Friday, June 23, 2017


I was involved in a car accident this week. An easily done, not realising that the car in front is not actually going to move onto the roundabout shunt. At first I thought that our car was ok, but the damage to the toll bar, its age and mileage (160,000 plus!) means it is likely to be a write off and so I needed to get the insurance involved. Everything is going fairly smoothly but what I can't get over is having honestly answered that my back was a little sore, I am being urged to go for a personal injury claim. They keep ringing back to check how I am. And to be honest, there is a little bit of me that thinks "oooh, we could do with that cash, what with having to buy a new car" (something tells me we will not be getting much from the insurers for that). But I am not seriously injured at all and it would just be wrong. So I won't.

Phew, needed to get that off my chest.
So its been another month and a bit since I blogged.
same reasons, full working life leaving little time to craft and blogging has always been the cinderella part for me. I've not been participating in many Daring Cardmaker challenges and I have a lovely Quirky Kits box calling my name - but not much time to play just now. Its all good but I am feeling the crafty withdrawals and know that means I need to carve out some time to get lost in it.

 Amongst other things this month:
I went to see a funny and participative and touching one man show Every Brilliant Thing that was about dealing with his mums mental health (much better than I made it sound)
I went to tea with the Bishop (not just me mind)
I visited Birmingham and Derby for work in the same week
I started wine Wednesday, which is me working by sitting in the pub and drinking wine - guess when.... we have only had a pub here for 5 weeks and it is still very exciting!
I have gone for more red than pink in the hair and have new specs
I finished the Couch25k plan and did a 5k event with the group I have been running with

also a non running night out!
and my first park run.
So far my only parkrun as I am not running this week since the bump, just in case (ok I'm lazy)

So lets look at cards rather than me now.
I'm going to go backwards so i remember.
This week it was my turn to set the challenge and I went for "I must go down to the sea again" 
I've now lived in Cranbrook for just over a year and I love it here so much. But I do miss the sea. This is what was just 5 minutes from my old house
every day it looked different and I never got enough of it. So i wanted cards inspired by the sea. Mine is probably the most abstract
 but it was also pretty simple. I took some watercolour paper and swooshed various blues and greens over it with a thick brush. After that had dried I got out some glitter paste and added some lines of texture with my finger. I then found some sparkly glue, added that over the still bare parts and then sprinkled extra fine glitter over that. 
While it was all drying I cut out the sentiment three times and stuck it together. The arc on "sending" was a happy accident but I quite like it. However there was a gap I didn't like left in between the words so I took a discarded part of the painted piece and punched out a heart which was raised on a foam pad.
It was all stuck onto a top folding A5 card and the finishing touch was a Prima dot as I lost the "i" along the way!
  The last dare I did before that was the June elemental challenge. Here is the  inspiration
I adore these pictures (especially the sea one natch) but it took me a while to work out my take

 I used watercolours again, trying to emulate the colours and sequence in the sea photo. But then decided to make a log cabin patchwork pattern as per the top middle photo. That didn't quite work so I ended up just alternating the strips and tying them together with some string.
I was going to cut out some flowers but then spotted this die cut which went perfectly and saved a lot of time. It has some gold on it so that was all the excuse I needed to bring out the gold mist and use gold card for the sentiment, finishing up with some gold dots. 

The Dare before was still in May.... In a tea cup 
 I knew that I had a tea cup stamp. I had to turn out almost every stamp I had to find it. I have too many stamps not organised properly.... but I was so pleased I found it I made two cards

both coloured with Zig Clean Colour pens, die cut with a square die and matted with glitter card, stuck onto a painted backfround with some Wink of Stella and glitter glue sparkles.

Right if I crack on with some work now I might have more to show next time I blog!


Friday, May 19, 2017

11 years later...

Friday 11th May is the date that I started this blog.
I can't remember why now, probably to have a place to note my crafty challenges.
I'm certainly not as prolific as I was but I'm still happy to have a place to note what I am up to and when it happened. Especially as I have a bad habit of not backing up photos so this is needed!
This is what I looked like then

 and now
 (is that a flattering angle where you can't see all the wrinkles? Possibly...)
 So much has changed - we have moved twice, all three kids have gone through University, (the oldest was a wee teen of 13 and is now almost 25!) Phil has a motorbike and loves cycling, I've started and stopped and started running (I say running, it is more like a small but heavy wilderbeest thundering throught the tundra very slowly). I now crochet as well as papercrafting - it makes evenings more sociable as I sit and crochet in front of the tv while Phil snores.

Here is the first card I put on the blog
I still rather like it. It was Phil's birthday card.
My latest is Phil's birthday card as well.
Last week's Daring Cardmaker Dare was All that glitters is not gold
where you had to make a card with lots of glitter but no gold. I went for something simple
 Lots of thick glitter paper circles punched out and raised up and stuck on a piece of cardstock which was given a glittery edge with a glue pen and more glitter. V. simple
(Paper Smooches stamp badly embossed with black powder)

This week the dare is Two's Company where you could only use 2 colours including the colour of the base card. I went for simple again with black and white
I painted the white paint onto a black card ready for another challenge but liked it and so decided to use it for this one. I found some old textured papers and cut and trimmed them into different shapes. I knew I had a set of paper trims somewhere but only found them days after making the card!
Little bit of glitter, little bit of die layering, a vellum heart to allow the eye to see the words and job done. It looks better in real life than it does here :)

I also made my first ever layout 11 years ago in July
and here is one of the latest

made for the latest Quirky Kit. That style has evolved a bit more than cardmaking!

I must make a blog post of all the pages I have done recently - I had a lovely time at the beginning of May when it was Scrapbooking Day putting lots of memories onto cardstock. Don't get time to do so much now but its still good.

Last weekend I made more memories and also remembered a host more. I met up with friends from Lancaster University - some of whom I have hardly seen since we left in 1986. We stayed in some luxury lodges just outside Windermere and I had a an awesome time. We are all quite different now (e.g. old) but in many ways very much the same. It was a delight and I hope I can do it again. I'm aware that I have chosen a road less travelled in that being in Church Ministry means spare weekends are rare. I wouldn't be without my job and perhaps that makes these times even more of a joy. Poor Phil was also away from home but for a work conference....
 I thought I had taken lots of photos but no, so I am hoping some of the others have some I can use as these are stories worth telling as well!

And here is to the next year blogging....

Friday, May 05, 2017

April in a nutshell

It seems I am now totally incapable of blogging more than once a month :(
Anyway, lets not feel guilty, just be glad I'm doing so. 

So this month I have been
  •  doing Easter things (although that all seems like a long time ago now! I went to hear the St John Passion by Bach at Exeter Cathedral. It was heavenly. I did nearly blot my copy book at the beginning. There were five of us there and in front of us were kneelers with names of birds on. One of my friends had one which was rather dull (can't remember what now) so I thought I would treat her to a different one. I pulled one out from near me without seeing the name. It said "Thrush". Carys and I got the giggles. Fortunately we calmed down before the music. Its become one of our catchphrases though
  •  Good Friday we held a Good Friday experiences for a few hours where you could try things out. Here are two of mine 

  • The dark tomb was the last one where we talked about Jesus body going after he died. It was made to look different for Easter Sunday
    we also got up for a dawn service. that will be featuring in a layout soon
  • went to visit number 1 son in his new flat which meant buying/making furniture and an Easter Monday trip to Ikea. 

    Everyone is a dab hand at the old flat pack now. It does seem strange not knowing when we will all be together again.
  • lots of work - mostly really creative and challenging. I've started a new venture which means sitting in a cafe for an hour. Its a hard life.
  • Eating an amazing meal at Fatbelly Freds in Barnstable which is a fish speciality restaurant. 
    that is about an hour from us but we ate there as we were singing in an Easter concert at a church not far away. We declined dessert as they were not sure we would be able to leave by 7. Just as well as it turned out it started at 7 not 7:30 as Phil thought. I've almost forgiven him. He also hadn't mentioned the refreshments after the concert. The tables were heaving. I had my first "tatty" cake which looks like a Welsh cake but tastes different as it is made of potato. Rather lovely though
  • Got up to Week 6 of Couch 2 5k. I'll be running the 25 minute run when this posts hopefully. Then going out to the new pub which is opening in our town (our first and everyone is very excited) they are offering free trials of the menu provided you pay for drinks. I'm also thinking of starting another new venture called "wine Wednesday" at the pub. Also work....
  • And in crafty news.... Daring Cardmakers first. Spring Garden was Kathy's choice and I went all floaty and flowery
    I do love colouring flowers, I've just bought some more because its my favourite cardmaking thing at the moment. I never tire of this set of doodle blooms. I stamped them with white embossing ink and coloured them with Zig Cleancolor markers. I decided to go with the colours of spring flowers, not necessarily actual flowers as I had used tulips the week before. I fussy cut round them (though I think I have the dies!). I used a backing plate die and backed it with vellum, leaving the vellum poking out the side. I then tucked in the flowers and leaves. Lastly I die cut the words and stuck them together. Everything got the Wink of Stella treatment. I should have done what I wanted to keep white first OR kept the brush clean as I had to turn all the letters yellow thanks to my boo boo
  • That card was reasonably in the pastel zone for me, not my usual habitat but I stayed there for the 5 papers challenge where we had to use 5 patterned papers.
    I have some new pastel colour markers so I washed colour onto my background card and added water to make it come together in an ombre effect, matching the papers from an old collection - Pink Paislee Color Wash. I found various butterfly punches and dies in my stash and cut out 5 different patterned ones (the top left one looks single coloured but it is patterned, promise!). I added die cut words, carefully managing not to colour them with my wink of Stella pen. The butterflies were getting lost on the ombre background so I dry embossed some vellum and attached it with brads (brads! I've mssed you). I stuck everything together and decided the perfect finishing touch would be some Nuvo drops in buttercream. Except some of my dots became a line so they all had to. 
  • Last week's theme was Superhero .  I was slightly miffed that Dawn nicked my fave one (at least graphically, Captain America is the best!) until I read about why she had made the card as she did - which is a wonderful reason for cardmaking.  Then I wondered if I could find any logos on the internet and a card idea was born. This is for Phil for our wedding anniversary (29 years at the end of May!)
    I printed the logos on good quality cardstock and punched them out. You can see my old punch doesn't like the cardstock but none of my many circle dies were quite the right size! They demanded outlining and some black cardstock to give that comic vibe. The words are made using Lawn Fawn tiny letters. Finally an old Studio Calico arrow finished it off (arrow had to get in there somewhere !) Everything was built up on pop dots
  • Bringing us up to date with the first May dare.... Here is the inspiration photo and isn't it beautiful?
    I could just put "hello beautiful" on that and call it done. (the words would be over the cat of course, the cat spoils it!!!!) (sorry cat lovers, come baaaaack). Anyway that would be cheating so I did this
    I used a peacock stencil, embossing paste and various glitters to make the feathers. I then die cut them, realised the paste was still wet, threw that away, die cut another piece and then stenciled it..... while I was waiting FOR IT TO DRY PROPERLY, I dry embossed a die cut rectangle and covered it with Distress Ink in peacock colours (one is helpfully called peacock feathers). I then went round the circles with silver pen to mimic the circles in the photo in the middle of the left column. I die cut "hope" once from blue glitter cardstock and twice from white card and stuck them together. When the feather piece was dry I added silver pen to the lines, stuck that to the background layer and added some lovely vellum butterflies from the recent Quirky Kit. I have some very old, very lovely stick on gems from Prima in my stash and I thought they were perfect on this card

    I was going to mention my scrap pages and crochet activity but I think this is long enough for now!

Saturday, April 08, 2017

So this month I have mostly been...

not blogging again!

but this has happened:
  • My nephews from Canada came to stay and we found some new lovely places to eat
  • changed my hair colour several times (the advantage of wash out colour is that every time you wash it is a surprise. I have some bleached streaks and they make me think grey will be ok!)
  •  started Couch25K AGAIN. But it isn't as hilly here so I'm hopeful of getting back to 5k again. I've just done Week 4 Run 1. Yay!
  • taught lots of lessons in senior school (well 4, 4 was enough).
  • went back to Torbay for Ministers Spring School. Torbay behaved and the sea looked pretty awesome most of the time. Love where I live now but I miss the sea so much. True I'm only 20 minutes away but I did have a sea view from my bedroom. (play that tiny violin for me)
  • Went to see the parents for Mothering Sunday weekend. We went to the Gower

    and out to the Mumbles for tea at the new Prezzos which has gorgeous views (and a VERY noisy party near us)
  • who says we look alike?
  • I crocheted a shawl for both mothers but forgot to get a photo of either! Also doing an Sue Pinner aran spinning top blanket and have just started the Nuts About Squares blanket crochet along because I am a sucker for blankets
  • Joined in the short Quirky Kits scrap challenge day but not the weekend as I had to work that weekend

  •  And a few cards, which mostly came late to the party because that is what my life is like at the moment
 March 17th it was my challenge which was "green with a glimmer of gold" what with it being St Patricks day and all
 I was going to make two cards like this but ran out of time so my mum had something different! This card is not like the ideas in my head! All of the green is watercolour paint. I die cut lots of different shapes from watercolour card  - actually no, a few were on paper and then weren't right so I turned them over and coloured them and it still worked! It all got the Wink of Stella treatment (which you can pretty much take as read these days, like the Sharpie pen on scrap pages!). I die cut the letters from glitter card and found the sticky heart in my stash. Then I went to town with various stickles and liquid pearls
Next came my major boo boo Enfys gave us a great challenge to use things wrapped around groceries - wrap it up.
I didn't read it properly and decided that it was about using packaging. So that's what I did. Doh. I quite like the card though
 I was so proud of myself for using 3 kinds of packaging too. Only one from shopping though. I die cut the Clearly Besotted feather from cardstock . I squished some Distress Inks onto some clear packaging, sprinkled water and smooshed them onto the feather. Then I used the matching stamp over the top to add the feather details. I saw a card recently with a large scallop on and it made me all nostalgic so I cut one from a Heidi Swapp paper with my mahoosive scallop scissors. The turquoise paper is from the same pad. The diagonal stripe is the back from some Pink Paislee embellishments and the coloured stripe is the shade strip cut from a Quirky Kits contents card. I found some thick vellum and heat embossed a Paper Smooches sentiment onto it. And yes, Sharpie pen around everything for definition. I assembled it all, with glue behind the feather and some Prima gems to hold the vellum in place. It isn't quite as squiffy as the photo looks.
Anyway, apologies to Enfys for not reading the challenge properly
And finally this week it is the first Friday of April and an Elemental Inspiration photo
 I looked at the photo on my Ipad and obviously should have had it portrait not landscape as I only looked at the bottom four pictures! 
 So my inspirations are:
the blue egg, tulips, twine wrapping, patterned glass, little daisies and the tag on the cup.
I remembered I had a Clearly Besotted tulip set so embossed that with a silver pearl powder. I coloured it in with Zig Clean Colour markers trying to keep the colours light and pastel (man, that is hard for me). I cut it out and wrapped some twine around it. I die cut an oval shape from watercolour paper and added turquise Clean Colour to it. I also die cut vellum and also dry embossed that with a circles embossing folder. I die cut a tag shape and heat embossed a sentiment from the same Clearly Besotted set as the tulips. 
I put foam pads on the back of the tulips and stuck them to the vellum which helped me to see where to attach the vellum to the blue card. One that was done the card base was looking a bit plain so I dry embossed that with a large embossing folder. 
The daisies were punched 3 at a time with a handy Stamping Up flower punch and once put in place I added some creamy yellow Nuvo drop centres

  • that's all folks! well apart from my 40 Days journal which is up to date. I posted this one online and then realised it was actually Day thirty two so it looks slightly less pretty title wise now