Monday, October 30, 2006

Techniques Tag

Paula the Pixie set these fabby questions on her blog so I thought I'd respond.

1) What technique would you consider to be your "trade mark" (what do you do most?)
I ink the edges and then do pretend stitching round the side.
2) Which technique(s) do you wish you could do/do better?
I can burn fimo! Wish I could use my sewing machine on cards better
3) What are your 4 favourite embellishments?
Buttons, Brads, Ribbon, Blooms - this is what Paula wrote but I totally agree!
4) What are your 3 favourite gadgets?
Corner rounder, Cropodile, Zipemate
5a) What do you like to do but haven't done in a while?
Peel offs on acetate. I know I've used the P word but they can sometimes look nice ya know!
5b) And what have you done recently & forgot how much you enjoyed?
Stamping and embossing and colouring in

In the last two days I have conquered some of my fears that built up with depression - I have practiced the harp and used my sewing machine. OK so it doesn't sound ground breaking, but it reallyreally is. Just wish I didn't have to go through the blister on fingers routine with the harp....

Sunday, October 29, 2006

So what did you do with it?

The 'extra hour' today?

  • went to Church (but not preaching - Sunday off. Got a good idea for school assembly on Thursday...)
  • made Sunday din dins
  • Finally did a bit of the cross stitch tree for CBC's Advent calendar (will need help though Susan!)
  • Went bowling. Tried to go bowlling on Thursday but it was no way without booking so we booked today. There were 6 of us but I was still shocked at the price! we had loads of fun - especially the second round when we put up the gutter guards. There were lots of nul points first time round. Grandma was the ultimate winner!

  • finally got the harp out and tried practicisng for a piece I'm playing in a concert in 4 weeks. Realised should have started months ago (have a love/hate relationship with the thing. Its complicated)
  • faffed about on the computer
  • listened to the Archers and went hoarse from shouting "Ruth NO!" If you don't listen you will not know what a trama we Archer addicts are going through just now.
  • watched the Royle family. Had to make jokes to stop myself from not just crying but completely bawling at several points. Was sure that little David was really big David's son. Had smug moment at being proved right. Think Norma Orchard Tallulah Porche might have some Craig Cash genes too but was so smug I missed her credit...
  • watched Torchwood. Was releived it wasn't quite as graphic as last week as my Mother in Law was watching with us

So (apart from cross stitch) no crafting whatever. I'm a bit twitchy now. And sad cos half term is over and its back to school tomorrow. But its been a good day. Hope yours was too.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

We went to the zoo, zoo, zoo

It was soooooo good. we have lived here for 7 years and had never been to Colchester Zoo before! it was much nicer than London Zoo and a little bit cheaper cos we booked in advance. There were so many lovely little animals like this little desert fox...

And the snake that C and H stroked...
And the baby elephant

And the meerkat
And the penguins And the fantabulous seal enclosure where you walk along a tunnel and they swim over you And of course the monkeys... I won't show you ALL 72 PHOTOS! But they will be appearing on scrap pages near you soon (once my lovely photo printer is restored to printing that is!)

Now why can I upload all these photos easily but still can't edit yesterday's bodged post?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Working in the Kitchen

Just finding stuff to put on cards though... Spend as little time in there as possible!
I'm late uploading today because I had a fabby day out with the family at Colchester Zoo so you can expect loads of piccies of cute animals tomorrow.
But today it's just me cards. I actually managed 5 kitchen cards but thought that was a bit much for the daring cards blog so just stuck up my faves!
Here they all are...
This one uses a QK cupcake die, some gorgeous BG Gypsy 6x6 papers, some doodlebug buttons and from the kitchen... real sugar attached with glossy accents
This one uses food colouring. The darker flowers are embossed images from Fontwerks Elsie Flannigan stamps which I painted and cut out. The lighter ones are punched out and doodled from a sheet with food colouring painted on it.
I was just wondering what paper backing to use when I spied this scrap of Christina Cole paper on my table - et viola!
I could not get a good picture of this one - it is not blurry in real life I promise! QK cow (lovely when done pain to make), with cocktail stick fence and some awesome cow ribbon from a US ribbon club I have used which has just ceased trading. :( I do probably have enough ribbon (that's 3 embroidery boxes full plus a bit more) but I still get upset when I have to use any!
More QK, plus some scraps of paper. And the kitchen item is the clean foil from inside a margarine tub!
The last card uses a tea bag (doh!) and some old Self Addressed kit papers. (Sadly sold out so you can't get them from the shop. They do sell off all the old tock at a bargain price so have a look at Scraps and Bits)I managed to lose these papers and they were one of my faves - I'd only cut one flower from one sheet. The wonderful daring cardmaker that is Bondgirl, sent me her unused pack which means I will love her forever.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Almost the Science Museum...

As it was wet yesterday that is where we planned to go. Unfortunately so did the rest of London. The Natural History Museum closed its doors at 11:30 and said they wouldn't reopen until 2. There was an hour wait for the Science Museum. Just think how crowded it would be. mm-mm! So we went to the V and A instead. The picnic room was being used for children's activities so we ate our picnic in the entrance way like good Brits should...

I enjoyed looking round (some of ) the V and A. Emrys and Carys loved it too. Despite her face here
Hywel was not so keen but put up with it...

In the evening Phil and Carys went to watch Bolton playing Charlton (sad result). I was going to go but decided to stay home and be crafty instead. I was just dishing up tea for me, the boys and Grandma when there was a power cut. I think most of Upminster was out. Fortunately I remembered where the candles were and we had candle-lit tea, then played charades until the lights came back on...
I have finished all my dare cards now - will only put two up on the blog and the rest here tomorrow (bet you can't wait!)
Today we are going bowling then I really must start my circle journal.
And in a mo I am off to post the Chicken cards - they are finally leaving the coop!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Great Day Out

Grandma is with us for half term so we thought we would go on another Essex walk.
So we went to Maldon. What a beautiful place it is! The walk took us by a waterway. that led to a place where 4 waterways meet. Awesome!

I managed a few arty nature shots as well!

And we even met some celebrities hiding in a van...

Now I've got a headache trying to do the daring cardmakers challenge for this week...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Been to the wild, wild West (Kingsdown)

Couldn't blog yesterday because we had run out of batteries for the camera and I wanted to share photos.

Firstly, I have added two more friends cards to the dare blog. It is so exciting doing this! Just good harmless creative fun to get everyone's juices going. Oooh which may inspire me a bit more for this week's challenge!

This one uses my BG Gyspy pad that i bought yesterday. OK so I do have the 12x12 sheets as well but in my defence I would say that the papers scale down in the pads so it is worth having both... I am always singing this Carole King song - I hope other people get the connection as well

And this is features patterns from the SA Kit this month. Gorgey double sided patterned paper. It jsut feels so wrong to cut into it though! I managed it and sued so of the lovely little brown letters as well. It didn't come out quite like it did in my head in a meeting but not bad....

So West Kingsdown was where the crop was yesterday, hosted by Em aka Wild Woman of Wongo from Scrapstars. I did pretty well on the journey there. Living 10 minutes from the M25 does have its compensations sometimes - though I do wish I didn't have to pay to go to Kent from here! I did get lost in the village - plus I only knew the postcode and not the building so I had to drive around until i saw something that looked like the kind of buildling a crop would be held in. I'm most releived to say I was right!

I met a similarly nervous Di O in the car park so we went in holding hands and sat next to each other. (Only part of that last sentence is true) (Well we only held hands until it became impossible to hold a pritt stick). The theme was using loads of photos on one page. I was slightly hampered by the fact that I

  1. only scrap 8by8 so far
  2. brought photos of different sizes, rather than the same size and there were lots of nifty techniques for same size.

So I watched them and did my own thing. I did my first double lay out using the berry photos from our walk in Little Dunmow and one of Carys doing the Iggle Wiggle race at Gray's Beach on Easter Monday which she has been begging me to scrap (so how can I say no?)

SA kit papers, prima flowers and QK leaf die

WRmemory keepers paper, fancy pants flower rub ons and a Heidi Swapp index tab

I had a really good time - spent a little money. I wish I had asked to look at more scrap books - I will try not to be so shy next time. Don't know when i can go again - defo not the next two (bother saturday meetings!) but I'll be back in 2007!

Right just got to do the Minister's letter for the Church Magazine and then i am on my hols for a week - woo hoooooooooooo!

(I am going to write about how I watched someone accidentally tell someone else about the end of the last Harry Potter book - thereby rather spoiling it - and how as Christians we can give away the ending to our story because the main character doesn't just die - he comes back to life in a new and powerful way. Which actually I still think might happen to the character in HP too.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Coy no longer!

The day has arrived when I can reveal what all the shenanigans are - the Daring Cardmakers are here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NZ Jane was inspired by all the scrap dare sites to set up a card dare blog with some people from NZ and some from the UK (we don't make it easy on ourselves as our time zones hardly meet up!). It is fantastic to be involved. I do feel humble cos I know heaps more talented card mkaers than myself. I think I was chosen for my looks and brains rather than crafting skills (and of course for my naked cleaner...)

Here is a closer look at my card. It is as big as the others in real life - it's jsut we need to get matching settings going!

The papers are BG Lily Kate punched into teeny squares and inked and cut into a heart shape. The quote is from a KI memories friends sheet and you can get similar diamente bling from Carolyn's shop. The pink hearts are from the florist's warehouse up the road from me.

PLEASE visit the blog and tell s what you think!

In a meeting today I was suddenly inspired by a further two friends cards so I might do those before I start on the new fiendish challenge.

Going to my first crop tomorrow. Mighty nervous. And it doesn't help that I have run out of ink on the photo printer today...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mental picture

I think you will understand why...

Was off to the loo this morning when I glanced into the bathroom as I could here some movement in there.
And saw

my hubby

doing the cleaning







If it helps, imagine he has a bod like Brad Pitt....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The C word

It's coming you know.
I have seen the odd twinkle of lights in the shops. Dunelm Mills has a sign out wishing it's customers a Merry one already. I've seen sightings of the first smug organized present buying person (yes, well done, jolly good). (Can you tell I'm not one of them. I feel a bit mean now. Sorry.) (Not very though). The turkeys are being fattened as we speak. Yes, the run up to Christmas has begun.


For all I'm a Christian I'm not really into christmas. Certainly not the expense and the angst of present buying and the "and all the trimmings". Plus I ahve a lot of extra work and have to think of a new way of saying "God loved us so much he chose to be born one of us, a baby in Bethlehem, ins't it amazing?" When really that sentence is all you need (Might try that at the carol service this year). PLUS if I do try and get organized my children tell me off because it is not December yet and far too early to be thinking about Christmas.
I can't win.

But I have now made 11 Christmas cards. One as a prototype of the card I will make this year. 10 as a template challenge on Carolyn's forum. I won't bore you with them all, just my favourites!

I'd do more like this but I only have one of these trees left. Plus look how much of that gorgeous may arts ribbon I used!
And this one uses DCWV Christmas stack. I ordered this late last year so I would have unique funky cards this year. And of course this year they arrived in the UK and everyone has got them... The pudding I got from dies to die for.

So how to survive Christmas?
I know some people thrive on it and I'm happy for them, I really am. I think the secret is to work out what is important for you and your family and find some way to make it meaningful. So for me, it's making sure Christmas is calm, low key - still fun! about the joy of welcoming Jesus, God with us and being family centered. Whether Christmas has a religious significance to you or not, I think it can still be about love and bringing light to a dark time of the year.
So whether you are a Scrooge like me, or a real Mrs Christmas - Enjoy!
Bah. Humbug.

Right better post this before the children notice...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

National Blogging Day

or something like that anyway..
So i thought I would talk about mornings in the nevard household.

It is so much more civilised now that the kids are older. I used to have to get each one dressed while Phil made their breakfast and pack lunches (I know I got the easy deal, I always do becasue he is a WONDERFUL man). Now I am often stirred by the sound of Carys opening the drawers to get clean undies. I then go and open the boys curtains. Next tis time to comb out the tangles in Carys' hair - a lengthy job.

I may have to remind the boys to get up (rare) or to do the pit stop in the bathroom before putting shirts on (occassional) but mostly I can then get dressed and stumble downstairs...
where Phil has made me a lovely cup of tea. He won't have done the pack lunches because the kids do them the night before. And they do their own breakfast. He may pour out their milk if they are lucky.

What follows is
  • a moan about books on the table (Phil)
  • a moan because Emrys is teasing (Carys)
  • a moan because Mum always reminds me to go up first when Hywel has been sat reading for ages (Emrys)
  • Your lift is here Carys (Phil and Lythan) (faces too gruesome in the morning for photography to be safe)

Yes we don't even have to drive her to school any more!

Side note: Actually, I'd rather walk her to school too. If we had got places for the kids in the LOCAL school we would have walked. But we didn't.

Today was a bit of desk work (not that I can see it) plus prayers at one of my churches and Women's Guild at the other where I talked about books I love with a subtle anti racist message thrown in. Highlight was the safe arrival of Bethany Dorney. Mum Jane has been wheelchair bound for ages and her birth is a real miracle. I'm so excited! As I ahve the sniffles I can't visit yet though...

Bethany shares her birthday with Ayomide whom I baptised last week. He is one today! For little Heaton way Church to have 3 babies there now is also a miracle. Thanks be to God!

Slightly less importantly... I did the sept Template challenge on Carolyn's form on Sunday. I am aware of the date now...

I found the template a little overwhelming at first but once I got the piccies the right size it was fun, fun, fun to do! Paper is MMSam, Letter stickers from QVC kit, Bazzill buttons and ribbons from stash (love saying that)

Tonight I have to finish the 10 template Christmas card challenge so i will post about that tomorrow. Adios amigos

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Been tagged

kind of! by Paula
Who is getting more into blogging I see. And decorating...

She set this challenge

What are your 5 biggest achievements in life so far, and what are the 5 things you want to achieve before you die?
Here are my 5 achievements
1 – to have been happily married for 18 years. Even though I am sure that most men would have got fed up with me by now, Phil still loves me a lot!
2 – to have 3 amazing children. They are not perfect. But they are fantastic. They are growing up so much and are so loving, so caring and have developed a strong faith of their own.
3 – to have stuck with my job even tough there have been many times in the last few years that I have been tempted to go and work in a shop. It's not the faith that is the problem. It's not really the people that make up the churches that I serve. But being a Minister is never an easy job and who you are and what you do can get ever so caught up together if you are not careful. But God has kep faith in me and I thank him for that (sometimes through clenched teeth)
4 – I ahve 2 degrees. well one is called a post graduate certificate in theology but as a year or so later they made it easier and called it a B Th I'm going to say i have two degrees.
5 – beginnning to wish i hadn't lumped the kids together... um, passed my driving test first time. No, learnt to use a sewing machine.

And my 5 things to achieve before I die are
1 – To see my kids off to university - or whatever suits them best
2 – to be a grandma. I've said I want at least 3 each. The boys say they are not having kids so Carys has to provide 9...
3 - to see one of my churches really grow and make a difference in the community.
4 – To finish the banner I started last year
5 – to make God really proud of me

Your turn!

cute happy baa-thday cards I made yesterday...

And sanil with my SA kit which finally arrived... I am now spending quite a bit a month on this as I have gone for 8x8 to help with my scrapping. But the stuff is scrumptious and still cheaper than the UK mostly...
the card was meant to

have a groovy edge and it isn't that I had to change the style because I didn't print the greeting straight. Honest.

Blessing on Doug and Sue who are getting married tomorrow!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

the good, the bad and the (not so) smugly

the good: the chickens are finished!

the bad: still not firing on all cylinders but am doing something about it

and the rest: serves me right for being smug. Have ended up in the middle of a very sad situation which I hope can be resolved with love and understanding. Hugs to all involved. Apologies to those who have no idea what I am talking about
(I really do hate these kinds of blog posts you know)

On a lighter note...
I ahve done some more scrapping. The great thinga bout 8x8 is that it doesn't take a lot to fill the page. That is also the drawback but I'm not ready for 12x12 yet. Phil hates this photo so much... papers from an ancient SA kit and I can't remember which one. Bosher ditto. Brads and ribbon thingy from Carolyn's shop Personally I'm not so keen on my look in this one... Christina Cole papers and doodlebug buttons
Christian Cole papers again. At elast some of the ribbon is from Carolyns shop. The buzzy bee is a David walker 2Peas font (letter 'J' I beleive). And I've been wondering what to do with those big & from the SA kit. oooh I've just realised that going off the page is one of Elsie's scrapping challenges!
BG Lucky paper ( I think) and some acrylic painted MM letters. Wish I had done the writing slightly differently but I love the writing in wavy lines thang.

Here's to a happy weekend for all

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

He came back

The little puppy was a decoy. The black dog went and got all his friends and they are all sitting and laughing at me. Every other time I have felt realy low I could point to a reason. Now I ahve got rid of most of the big causes so I guess it's just a chemcial imbalance. Which means going to the doctor for some talbets. sigh. On the bright side, for the first time in four years when he asks if I have had a smear test I can answer YES!!!!!

I'm so glad I have been tagged as it gives me something to talk about...

I've been tagged by Jo.

1. Do you have any middle names? Official one since I was born - Elisabeth. One given to me at the age of 6 by an American Indian - Laughing Eyes. It's not on my passport but it is still my name

2. What's under your bed right now? Winter clothes in roll out boxes, craft mags and my dust bunny warren.

3. Last time you laughed so much you cried? Just the other day but I can't remember why...

4. What age were you when you first drank Alcohol? 14. I went to a friends party. Hoped my parents wouldn't notice. I think the results later on gave it away...

5. Porn Star Name (First pets name and your mother's Maiden name)?
It is your first street name not mother's amiden name - that is just too tame. Anyway I have a good first name whatever as my first pet was Fluffy.
Fluffy the Goldfish.

6. What's your desk top photo on the PC? My 3 kids asleep in the car on holiday. I change it round quite a lot

7. What did you have for breakfast? A pomegranite

8.Music or TV? Talking books

9. Worst outfit you have ever worn? My 21st birthday party 1986. Black leggings, big hair and an enormous multi coloured t-shirt. freaky.

10 Where do you feel most at peace? With my family on an outing or on holiday. And sometimes in Church!

Oh no, now I am supposed to tag someone - ok if you are reading this and haven't been tagged yet - it is your turn. Especially if you need an excuse to start a blog!

I don't think I've put the page about my middle name up on the blog yet so here it is!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ho hum to mmmm to oooh to aaah

Ho Hum
Life has just been a bit ho hum since I last blogged but if I don't blog a bit more now then it will be a week and that is norty. Black dog still there but more like a puppy now... Managed to get a fair bit of work done considering and I've polished off about 20 chicken cards. I am doing batches of 5 that are similar but almost all different, though there is one layering design I like so will use that for chicks, chickens and roosters. Still haven't had a letter of confirmation though so he'd better flipping want them!

On the self Addressed site they are having daily challenges and ideas following the virtual crop at the weekend. I couldn't join in again as we had the family day - plus I just can't get the hang of EST and stuff. I thought they were behind but now I think they might be ahead. Plus all the shop bargains you have to pay postage on, which is £5 before we start in the UK. I'm not sulking too hard though! Anyway, I mention this because Hilary has put together a card organiser class which is fabby and may be something i can mke for our church fair which comes up all too soon.

You know how sometimes on blogs people say they have a secret and it's really exciting but they can't say anything yet and it is SOOOOoooo annoying because you want to know and they are being smug gits?


Phil scanned this old pic in. I'll give you a moment to giggle at the scary lady with the big glasses.
Better now?
This is a pic of Hywel aged about 14 months (I can tell because he already has glaasses at this point). It is entitled Mooojic Van. This is because he loved to watch the music van come round the streets playing it's little tune. His mean old parents had not told him that the music van also sold icecream. Can you see they joy on his little face? He was so excited to be actually able to touch a music van that he
a: did not notice the lack of music.
b: did not notice the people behind him buying and eating icecream.
c: Did not notice his parents having a good laugh at his expense.

well that's the reason I HAVE children...

Monday, October 02, 2006

scrapping crazy

Somehow over the last few days I've managed to fit a fair bit of work and family time in but also get some scrapping done. I guess doing 8 by 8 helps! Of course I've got lots of other things I should be doing... But I'm also fighting the black dog today so I'm jst crafting and ignoring the rest of the world.
This one uses the new BG Lily Kate (mmm) cut with zigzag scissors (funky) woven with May arts ribbons (cry cos they are so lovely), MM flowers and some buttons to be like sunflowers.
This one uses the SA Sept kit and a sticker I got as a spot prize for putting silly photos of myself on the Scrapstars site which is where won the comp yesterday. I didn't mention the name before cos I felt like a bit of a traitor to Carolyn's forum!!! I also frequent the Self addressed one but that is in America so it didn't feel the same. But then I realised that as Scrapstars doesn't have a shop I don't need to feel so bad. Carolyn's will always be home. But Scrapstars is a new, friendly away!
Chatterbox paper, Mambi softly spoken tag thing, various ribbons including some from Carolyn's shop where all the buttons and brads come from too. E is from an old kit. I think it is KI varsity letters
More bits from the September SA kit plus some letters from the Scrapbook Inspirations freebie. When I opened up my mag I found I had two of these free gifts but I'm not sharing cos I love my letters I do. The poem is break, break, break by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I wanted something about how lovely and dangerous the sea can be. I needn't have cut my swirl up but it probably made writing it easier. I just wnet for it and only had that tiny space where the heart is to spare. cool eh?
Why is he called Alfred, Lord Tennyson and not Lord Alfred Tennyson?Answers on a postcard please.
And finally...
another sticker from my pressie, scrummy crate papers (they just seem to go with everything. You can't really tell in the picture but the stripes are almost identical in hue to the jumper Hywel is wearing) seed bead flowers constructed by my own fair had. I double sided some double sided tape (with me?) and punched out some circles using yer ordinary hole punch, then painstakingly added the beads. it made making them a lot easier in the end!

Off to possibly dye my hair (can I be bothered?) have lunch and then set to making some chicken cards now I have the chickens