Saturday, December 29, 2007

Well it was a nice dream.

the idea of posting on Christmas Day.
Life has been just so, so hectic. But in a good way.

What with the three services on Sunday, two on Monday and one on Tuesday. (The pyjama service went so well with lots of kids there in their pj's listening to the stories of Christmas) I was exhausted by Christmas lunch time! Still I had to wake the kids up at 7:30 so it wasn't too early a start!
I have worked hard to make Christmas a relaxed time. Some people (not the children) get a little over excited and I have had to be quite firm so as to not wind the children up in the past. Now we all take out time opening presents and we all get to enjoy each others pleasure and it is just plain lovely. Some may feel it is boring. I stick to lovely.
At the same time I know of bereavements and strokes and broken hips over Christmas so I know it is not an easy time for everyone.

I don't have many pressies any more. This is because I tend to spoil myself all year! I did open my cuttlebug which has been waiting for me for a few months! And I also had a set of sparkly peel offs from one friend and some lovely wooden scrolls and crochet flowers from another. Fabby!

I made notebooks for many people - and bought some toilets in Africa for them too!
This one uses Piggy Tales papers and American Crafts stickers. I took Dolly dimples idea of laminating the paper which makes it light and sturdy. I did get frustrated with myself as I just can't work out how to punch more holes than this with my Bind it all. I am going to ask Emma at Imagine That for some lessons I think!
And for my sister in law Louise I made an altered canvas. It was a mad idea because I didn't really have time. But then I woke far too early last Sunday morning and boshed it off!

American Crafts Papers cut with Sizzix and QK dies and a star punch, some AC thickers and heaps of outlining. I hope she likes it. May not be her thing at all.

I managed a few minutes crafting to do my DCM card this week. At least it was fairly straightforward to come up with an idea.

4 of the best

Hi All. Today we have decided to revisit your most favourite dares of 2007. The four top dares, decided by the number of comments you made on them are (in no particular order): 'buttons', 'ribbons', ...'and cut' and 'frames'. We would like you to use this week as many of those dares as you like to make your card in any theme and any style.

I used a card from the October Self Addressed kit, paper from there and from a BG mellow pad (same set, different sizes). I hand cut (tick) the frame (tick) and made a button (tick) T with real sewing (gasp but no tick), added a "hankyou" (I like doing thanks cards with a large t for some reason so have loads of these lying around) then added stickles for extra bling after reading about stickles on UKS and remembering I have rather a lot. I should have used rub ons for the "hankyou" I think but not bad for a quick card. I have spent the last few days mixing family time and work. Last night we went to see Tintin in Tibet in London. It was fab, fab, fab, fab, fab. See it if you can. Today I am having a CRAFTY DAY OFF (apart from the Church stuff I have been dealing with while doing this. And you didn't even notice. Clever eh?)
Cuttlebug here I come!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Phantom Blogger returns

I hate being so long between posts. Feels a bit rude, so I'm very sorry.
this week has been filled with...
rehearsing a Christmas service production, doing a Christmas service production, preparing orders of service and powerpoint presentations for more Christmas services, a carol service, a funeral, an advent meditation, carol singing, teaching at Imagine That, Christmas food shopping and more service planning. It's beginning to look a lot like....

Plus the Salt challenge and Dare card for this week.
So v. quickly, here they are!

Salt theme was set by Esther The verse John 3:16 'For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believed in him shall not live but have everlasting life'
It is perhaps a well known verse, but it is a real testimony to our Christian faith, the fact that the babe Jesus was born as a SAVIOUR for our sins. So that if YOU believe that he came to die, and ask for forgiveness YOU ALSO will receive the GIFT of eternal life in heaven. John 15:13 reminds us 'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'
Use this verse to inspire you or to meditate on in the next few weeks

I had ambitious plans of making signs with the verse on for people to hold up. Then I forgot til it was too late and went for something simple instead...

I printed the world on a sheet of acetate then wrote the verse in gold pen, adding some chipboard letters for key words. It was hard to photograph though. You can see the words best on balck
and the world best on white

Then the Dare this week was cool beans.
I'm free!
This week, we the DCM team, would like you to design a card using a magazine 'freebie' .

It was a job finding the freeibes as they had been on my desk but then I tidied up.
NEVER tidy up a craft desk...
The flowers and the "make a wish" are from a free gift with Scrapbook Inspirations. I tend to use up my free papers with the craft groups so didn't have many large bits to use. And they didn't match. Actually neither did these papers until I turned the middle of the flower blue rather than green. Now the extra glitter is truly dry the effect is a tad more subtle than it looks. The papers are SEI ones.

And that is that. I'm sure you are all as busy as me at this time of year. I will try and post before/on Christmas Day - enjoy all your preparations.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Inside and out

Kind of sums up my life just now. Never a dull moment! Although I would love more crafty time the rest is pretty good too.
Actually a lovely thing happened yesterday. I am still trying to get a craft club off the ground at my small church. We usually do card making. One of the two wanted to try scrapbooking so I phoned the other one to bring some photos. I think she was a bit hesitant. But boy did she love it! Actually person 1 then forgot completely to come and so I made up a little kit, including my page so I can't show it to you yet. I did a page with the title Cute as a button. Person 2 suddenly said "no, I don't want a button on mine, I want it to be "cute as a butterfly", so we made a butterfly for her page instead. That little thing made me so happy - that she was already confident enough to do it differently from mine.
I gave her a little 6x6 album I have had for ages. I just can't do that small. SO I did my page 8x8 and scaled down for the class.
And apparently we are doing scrap booking again next time!

I can show you my dare card for this week...
Gillian chose the theme and the different ways we have interpreted it are fabby I think!

Inside and Out

I dare you to take the design of your card to the inside as well as the outside Add a little finishing touch to match the theme on the outside, or Surprise the receiver with a flap, foldout, decorated journal block to write on,or one of those pop-out delights....It really adds so much to a card when there is attention to detail on the inside as well as the outside. I know some of you are finished your Christmas cards already so this week it's Any theme, Christmas or not But make the inside count too :)

My card was inspired by some layouts on UKS. Someone used the same technique on a few layouts - curling paper at the edge. Can't remember who it is but thanks for the inspiration!
I used one sheet of Scenic Route Laurel. I love it all so much that cutting into it is torture - but then you can't keep everything. If anything, the card is a tad brighter in real life. Anyway using double sided cardwieght paper was a joy for making this, although it may need another panel at the back to stop it buckling
I just cut strips to different lenghts, rolled them up and attached them with double sided tape. The flowers are from the Euro shop in Achen, Germany - such a bargain as there were about 20 in a pack.. I spent ages choosing how many button flowers to put on! I added a little watercolour paper to break the stripes up and a safmat greeting.

I have been on a funeral visit this morning - to a family who have chickens! So we had a nice chat as well as the sad one of sorting out details of a funeral. there is never a good time to lose a loved one but Christmas can be especially hard. May all of you who are grieving find some comfort and peace even in your sadness.

PS: Kathy I have no idea how to put it in an envelope. Will need hand delivering methinks

PPS: Forgot to mention a big WOOT to Carys for passing her Grade 1 piano with a merit - and just a gnat's crotchet away from a Distinction. You go girl!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sparkle time

I love driving at this time of year. When people gradually put up their outside Christmas lights. I don't like a big show. We don't have any as we are concerned about the use of energy - and I do worry about it. But there is something spiritual about seeing all the lights shining in the darkness. If it wasn't for the green issues then I would be for keeping them on until the clocks go forward in the spring.
I have to go out tonight and I would rather be in, with a real fire and some crafty stuff to play with. But I have work to do tonight - nice work though - sharing good news with a local church. And lots of lights to see on the way!

I have had some crafty moments. I haven't shared my Salt layout for this week yet.
Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas
We all love celebrating Christmas because it is a time for us to stop, remember and praise God for the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. HE IS the true meaning of Christmas. Not presents, not parties, not decorations, etc. JUST JESUS!!!

It would have been easier if I had got the hang of digital I think. But I haven't...
The words are from Meekness and Majesty by Graham Kendrick. The picture is one I saved to the computer but not where from. I would love to give acknowledgment for this beautiful picture so if anyone recognises it please let me know. For me it sums up the vulnerability of Jesus come amongst us, totally reliant on those around him - as we are totally reliant on Him. The words were printed onto white card, the photo mounted on top and the whole thing matted on red bazzill. The word "God" has been glittered. Three red gems and that is it.

I also made two 8x8 layouts this week.
An old piccy of Carys. She doesn't twiddle as much now but I still have to cut the odd knot from her hair! The papers are from an old SA kit- they are American Crafts. The title is robo'd. I just added some black gems and shisha mirrors - they look pretty but make a layout hard to photograph!

This months Self Addressed kit papers - sassafrass lass. The heart was hand cut and mounted on card. It was distressed with red distress ink. The stamps used on the heart are purple onion. The wings are from Artbase. I coloured them with red distress ink and then used my new dot stamp with the same ink. I wanted some sparkle so added Diamond shimmer paint on the top - which took all the ink off. SO they have ended up very distressed indeed (and so was I). He said and she said are Technique Tuesday stamps, the arrow is from an old SA kit. The chipboard letters are from my QVC box. I thought it would be good to get Phil to write what he said on the layout. He thought it was mad...
No change there, then.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A change of clothing

Well several actually today! Started off in ordinary clothes, then sparkly top for a short concert Phil and I did at his church, now about to put on a clerical collar and do a funeral, then back to ordinary clothes again. That kind of sums up what my life is like at the moment - coupled with not feeling well. My throat glands are still a little tender so I am still not 100% but I am feeling better now than I have done for two weeks. Which kind of leaves an awful lot to do before Christmas...
I have made about 56 Christmas cards though which is a result.

I will share my Salt contribution tomorrow but here is my Daring Cardmaker Dare for the week.
Saffa chose the theme
Candy Stripes
I love the stripey candy sticks that are around at this time of year so inspired by this I challenge you all to create a card featuring stripes of some kind, the occasion is up to you but you must use some form of stripes on your card. Maybe stamps, or paper, or ribbon...
I used one of my Tilda stamps and my all time fave papers - Salem by Scenic Route. The colours are actually a tad brighter in real life but I had to photograph it in the dark! I made the little balloon shape (as if you can't tell) and hand wrote the greeting (ditto) Just added two black brads and some of the felt stars from the Euro Shop in Achen. Phil hates the scary stamp girls (as he calls them) but grudgingly admitted he liked the card "of its kind". Praise gets no better...