silver embossing powder on the top.

The first stencil card is a more sophisticated version of this - my first go
 I also mixed some gold glitter paste with white texture paste which gives more dimension, to create another two stencil cards

Finally for this humungous catch up post, this weeks Daring Cardmaker theme is Miri's choice - Autumnal Forest
The sentiment comes in a set with lots of flowers and leaves but I used some Clearly Besotted stamp and die cut leaves and a mix of inks, plus berries and pine stamps from a Wplus9 set I have. I stuck it all onto a tag and was looking for some cardstock to mat the tag onto when I found this card base in the most perfect shade of green. Because it is from an old Self Addressed card kit it is an American sized card which means it is a better fit into an embossing folder - this is a Tim Holtz one. I scattered a few gems for a bit of extra bling.

Right that will do for now - its time to get back to work :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

And now the end is near....

2 more days until the end of my Sabbatical and it is back to work with a vengeance. (What does that phrase mean and have I spelled it right). September is always a bit mad in church life - because we do like to do less in August I suppose - so it will be a challenge to get back in the saddle again. I hope I will still find time for my creative crafting outlet. After all I have gazillions of photos to scrap and stories to tell - far more than just the usual summer holiday album. (My faith scrapping one of the journey to Holy Island and Shetland already has 18 layouts in it and I have only got to day one on Shetland!)

I'll come back to the layouts in a minute but first need to do some Daring catch up.
Last week I was away (again) at my parents house celebrating my Dad's birthday. His card was a slightly amended previous dare card - my Fantastic Elastic one. But I have already used the August 22nd parties and festivals card as it went to my brother in law who lives near enough to my folks to get a hand delivered card (as it was waaaaaaaay too bulky to post). The DCM team were all privileged to receive a goody bag from Docrafts with various dies and embellishments. I had some gorgeous Christmas goodies. But there is NO WAY I am making a card for that season in August. Which meant my take on the theme had to be a bit of a sideways one
All the buttons, the kraft tag, the twine and the brilliant chalk board peg are from the latest Christmas collection by Docraft. I saw on someone's blog recently (should have pinned it but always forget about Pinterest so sorry inspirational person!) loads of buttons used all at once and so decided to have a go. I also added in Studio Calico papers and made a little party hat! I did some black pen work - my mornally outlining but also going round the circles on one of the papers. I decided to also add some white pen lines to mimic the edge of the chalkboard speech bubble. "Celebrate" is a Paper Smooches stamp and "party on" is handwritten (as you can see better in close up)

Today is my eldest son's 22nd birthday. (I know, how can that be when I am only 30?) (One of those ages is not true in real life, only in someone's head)
We were out celebrating the A level results and started joking about the things bingo callers say like " 2 fat ladies - 88" which gave me the inspiration for my Daring card this week.

Sharon challenged us to be "Clean and Simple".
I think my cards are on that end of the spectrum anyway but I tried to be extra clean this week (I am always simple)
 I was a bit panicked last night (last minute? Me?) when I couldn't remember if I had anything duck related - I have plenty of chicks/hens in various forms. But just in time I remembered my Papertrey Ink baby stamp set with this cute bird. I have just spoiled myself with a set of Peerless Watercolour Paper (the bonus set). It is a strange concept where paint comes on paper but I adore the vibrancy - rather like those dye paints I have. I heat embossed the stamp and used my baby stamppress which does mean I am better at lining images up. Then I had fun being painty. I am still learning as you can see! When it was dry I stamped a Clearly Besotted sentiment on the bottom

I did my Sharpie outlining thang, matted the image on some yellow Bazzill cardstock and added a small strip of Simple Stories paper behind it. The whole kit and caboodle is raised on foam pads. £ little stick on pearls were the perfect finishing touch cover for a tiny mark on the white. (Yes I can do simple - it is the clean I struggle with).

As I was enjoying the CAS approach and my new paints I decided to make a couple more cards
A Clearly Besotted butterfly was embossed with silver and coloured with the Peerless paints. I then added some little white dots. I used the same watercolours to create a turquoise background which I then dry embossed with my Maggie Holmes doily folder. I dragged the edges of the painted pieces through versamark ink and added more silver embossing powder. I used the same silver to emboss the Avery Elle sentiment. The gems may once more have been strategically placed to cover a dirty finger mark. I couldn't possibly comment.

And this one
Another Clearly Besotted stamp, this time I used white embossing powder for the outlines. I added a touch of gold pen to the stamens so that I could use my Delicta gold pad with clear embossing powder on the Clearly Besotted sentiment. The stamped image was matted on some Pink Paislee Colour wash paper and mounted on foam pads. I managed to go extra CAS by only adding ONE gem (shock!) which I coloured gold using a posca paint pen.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The smile says it all

 Some of the results were better than expected, some were not but all in all it was enough to gain her the much wanted place at Bradford. And it all starts in 4 weeks time.... It takes 5 1/2 hours form here to Bradford, 6 1/2 from here to Teesside. And the dates don't match so there will be a fair few car journeys in our future. (Although the plan is that Carys will have a lap top and travel by train most of the time) (We hope)

And the pangs start all over again. You would think that it would be easier third time round. Well it isn't. Even though I hope and pray that Bradford will be the making of her - she really wants a multi cultural, multi everything experience and I reckon Bradford will give her that. (I am already looking forward to the Film Museum and the curries...)

In other news I am catching up a little with Daring Cardmakers. The other night I had a yen to do some watercolouring and so decided that surely beach huts (to go with Kathy's dare) couldn't be so hard could they?
Well, they are.
There were actually some of the practice ones that looked terrible on the tiny scrap of watercolour paper but then I decided to cut them out and they looked much better then. I added some peeling white paint with a white gel pen and gave them glittery door with a Wink of Stella pen because after all, beach huts have sparkly doors don't they?
(I know the truth as I live in beach hut country...)

I made a little scene with yellow and blue papers and some die cut (sparkly) clouds
plus some random lanterns to give a festive air (tiny flags seemed too much like hard word) along with a rather lovely Clearly Besotted sentiment stamp.

This week I actually made it to the blog on time for some Fantastic Elastic. It was a tough one for me because having no small children anymore (and not quite being at grandmother stage), loom bands have rather passed me by. I knew that I had some bead elastic somewhere and after emptying out my whole craft room I found it. My elastic use isn't that exciting but it is there and I have used up some beads as well!

I put my card base through a large embossing folder. The Crate Paper patterned paper was matted with Craft Creations silver glitter (its awesome - no shedding) and some black cardstock. I didn't mat the white on top until I had wound round and stuck down the bead covered elastic. Which took a few goes and a few rude words. As you can see it is still a bit droopy! The sentiment is a Maya Road Art Journalling stamp and a Clearly Besotted die cut combined. I felt it needed a little extra bling so added three gems in the right hand corner.

The new Quirky Kits have arrived and my first layout is on the blog (have some more to photograph and write up). Here is a quick peek but you will need to go to the Ideas Blog for more details

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blow me down!

I knew it was a while since I had posted - but 28th July! And so much has happened since then.
That post was a schedhuled one as it came up as I was on my way to Amsterdam.
We only got as far as Exeter Airport....
First the plane was delayed for 5 hours, then it was cancelled all together due to torrential rain in Amsterdam (where the plane should have been flying in from). The next possible flight was Thursday - the day we were due to come home.
I will not lie, I had a bit of a wibble.
But: we had booked our trip with Travel Counsellors who were awesome. We know Claire Bottone personally (she is rather lovely!) so went through her but she was actually on holiday when disaster struck. No worries though as by the time we arrived back home our WHOLE holiday had been refunded thanks to the work of her colleague. We could have rebooked Amsterdam or gone somewhere else abroad with their help but it just seemed like too much for my head to deal with. Getting home was interesting as Phil had gone on to see his mum in Hampshire after dropping us off so we had to get taxis and trains. Not so bad except I didn't have much British cash and the only credit/debit card I had with me thought I was abroad and I didn't want to use it and get it swallowed. I had 50p left by the time I got in the house!

By that evening (partly buoyed up with the refund and not having to use travel insurance and at Phil's insistance) I had booked up for us to travel to London by train next day for three nights in a hotel right in the heart of South Kensington. We had a fabulous time - we tried to do all the same things we would have done in Amsterdam, like a canal trip, museums and looking at Van Gogh painting but we were able to throw in shopping at Camden Market and going to see two shows (The Commitments and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time - both awesome) which was a bonus.
Fortunately I had only pre-booked one trip in Amsterdam (I was going to do more but then decided to get an I Amsterdam card when we were there) - a tour of Anne Frank's House. I thought I would email to let them know we wouldn't be there for the English tour so they would not be waiting for us and they offered a full refund as well! (One more dress for me from Camden then)
We had a great time and the weather was gorgeous

I've also been away on a kind of retreat to the Society of Mary and Martha in Sheldon. They love to look after bruised and battered Ministers - and I am always happy to be looked after :)

This week I am at home catching up and waiting for A level results (Carys has a place at Bradford her first choice), but have two more trips before I go back to work.

Here is some of the scrapping that I have been doing. I am only just finishing layouts about Holy Island so have ooooooodles more to do this year!
I bought these fabulous Maya Road Art Journalling stamps which have lots of words that are great for faith scrappers! The papers and embellishments are all Simple Stories apart from the black/clear stickers which are American Crafts from about 8 years ago.

This layout was made using Studio Calico papers in the main (and a few scraps from the pile). I wrote on the photo using Picasa before printing it. The letter stickers are ancient American Crafts. The green things are Pink Paislee calico type embellisments that you can ink or spray. I painted them using various mists which I also sprayed onto the doily.
Finally for today
I'm trying hard to use some of my really old stuff along with the new. This has Jenni Bowlin papers from 5-6 years ago. Very pretty but very thin, mixed in with some newish Crate Paper Maggie Holmes embellishments/rub ons and some paper flowers given a new look with gold spray (as was the doily). The gold writing is much easier to read in real life
I'll be back soon with some Daring Cards!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A few of me layouts

I thought I would share some of the layouts I have made recently.
I am doing some scrapbooking with a faith perspective as part of my sabbatical - using the photos from all my adventures. It will be going on well after the Sab has ended I think!
For some reason I seem to have lost the ability to take clear photos of my layouts so please excuse the blur and if you have any tips I would welcome them!

I love this layout (not a word I use often). The photos make me very happy and the plan I had worked pretty well.
Except I still don't know how to weld properly as the "remember" looked all together on the Cameo but came out in bits that I then had to jigsaw together!
The backround is made using the Julie Balzer microbial stencil and my favourite dye paints. I brushed the paint onto the stencil and then laid it onto the white cardstock. The poppy was cut on the cameo and lined with some extra thick vellum. I added some Christmas papers from Kaisercraft (!), stickles and glass gems to keep the light and airy feel. Oh and some clear die cuts from Basic Grey.

The Bible verse is written in silver pen and is quite hard to read so here it is "  Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue, The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope." Lamentations 3:21-24

This next one is actually a two pager (gasp)
The anchors and title were again cut using the Cameo. I then went through my stash to find papers in the colours I wanted and cut them into different shapes. Some of the papers are Studio Calico and some Maggie Holmes and some I have no clue!
What I have noticed in these layouts is that almost all of them have a little detail in the right hand corner. Dunno what that is about...
I did some of that "preschool writing" as Phil calls it for the Bible verse. (I keep telling him it is bang on trend script writing but he won't have it)
and used a song for my reflective words on the other side
Lots of outlining, lots of misty sprinkles, some enamel dots and a few die cuts later and I was all done.

And finally for now
Three times I have tried to photograph this layout. Three. Times. And this is the best I could manage. Maybe my camera just doesn't know where to look!
Everything on here apart from the enamel dots is from Fancy Pants Wonderful Day collection (which is a good one to use as it was). Oh and I have the little camera dies which are fiddly but nice. Camera details have been "in" in Scrapbooking and I have loads kicking about somewhere. But could I find them when I have just the layouts to use them on?

Ah well "It don't make me no never mind" as they say on the Wire (one of the only lines of the Wire that I can reproduce here as the swearing/racial words that only people of colour should use and even then maybe should not, is high) (We are watching the Wire with Em and C. Phil and I are amazed by the amount we have forgotten of the stories. It's still good. Its like a Bawl-mer version of Game of Thrones really)

Some close ups...

The last one is the clearest version of the writing.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I'm still a bit elusive

as you may have gathered. For someone who loves nothing more than staying at home I am really gadding about during my Sabbatical. The Epic Journey is done and now I can also tick off the Family Holiday (2 weeks near Grange over Sands/ the Lake District and mostly beautiful weather). I've just about finished the unpacking/washing from that and am now getting ready for 4 days in Amsterdam with Carys. Already getting nervous as I am the "responsible adult" (well strictly speaking so is she as she is now 18 which is the whole reason for the jaunt) so this will in effect be a mini Epic Journey as well.
Gah. Love travelling. Hate the way that my nerves get frazzled.
THEN, when I return I am home for 3 days (1 of which will be taken up with going to Dorset somewhere to sing Evensong with a Choir I have just joined which meets a few times a year to do that. Lovely) (Although my high Anglican service of worship skills are a little rusty) and then I am off on retreat for 6 days.
A very internet free summer - which I suspect I need as I am far too addicted (something else to reflect on)

There is some crafting going on - I have kept up very well with my arty reflective journal - until this week so this afternoon's plan is to get messy with ink and stencils 

I have surprised myself with how much I have written every day. But it becomes a bit more demanding if you miss a few days out :)
I have also tried doing some sketching/watercolour drawing. Let's just say there is a long way to go...

I have made some reflective scrapbook pages which I shall share in another post.
What I haven't done much of is cardmaking.
But I sat down to have fun this week for Daring Cardmakers in honour of the wonderful Kathy Black.
It was my turn to choose the Dare this week and I decided to copy the idea of Case Study, an awesome challenge blog that I follow but have never joined in with! So I asked everyone to study Kathy's style and make a card that references that. A bit different to Case Study where they look at the same person for 4 weeks and have a different card each week as inspiration.

Kathy has been part of Daring Cardmakers from the beginning and is the driving force behind us now. She is a lovely person  - generous with her time and creativity and I am very glad to have her in my life. She is also supremely talented - as all of you who follow DCM or Funky Hand or her blog will already know. She takes time and effort to produce masterpieces that look effortless :)

I had fun looking back through her blog and noting key elements that I wanted to include.
1: She said her favourite colour is turquoise
2: hand made flowers
3: inking
4: the latest Sketch file sketch. Kathy provides these sketches monthly. Again I follow but don't participate (oh the shame). They are really versatile and I always enjoy seeing what Kathy and her team produce.
5: Some swirly bits and pieces

Putting that all together this is what I came up with
There are some differences - this is probably too bright for Kathy - I think she tends more to the cream/off white. And I used a stamped and embossed greeting rather than a computer generated one. My flowers are more simple than hers - I don't have the skills and/or tools for anything more! I used a mix of Heidi Swapp and Amy Tan papers alongside a little ricrac Paper Frill from Doodlebug that I have had for YEARS. I also went retro with the flower centres - brads! The swirls are Cheery Lynn and MFT. The leaf is Dienamic (I think). The tag die is brand new from Docrafts and so is the stamp - from Clearly Besotted. I have this fab heavy duty vellum from Craft Creations that doesn't warp or crack when you heat emboss on it. They call it tracing paper I've been using the 180 gsm  - might try the 140 as it is a bit cheaper but I do love the effect of this one. I wanted to use vellum so the other details of the card could be seen. The background card is white cardstock embossed with a large Crafters Companion embossing folder and coloured with a dye watercolour paint.

Finally I added some sparkly gems.

It took me AGES to make this card. Kathy manages to put lots on a card and make it look interesting. I'm not sure I have really grasped that yet :) Do have a look at the other cards in Kathy's style this week and why not try making one of your own too?

Saturday, July 05, 2014

In and out

This Summer I am a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel and learning to live out of suitcases! Its quite fun although I am really a homebird so make sure I have a few days back at the ranch before the next foray into the big wild world. This week I have spent time with Carys and my mother in law at her lovely home in Milford on Sea. Milford is by the sea (obvs) but also only about 30 minutes from the New Forest. We have to drive through it to get there and I never tire of seeing all the horses roaming around. They particularly like bus stops! Or standing in the road in a crowd, daring you to try and make them move...

All of which means I will be either absent or tardy with Daring Cards for a bit. I had managed to make my card in good time for this Friday but failed in first attempts to photograph it. I am being a big brave girl and moving off "auto" on the DSLR. Only I have discovered that I will need to stick to it for photographing layouts and cards as I shake too much so have loads of blurry photos. One layout I have taken out of the album twice now and both sets of photos are so rubbish I will need to go again. At least it isn't film wasted I suppose...

It being the beginning of a new month, we have a colour combo to play with...
 Now I already had this card on my desk which had been a fun play with my new Winnie and Walter stamps, when Carys mentioned she could do with 5 thank you cards to give to the Stagecoach staff as she finishes today (too old!)
I thought that with a bit of tweaking it would make a card fit for the dare
although my colours are perhaps a leetle too bright - I still like it! I used a dotty stencil and several different colour distress inks. Then some Winnie and Walter stamps (NB I now have a mini stamp press which I love!) and a trio of different enamel dots and the card was done
Here are all 5 (but out of focus)
.... and it turned out that Carys only needed 4 cards after all!