Friday, May 27, 2011

Mum Le Taxi

If you are of a certain age that title will get you singing along to one of the most irritating songs ever (and I'm not biased against it because she is now Johnny Depp's partner, that would be stupid and childish. Obviously). If you don't get it, don't click. You have been warned.

Emrys has an AS level exam today. He needs to be there at 8:50. The bus he normally takes,
may get there for that time. So its better that we drive him to make sure. And then pick him up as he is on study leave apart from exams. Which is a few round trips! We would share it out but Phil did the same yesterday and he is off being examined himself today - the last part of his bike test. He is obviously nervous as he was awake for hours (which kept me awake although he didn't make any noise. Weird). Later today I will take Carys to the dance group she has just joined. Although I worry about my kids spending too much time indoors, I don't know how we would cope if they were really sporty types!

In between I will be preparing for Sunday - this week the key phrase is "always be ready to
answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you" (1 Peter)
I suppose for me hope is a key part of faith. I think life is a lot harder without hope. One of my favourite lines in the prayers for a funeral is for the family when I say "may they grieve but not as those without hope". For me, hope is the promise I have from God that he will always be with me and love me no matter what. As it says in Romans 8
For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below - there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

And that is what keeps me going. Sometimes with a skip in my step, sometimes with gritted teeth, sometimes only just hanging on by my fingertips. But always with hope.
That first reading about being ready to explain the hope says that you must do this with
"gentleness and respect.". I hope I have!

Well that has helped me to get the juices flowing so I can think about the service whilst I spend time fetching and carrying Number 2 son so now I can share my Daring Card for this week.
It is a special week on Daring Cardmakers as we have 4 new members of the team. Lots of people applied which was lovely and it was tough to choose who would become part of the team but these 4 had something special as I am sure you will agree. So to
Fran, Keilly, Leo and Sharon - thanks for saying YES!

To celebrate there is a fabulous giveaway from my most generous, lovely and talented local craft shop owner - Emma of Imagine That. It is a lovely shop (both real and online) and the classes there are many and varied (even if some people's tend to over-run. That would be me). One of the best things about it is the shop designed clear stamps. I have clear stamps from other places that have started to show wear and tear but Emma's are still going strong. And you ahve a chance to try one of the sets out as there are three up for grabs this week. All you have to do is
  1. Join in this weeks Dare
  2. add links to Imagine That and The Daring Cardmakers
  3. link to no more than 5 other challenges.
We had a fab challenge set this week by Zuzana - Passion for Fashion. All of the Design Team creations are too die for. Some of those shoes and bags and dresses I want for myself. Here is mine. Don't want to wear this one...well I might if my waist was that small!

I often doodle dresses so I did a couple until I had one I thought I could replicate in paper (ie it had to be pretty simple). I thought of making a fabric skirt but decided to stick with paper. I cut out all the pattern pieces, doing two for the skirt so that I could layer up the pleats. I added tiny punched circles underneath to make a 50's style petticoat. The dress is on foam pads to give some dimension.

Details: Cardstock: Papertrey Ink; Papers MME Stella and Rose; Stamp: Imagine That Write Big; Ink: Memento Black and Distress Ink Pumice Stone; Dies: Nestability; Card Candi

Its my mother's birthday today. Happy birthday mum! HOPEfully she will have her card as I actually sent it on Wednesday (early for me!) so I will show it here
The card is based on this week's Kortkissen sketch. I love simple clear sketches but don't often use them. (or any other sketch). I did doodle a few myself at a conference the other day (whilst concentrating I assure you) and have tried one out which I like. I'll save that for another day

Details Cardstock: Craft Creations; Dies: Sizzix Tattered Florals and Nestability circles and tag; Punches: Woodware circles and Martha Stewart leaf; Papers: MME Stella and Rose;
Inks: Memento Black and Distress Ink Pumice Stone; Stamp: Waltzing Mouse; floss and brads from stash;

Actually during the time this has been written Emrys has been returned home (exam "OK") and ideas for the service thought about in the car duly noted. And we will definately sing this though not quite as ethereally - which is far less irritating than the song I started with in my opinion!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I like little things

Maybe it is because I am small.
Phil finds it a hoot. He knows I will always choose the biscuits and cakes that are little - not because they are less fattening but they are small. Tiny sandwiches - yum. Sushi - so cute. Mini tomatoes, babybels, baby corn, baby leeks - put teeny, tiny, baby or bite size in the name and I'll eat it. LOTS of it. Just make it small.

I think life is somethimes better in bite size too. Often I get overwhelmed by complexity and huge problems in the lives of people at church that I care about or 6 million things that I said yes too when only 2.5 million really needed to be done by me and then I want to run outside and go "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah". Often I just turn a bit snarky with the family (sorry family). But if I were to pick out the bite size pieces - Stop and pray. Do that little job. Phone someone. Say no. then maybe it would feel better. Small steps. Got to love them.

I've been making small cards this week. This may be because I ordered some new cards for the Church card club (Romford URC 2-5 every first Saturday of the month, come and join us) and fluffed the order and bought the wrong size so swapped some of my cards so that there is a variety of sizes so now have some small cards to use (and breeeeeeathe. Sorry about the long sentence!) but actually I have remembered I quite like them.

Here are some of them All made with MME Fine and Dandy Collection and Craft Creation linen effect (small) cards. They are all 10x10 cm
My fave. The owl was on the paper and comes in yellow and blue so I also made a matching turquoise version. I have many owls left. I may make more.
Also used: Nestability Dies; Stamping Up punch; Sharpie pen; teeny button from stash

Also used: Nestability Dies; Imagine That All Boxed In stamps; Papertrey Ink Bitty Baby Blessings; Sharpie pen; Ranger Enamel Accents

Yup, slightly squiffy though less so in real life. I also hold a camera at a squiffy angle and sometimes it is hard to process that out completely!
Also used: Nestability Dies; personal Impressions Punchable Labels stamps; Martha Stewart and EK Success Punches; Sharpie pen.

Also used: Nestability Dies; Papertrey Ink Bitty Baby Blessings; Sharpie pen.

I am pleased though that my biggest thing - number 1 son is home for a long while. Though I am hoping he soon moves his suitcase from the hall. Just saying.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More birthday fun

Well the birthday antics are over now until half term when we celebrate with me ma. Monday ended with takeaway and movie . The film we watched was Children of Men which we all enjoyed a lot. Ambiguous ending though!
Here is Phil's card.
The sort I make a lot but I like it. So there!
Details: Cardstock: Craft Creations; Papers: MME Lime Twist pad (available from Imagine That); Dies: Nestabilities; Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug; Punch: Martha Stewart; Distress ink: Black Soot; Sentiment: from Imagine That All Boxed In stamp set; Black pen: Wilkinsons; White pen: Signo; Cord brad: Nikki Sivils; brads and thread from stash

Emrys was 17 on Thursday. That makes it 17 years since I saw Four Weddings in the cinema. I knew I was going to be induced on the 19th (so civilised!) so Phil and I went out the night before. But I laughed SO hard I thought I was going to set labour off. The birth itself had some traumatic moments (I remember the midwife coming in and calmly saying "sorry there aren't any doctors free right now" in that sort of voice where you knew she was swearing on the inside and then the consultant swooping in putting his white coat on as he did so, kind of like a superhero and eventually it was all ok) and then afterwards Phil got out his lunch and put the cricket on, which I have ALMOST forgiven him for!

Anyhoo back to the present, to celebrate we went to watch Thor. Which should probably be called "Phwoar". I'm not usually one for a beef cake but Christopher Helmsworth obviously worked hard on those muscles so it is only fair to admire the workmanship. Carys and I really prefered Tom Hiddlestone who played his brother Loki. All in all an enjoyable bit of hokum! Then we went to Pizza Hut for a meal - guess what? And had loads of laughs together.

Emrys is a big fan of the Qwantz Dinosaur comics by Ryan North where every cartoon has the same drawings but different text, so my card is an homage to that using my Cuttlebug Giraffe as I didn't have any dinos. And I was hampered by them only coming in one size!
Used the same papers as above! And the falling off tail has been stuck firmly back on.
Emrys was "amused". High praise

LinkWhich brings me to the Daring card this week. It had to be right down here as it is going to be Phil's anniversary card for next week so I didn't want it to be the picutre that appears on the Facebook version of the blog. So if you ahve read thus far Phil, look away now.
I bet when he recieves it he will say "huh?" "very nice" "it was for a dare wasn't it"

Samm gave us a really cool challenge - to be inspired by Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. So I kind of took it literally LinkThought I'd do a different angle. If you want the words wholly in focus you need to look on the Daring Cardmakers site.
Details: Cardstock: Craft Creations; Papers: MME Lime Twist pad (available from Imagine That); Dies: Nestabilities and Quickutz; Black pens: Sharpie and Wilkinsons; gems from stash; foam pads

The family gets reunited next week as Hywel's first year at Uni is over. Doesn't time fly!

Monday, May 16, 2011

its birthday time!

Honestly it feels like half the people in one of my churches have birthdays in May. And so do Phil, Emrys and my mum. And its our wedding anniversary month too. PHew! Which is a lot of cards to make. Fortunately I have the Daring Card prompts to help me out.

One of the most lovely ladies in the whole world is 80 this week. She doesn't have much family but a huge circle of friends who were organised into a surprise party for her on Sunday. About 60 people turned up and she was conpletely floored! I was tasked to make the card for Church friends to sign. In order to fit with this weeks theme of the Darlin' Bugs of May I decided to put a whole host of butterflies on the card.
It is an A5 sized card so there was plenty of room for names. I used my standby large number templates from Urban Lily, cut from white card, embossed and glittered. The papers are all either Pink Paislee Queen Bee (appropriate!) or Basic Grey Origins from the 6x6 pad. Some die cutting, punching and dotting with Rangers enamel accents and I was almost done. Added a sentiment from Waltzing Mouse and voila.
Gotta love Martha Stewart butterfly punches!

Here is the card I made for the birthday girl.
Details: MME Stella and Rose pads (from Imagine That); Nestabilities and Sizzix dies; Fiskars and Martha Stewart border punches; Imagine That stamps; Papermania brads; Flowers from Hobby horse and Wild Orchid

I haven't photographed the card for Phil yet. Nothing groundbreaking - my usual style only I have bought even more new MME pads from Imagine That - Lime Twist and they are just up my street (again). So expect to see more. Phil chose a trip to the big smoke for his birthday - to see the Cult of Beauty at the VandA - lots of lovely pre-Raphaelitey and beyond paintings and etchings and clothes and furniture and photographs. I was blown away by seeing a photograph of Jane Morris - one of the pre-R models - taken in the 1850's.

I was also blown away by lunch. Not so much the food although it was delish
(note we shared the salad that is just on my plate and I really wanted that meringue - or one like it. Look at the size! but I know I couldn't have managed it)
but by the place we ate it -the Morris, Gamble and Poynter rooms. Probably the most artistic place to have your lunch ever. I think that photo has been taken in a way to fit the whole room in.

We were down the end from the photo on the site. With a good view of those lvoely chandeliers and the stained glass
and right where Phil could enjoy himself and call it art appreciation!
Takeaway and movie on DVD tonight.
Thursday night it will be cinema and eat out but probably in a pop art style McDonalds which is not quite the same

Thursday, May 12, 2011


As Dr Who said in the best episode ever "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff"
and that is how I feel today.

I had time to blog earlier but Blogger decided it was time for an upgrade and went offline. Still, got some work done.
Its my 5th blogaversary today. 5 years of recording (mostly once a week I'm sad to say) my craft and a little of my life and my faith.
Me then
Me now
Shorter hair (its been up and down), same glasses, more wrinkles (you just can't see them on this touched up photo ha, ha). About the same weight and stuff. A few more grey hairs (bring it on). Same job - though it is changing and growing. 4/5 of an MA done. Children gone from being on the cusp of teenager to on the cusp of adulthood.
Ooh enough introspection - makes me feel a bit funny!

Time is the name of the challenge at Salt this week.
And Time is also the name of the last Salt challenge as we have decided to call time on the blog for a whole host of reasons. (Time being one of them!). I shall miss the deadlines and the challenges but I am prayerfully considering how to continue scrapping my faith

Here's my layout. The photo is of Hywel aged about 1 in our garden in Hartlepool
Once more I used MME Stella and Rose papers as the colours were such a good match! I quoted some of Ecclesiastes round the edge of the circle and here is my short reflection on it
Other details: Cardstock: Bazzill kraft; Punch: Martha Stewart; Die:Nestability Label 1, large circle; embellishments: Clock from Costco kit, buttons from Nikki Sivils, pearls by Prima. Letters: Chipboard Maya Road, Cosmo Cricket stickers; Paint: white dabber; White pen: uniball signo

Over the next few days if I have some blogging time (hah!) I shall put together a little display of some of my favourite layouts from Salt.
Saltinies - thanks for the care, prayer and inspiration - I shall miss you and the blog so much!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Took a break

We had a wonderful (but too short) break at my Mother-in-Law's house for the second Bank Holiday weekend. It was too short because of school's not understanding that Minister's need a full week's holiday after Easter and the kids went back to school for three days (humph). Still we packed a lot in, We spent the weekend wedding watching (me and C - we made the effort too)walking, shopping, looking at New Forest ponies, taking arty shots (phil), marvelling at how close the Isle of Wight and the sea are to MiL's house (both these are taken from the beach) and relaxing. But life has gone back to mad since then!

So I have not had a chance to either blog or craft much. I've done two layouts which I will share anon but here is my Daring card for this week
It is the first Friday of May so it is a flower of the month - lily of the valley. I decided to simply be inspired by the colours and as I had to do a Diamond wedding card combined the two challenges. The colour isn't true - it was very dark this morning so I have had to overexpose a little, hence the close ups following. I wanted diamond patterns, green, white and sparkles and threw a few paper roses in too for effect

Details: Cardstock and white card: Craft Creations; Patterned paper: MME Stella and Rose; Border Punch: EK Success; Flowers: Wild Orchid Craft; Dies: Sizzix Lollipop and Nestabilities; Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug; Glitter: Glue Pen and Glamour Dust; White Dots: Rangers Enamel Accents

I added glitter to the edges of the embossed card with tape and Glamour Dust
The numbers are die cut patterned paper embossed and glittered
The flowers and the punched border also got the glitter treatment!

Phew. need another break now!