Friday, December 29, 2006

Got my craft table back

la, la, laaaaaaaaaa.
Hywel says he prefers the conservatory without all my crafty nonsense scattered about. Hum[h! Will have to tidy it again as the olds are coming today. But I neeeeeded that crafty time yesterday.

Made my Mum's christmas exploding box - the last for a while as I think 6 in a short space of time is enough. I do love doing them though!

This pic of Carys is from our Boxing Day walk. The stem in front of her face makes a lovely flower doesn't it!
And I got a fab photo of Emrys (who hids or mugs)And always has his glasses half way down his nose.

I'm having trouble with loading onto Daring Cardmakers but (almost) Mrs Rhi has sorted me out - thankyou my angel.
I thought I would try 3 versions of this card (only one on the Dare blog) trying to get more simple as I went along. They are even a wee bit stylish I think although that is not the usual adjective people use about me or my crafting!

The cards all use Crate Paper Avenue which is just fabby. I highly recommend getting the paper pack as it has two of each design in it which makes using it more bearable.

Card One also uses an Auntie Sarah's bloomer - I haven't got many left now and so may have to order a few of my favourite colours. These black ones are lovely aren't they. Buttons are msotly all Bazzill buttons by Junkitz. Love those matte buttons I do.
Text is printed on the card. I find if I do want a fairly simple card look that prinitng the text first makes sure there is a lot of white space.
Once I had made that one I thought I ought to do one without a posh flower in case you like this idea but have no flowers. But have flower dies or punches
This one uses a Whale of a Punch retro flower and some ultra thick ric rac which meant the flower square had to be mounted. That will be a first class plus postage then....
And I turned over another piee of crate and found this gorgeous blue on the backActaully I should have done one with just punched out circles to be even simpler. Maybe next week...

Before I go - I must thank that wonderful online shop A Trip Down Memory Lane. I now have enough money for a Craft Robo! (Although reading the stuff about it on UKS makes it a bit daunting). I live near one of the UK suppliers so might see if i can pick it up and save on postage and packing...
Anyway I decided that meant I could celebrate with the BG Blush pad. And as there was a free gift if you spent over £15 one or two other bits fell in my basket. I had an email not long after I had paid to say they had started a sale and as I missed out would pop something else in. That was wednesday evening and my parcel arrived today - with my lovely order, some ribbons, a Zig pen (the free gift) and letter stickers to go with Crate Paper Cowboy - which I have. yee har!
I am always happy to promote good service and ATDML have never given anything but excellent service!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas - Jesus is born!

Jesus is born!

Let us celebrate!

we are having a great celebration Chez Nevard and hope you are too. Stockings have been opened, services have been taken, lunch has been eaten. presents have been shared and we are taking a break for pudding, dog walking and beetle drive before we settle down to more pressies and Dr Who. Crafty presents well received so far and we have now got the three kings to go with the wonderful Willow Tree nativity set above. We have lots of nativity sets but no window sills so we can only put out a few at a time!

Apart from finishing exploding boxes and journals (one more box still to make!) we made the stars that come with the BG Fruitcake set. Boy are they more fiddly than it seems. Carys and i only managed to make seven sided stars not 8 and ours have buttons in the middle so keep falling down. I don't think they are heirloom material...

May your Christmas be full of love, joy, hope and peace

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tree is decorated

Wierdly if use flash on the tree its as if all the lights are on. i must get round to reading the camera manual...
its time to go carol singing...

I think it's almost Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm loving angels instead

Here is our beautiful Christmas angel. She is made out of straw and sits on top of the tree. This year it is a bit of a squash poor love
as Phil bought a very big tree! It is a major Christmas indulgence for us - a big, real tree (we have a big room to fill though). At the moment it is only Grace (just named her but I like it!) and the lights on the tree. We bought our annual new decorations yesterday and decorate the rest tonight. (Oh joy). Emrys walked into the room last night and said "oooh it smells like Christmas now!!"

I have been a busy little bee since Friday morning. The Choir had our Christmas concert in the evening and it was I think the best ever. I had a teeny descant solo (yes I have a high squeaky voice) and managed not to make a mistake.
Saturday afternoon I went to a crop at my new local craft shop. It was really so I could get on with all the pressies I have to make without getting distracted. However I managed not to be able to measure properly and took a few goes at making an exploding box (so annoying!). Emma the owner and Emma the owner's friend (makes it easy to remember) were lovely and the crop table is just great - bright and comfy. I was able to watch what they were doing and picked up some great tips. They are going to CHA in 2007 - how green am I! (Its a scrap trade show BTW). And next year I might be teaching the exploding box - if I can concentrate and do my measurements properly!
Sunday was 3 Christmas services - brilliant but tiring and kind of went by in a blur.

Yesterday was the boys academic review day. Now my sons are really quite scarily clever. Rubbish at sport, but brainy. Hywel is doing ok but we need to keep an eye on him that he doesn't take what he can do for granted - apart from languages (which he dislikes but his school is a language college so he has to do two) he really ought to get at least A's if he applies himself. Emrys' new form teacher was very funny. "What did you think of Emrys' report?" "well we were quite pleased" "Pleased? I should think so - it's BRILLIANT!" He went on enthusiastically for quite a while making Emrys squirm in his seat. I thought he was going to propose to Em at one point. He showed us some tests that they did on entering senior school - cat tests or something. The average is 100, Em's were all way above especially his maths which was 146. Hope you don't mind the second show off post in a row but I'm a bit in awe of this as I am struggle with maths a bit. And I don't feel able to share this with people I know in real life as it is a bit boasty - but hey - I'm a proud mum!

Last night we watched Hogfather, having recorded the first two hours. I actually dozed through most of the recorded bit - found it visually stunning but dramatically a bit slow. At the same time I finished some more prayer jounrals and leter on more exploding boxes. Only another 2 of each to go! (but the boxes are for our mums so a bit harder!)

Here's what I have done so far

I always moan about the quality of Chatterbox papers, but these are lovely aren't they?
These are 3 bugs in a rug rhapsody
And yet more BG (all the journals are BG Lily Kate and Gypsy)
All the big flowers are Aunty Sarah's bloomers. Oooh I love 'em!
Have to finish all my crafty projects tonight so I can turn my craft mess back into a conservatory for Phil's mum to sleep in on Thursday!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fantastic Friday!

And not only because it is Daring Cardmakers Launch Day!
If I can be allowed to gush - and this will be a very gushy post by the time I have finished. I am amazed by the talent on our team - and humbled to be part of it. We share what we are doing during the week and every week the bar gets raised. Not so far that it stops being something other people can join in with (because there are so, so , so many talented cardmakers out there, many of whom contribute to what makes the Dare blog so much fun) but I think we are all enjoying the creative challenge. And long may it continue.
At the same time we are saying goodbye (and hopefully just for now) to Debbie. As well as being a talented card maker she has been a great support to the rest of the team and will be much missed.
Here are my contributions for the week in detail.
Frosty the Snowman
was made using sticky backed white vivelle for the body and snow. Black brads for buttons and eyes, glitter card for nose and the background is black glitter card which I found in a box and it is awesome. Ribbons from stash. Bit cheesy but fun!
This is taken from an idea in Papercrafts Nov 2006 edition by Alisa Pargetter. Mine is pared down due to the colour requirements but I like it! The edges are actually straight - the black lines are round the edge of the card but I have managed to photograph it slightly squiffy as usual. Card, pen, button, sticker is all it takes and I may make some more like this next year!

But what makes this friday so fantastic? I ahve just been to Carys' school assembly. Parents are not usually invited to Assembly but we were told she had won an award and they wanted us there. I thought the award was for someone in each year group but it turned out we were the only parents there because it is a whole school award. She has won the Citizenship cup for this year. She was nominated for two teachers (and not her class teacher) because she helps other children, especially those with special needs by reading and explaining things to them and she always says hello to the teachers when she passes. It was wonderful to see how pleased everyone else was with her especially after her suffering some bullying last term (by boys not girls!)

Here she is with us and with the Headteacher and Mrs Sorrell, former Chair of Governers who donated the prize. My face might be red becasue I sniffled my way through the whole assembly like an eejit!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Early Crafty Christmas

Yesterday the postie came with three big boxes of stuff.
It was all craft stuff I had ordered. (blush)
Not Christmas pressies at all.
Which meant I could open them (big grin!)
So what was in the boxes?
Capture the Magic - my first 12x12 album - a really pretty button opening one and two more Crate paper Collections - Birdie (which I already have some of and love, love, love) and Cowboy (oooooh funky muted orange)
Scrapagogo Blonde Moments December kit. It's beautifully packaged. it's gorgeous papers. It's buttons and ribbons and UTEE. There's even a little choccy. What's not to love?
SA kit for December. Jenn went bright and it pad off - it is a nice contrast to all the Christmas stuff. Talking of which - I also ordered from there BG Fruitcake - drool! and a few fun things to tart up!

And my tote should arrive today...

As well as working like a mad thing I've squeezed in a little crafty time. Made a quick card for my friend's 40th tomorrow.Had to take the photo at night because I hand delivered it yesterday. (And got to hold Bethany who is 2 months old, for about 40 minutes. Bliss). Paper and numbers are BG Gypsy. Numbers covered with Jo Sonja glitter medium (or summat like that) Tibbons from my vast ribbon stash although I think some might be Fancy Pants.
Even worse picture (its a white card!). This is one I was asked to make and was inspired by Rachel Turtle and Helen P's cards using heart shapes. The paper is BG Dasher with a Bazzil trunk and a glitter card star at the top. It's also straight....This what I have done with the little Posh Pig journal books. Covered in inked squares of BG Lily Kate, with matching mongram amd little letters. The word 'journal' is done in rubons which didn't really like the texture so ended up looking like very neat stamping! Was going to add ribbons but I actually think a prayer journal should be simple really! I have mod podged itso it feels lovely!
Have written half the Christmas cards and second post doesn't even end until Saturday. This is a Nevard record!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Please sir can I have some more?

This is Max, 2 1/2 enjoying one of the biscuits he made at the craft afternoon. His grandparents did not enjoy the sugar rush he had so much!

The Craft afternoon was fun. We had loads of helpers and oodles of things to do, thanks to my friend Gill who was a wonderful headteacher and still is able to organise stuff at the drop of a hat!

we were not crowded out but those who were there all seemed to enjoy themselves and it is a tradition we will carry on and try and build on.

I was going to do laminated place mats but the person who normally does cards couldn't go so I did cards! They were inspired by Kathy's wobbly trees and my thriftiness when it comes to sharing my stash with others (that is the polite way of saying I am selfish!)

we cut shapes out of cereal boxes with punches, or traced round a triangle. Then, using the free Christmas papers I have collected over the last few months we covered white paper using the serendipity technique, punched it out, stuck 'em together and decorated.It's great way of using up bits of scrap paper and even these cheap quality freebies look quite good.

This is the one that Hywel made.
And I have had an email notification that the 6x6 BG Blush pad that I wanted is in stock. Can you all please go and buy it so that I won't be tempted? Thank you

Friday, December 08, 2006

Help me please!

From time to time I am very good at not splurging on new crafting goodies. But then suddenly I go a bit mad. I have to stop. I want to buy a Craft Robo so I mustn't keep buying other stuff. I know I will use it but mustn't buy anyway. This week there has been the crate Paper (in a sale!) books to be turned into presents (well they are presents) a few lovely bits and bobs from Purple Planet (in a sale!) and then a tote from Rugby crafts which (in their sale) cost me £20. Lots of bargains, but the key is lots. Plus Bazzill card for presents.
I managed to give up buying craft stuff for Lent - bought nothing at all, wouldn't even allow myself glue or tape. This time I am allowing those things but nothing else. will you help me?
Every time I see a bargain or get the urge to splurge I will post on here and I want lots of No's to keep me strong!

Been to the orthodentist this morning to oversee Hywel being turned into a metal mouth. He is all white and shaky now. Bless.

I only managed one card for the Daring Cardmaker's this week but after seeing everyone else's I am full of ideas as to how to use "found" objects for stamping in the future.
This one utilises my hubby's thumb (it is bigger than mine). A square hammered card with purple cats eye ink chalked round the edge, prima flowers and 3 Bugs rhapsody collection paper.

I'm running a card making table at my church's craft afternoon tomorrow so wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


As you may remember from my pre Christmas rant, I find getting into the mood for the whole thing quite difficult! Not the religious side, although it can be a strain thinking of new ways to tell the story. (Good one this year - Nativity Blog, where characters have their own blogs, Can't think where that idea came from!) I get lots of present buying angst and generally grump about a bit. But last night I counted up all the christmas cards I have made and it comes to 96! Tick!

This is the prototype. DCWV christmas stack triangles and a squishy star on the top (naff but i love them and anyway i have 100's to use up!). The wording is now in a different font and centred, some trees have a line and squiggle outline which looks funkier and I started using some of my BG Dasher paper. Oh what a joy it is to use! (Silver stars with that though) I think it may be a bauble next year although not really very religious (Christmas trees have a sort of christian link but even they are stretching it) I have the QK nativity dies but they are a pain to cut out. Still if I have a craft robo next year i can do babies and angels and everything!

And we have ordered quite a lot of stuff online and it is all on its way Tick! So suddenly life seems a bit better. Only the presents to wrap and Christmas letter to write and cards to sign address and post, but then it is only December 6th so i can breathe again now and enjoy life. All the people doing Shimelle's class are doing such lovely pages about christmas. I suppose i could just get some grinch and Scrooge stickers and join in next year but the very thought makes me hyperventilate. One of these days I will do one of her classes becasue they look such fun! But probably not christmas.

I was diverted in my evening off yesterday from Christmas cards to doing the latest Daring cardmakers midweek challenge. It has been a while since I have done one so I felt I ought to. The recipe was 3 pp, 5 flowers and one ribbon Sorry it's big but as it has taken two hours to load I ain't changing it now... Also a bit pixellated, bleurgh American crafts Bookshelf papers. Love those bright colours but they have turned out to be hard to use! I decided that 3pp meant 3 patterns and you could use other papers. So I did. Actually even more of a cheat is the fact that the boots are Cosmo cricket wanted which have a faint stripe in them, but I'm not counting that. Flowers cut from more AC paper. Ribbon is from that ATDML order. Did I mentio another teeny order for Christmas pressies? 4 4X4 Posh Pig journals. They have arrived already. They were only £2 each and they came with more free ribbon. Which once more matches the things I bought. mel and Jill i want to marry you and have your babies!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Kicking myself

So i went into the lovely new craft shop in little old Upminster yesterday. it's called "imagine that" (no website yet) and it is beautifully lit. Not over loaded with stuff but it is all yummy. Bazzil was 10 sheets for £4.00. So I bought 20 and explained i was going to make loads of exploding boxes. Which they had never heard of.
So I hatched up a cunning plan. I would take one in, they would go "oooh and aaah" and ask me to teach a class an I would say "of course" and tell them about the daring cardmakers blog and all sorts. I printed up a set of instructions (I hope that is okay as I have four different lots of instructions from different places and people that have been cobbled together for the best fit in my opinion).
So I took my box in, they went "oooh and aaah" (though the person who lifted the lid was a bit nervous because it might explode!) and she laughed and said "would you like to teach this as a class"
and I said....

it's very easy you just follow the instructions

Why am I such a wuss? Answers on a postcard please! I did leave my name and number just in case and will go in again anyway as it is a lovely shop with lots of classes and crops that I would love to get to. So maybe one day I'll mention Daring Cardmakers too.

Other news: 1: My chicken cards are in the Omlet shop! And some people have bought them! (they are the bottom 3 on the page)

2: My friend Gill's nicce is getting married for the second time and is wearing a black dress with bridesmaids in cream. "Oooh I've got just the paper" I said and used some of my new Crate paper without crying

(all CP with QK hearts and free ribbons that came from my ATDML order because they are so nice)

...Possibly because I ordered 2 more collections today in the Capture the magic 25% off sale.
And my first 12x12 album becasue I have so much free time for crafting at this time of year.
Yeah right.

Friday, December 01, 2006

"hello, my friends hello"

Really enjoyed the dare challenge this week. Slightly sad because I have had oooooooodles of ideas but no time to do them. Still the day job really has to take priority at the mo.
I had another delivery from A trip down memory lane. So awesome. Good price, record delivery time (ordered Sat morning arrived Monday morning) and free ribbons to match the paper. Crate Paper Avenue

Also went to Cambridge on Wednesday to talk about a possible MA course beginning next year in Pastoral Theology. Popped into lakeland and bought some refills for my one handed tape dispenser (it's brilliant but they only sell the refills at Christmas DOH!) and some Junkitz flowerz. Yes I know I'm supposed to be boycotting things with unecessary 'z's but don't your morals weaken when things are only 95p?

To the cards then...
Safmat words, Digs My hart font, Self Addressed Kit papers from last month, krylon pen and a heart clip.
Papers and circle die cut are from the Neopolitan scrap to go K and co set. Letters are traced round MM Poolside letters mounted on card (note to self, use Kathy B's cereal packets as it is easier). QK photo corners (two sizes), ribbon and button from stash (are you allowed to say that when you are just to lazy to find the source? I would say sorry, but...)

Monday, November 27, 2006

I am a prat

Complete. Total. Utter.

A week ago I was given our tickets for the Sound of Music in January. I was so worried about losing them that I decided the safest place to keep them was my handbag. Today I went to look at them again (I am rather excited you know). No tickets. Phil tried to convince me that I hadn't left them in my bag. But I had. Now my work desk is very untidy. As bad as my craft desk actually. But I was sure I hadn't taken them out and put them on there. And there was a teeny chance they might have fallen out of my bag in the car on Friday when i took Hywel to the orthodentist and asked him to get my diary out.
I was so sure I must have pulled them out with other stuff and dropped them that I couldn't bear to have the worst confirmed that they were not in the car. So instead of looking I spent the day in absolute bits - almost literally sick. 10:30 tonight Phil had had enough and went out to the car. Guess what he found?
They are now on my notice board so please, please make sure I put them back in my bag on the day!
Phil is now happy because I owe him one (as it were).

Other news... concert in which I played the harp yesterday. Pratty nerves once more meant that I didn't play it like I can. But the good thing about a harp is that unless you stop playing altogether most people are enjoying the sound without notcing all the wrong notes (and there were quite a lot...) The conductor is happy for me to play with them again so it wasn't a total disaster.

Oooh and before I do a craft reveal (you see I like to keep you hanging on and don't you dare just scroll down to the photos) I was out all day Saturday at a London Summit for the United Reformed Church. It was a great day because so often these days we seem to be talking gloomily about the future of our denomination but this was a day full of hope. And I also discovered that the guy playing the piano and who sang a solo is Mr Banzai. Well his real name is Masashi but he was Mr Banzai in Banzai which was one of the funniest tv shows ever. I'd never have expected him to be part of the URC!

Today I have been mostly crafting (to take my mind off the missing tickets). I am ready for Fridays Dare. I have to do mine early in the week because it is my only large amount of free time. Can't show you those, but I have also made an exploding box for Phil's Auntie Jones for Christmas. (She is really called Joan but Carys used to think that she was Jones because we would say Joan's this or Joan's that and the name stuck). It has in it all her neices and nephews and their kids. Not their partners because we can't all fit due to us having three kids! late night piccies so bear with me. All the papers are birdie by Crate Paper. And it doesn't actually bulge that much. The central pages with my kids on. I enjoyed making it but it was harder work than I expected. Only another two to do!
I'm still a prat though

Friday, November 24, 2006

Diggin' the doodlin'

But before I tell you about my cards you have to trawl through the further escapades of my humdrum life because this is the best diary i am ever going to keep so there.
I left you on wednesday afternoon having just come home from Royston. Soon after I was afflictedby the most terrible headache. The sort where all i can do is lie down. So i was just about to when I had a phone call from Phil. He had gone to Wanstead (about 40 mins away) to pick up something from Freecycle (can't say what as H reads this). He had to borrow my mobile as his needed recharging. i warned that mine only had about a minute left.

Yup it had died almost straight away. so he had to use a phone box. Now our car has central locking but it is knackered from the drivers side. As he got out of the car he remembered to reach in and lock it from the inside, shut the passenger door and then realised the key was still in the ignition. Normally one of the back doors stays unlocked and you have to lock it manually. But wed night it did what it was supposed to.

So phil decided to come home by train and get my spare keys. He woke me up to take him back to the station as there aren't many buses. I was a bit cross and felt he would have been better off staying with the car and calling the breakdown cover we pay for to fix it as the car might not be there when he got back.
(Note would have driven him there but really wasn't well enough)

Car was there - should have known no-one in Wanstead would want an old skoda! I came out on Thursday morning to find i had left my car unlocked and my handbag in there all night. Humble pie was duly eaten.

Had a filling yesterday morning. Would just like to name and praise my dentist Dr Reed as she makes having a filling bearable. Even the injection is relatively painless.

And a funeral yesterday afternoon. Beautiful wicker coffin. But they do creak rather. Anyway it went well and the blokes out back said I had a nice voice (it is disconcerting because you are on tv and all the funeral chaps sit out in the back and watch to know when to come back in. You thought they had some innate special undertakers sense didn't you. No, it's CCTV)

Today it is orthodentist part one for Hywel. So i will be late posting my blog following the daring Cardmakers launch for the next 3 weeks as i have to go with him and watch. (well sit outside doing sermon prep). He is having every piece of mouth torture equipment possible put in. Aw bless.

OK I'll put you out of your misery now.
Once more i have to apologise for the pics. There just isn't anywhere to catch the sun in my house at the mo so all the cards look a bit blue. This one is all drawn and written by my fair hand apart from the diamente bling. And the lettering is traced from a free 2peas font called platform shoes
This one uses the cafe rojo font and there is loads of doodling using white pen. The purple and patterned paper is BG LilyKate, the background paper is from my SA kit this month (slurp!).
And the last is hand doodled but inspired by some paper I have which I can't remember the name of now - anyone recognise the flowers? it's on a white background! Coloured in with twinkling H2O's Gotta love them!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And life goes on

Can't believe so long has gone since I last blogged. OK so its only a few days but I try to write something every few days because I'm always disappointed when I open a blog and realise I have read what has been said before.

So what has happened in my slightly squiffy world?
Children's bit on Sunday was fabbo. we made our tower and i asked if anyone else could paly with it "NO" shouted one of the kids and we made up some rules it was just for us, agreed that wasn't God's way and they knocked it down. Toby cou;dn't have done it better if i'd primed him. What a sweetie.

Monday I met up with SueH my fantastic crafty friend who reads this but never comments (hi Sue!). we tried out the new craft shop in Upminster called Imagine That. oh wow. it is lovely. Not tooooooo much stock but some different things. A great cropping area and lots to see. I bought one pack of rub ons as I am trying to cut down on spending.

Then we thought we ought to go to Artbase so it didn't feel left out. Now that is crowded but lovely too. I just bought some crate Paper (Birdie) and matching Bazzill to make an exploding box as a Christmas pressie but I love the paper so much i don't want to cut it now!

In the evening my dad arrived for a stop over for a meeting in London. Then I went to an orchestra rehearsal as I am playing the harp in a piece with them. look this is me actually playing the harp!
I know you can't see my head but it is me honest!
And I did my cards for the dare blog this week. I have to do them early in the week in case there is no time later. I am not, and never have been a girly swot!

Tuesday was mostly work. Today I had an earyl start with a breakfast meeting at Romford Dogs! Interesting venue - but rather cold (we were inside but I think they expect people to have sports coats and flat caps on at all times). My second meeting finished early so i had more time with the girls at Royston. 3 craft shops in 3 days! A few of us who live within about an hour of Royston have met up there for 'Christmas' lunch for the last two years. its good fun.
I only bought 2 packs of 99p rub ons (OK so in the meantime I ordered BG Fruitcake from SA becasue they have a great deal on but I pretending to be a virtuous scrapper this week)

Here we are eating lunch. SueH and sueW. And the remnants of my baked potato. The ONLY baked potato left. I got in before Clare and carolyn who were then trying to force me to enjoy every last bite while they slurped their second choice soup. Carolyn spent the rest of the time looking daggers at me. watch
And here I am looking like a potato There is another photo of me where I look better but this is the nicer one of Janice who hates having her photo taken so as a reward for her you get all my chins....
and finally carol had so much fun sitting next to JJ that she felt forced to entertain herself
Pants weather driving home. Kids tea to make then out for a meeting. Not much time for crafting this week til oooh Monday I expect :(. But I may gaze at the crate paper a little longer...