Sunday, March 30, 2008

How much is too much

Its Daring day again
Cor this weeks dare was a toughie. OK it wasn't helped that I didn't read the rules properly. The wonderful Kathy set us this dare Shrink to Fit You are allowed to cover no more than a 5x5cms area of your card with paper or embellishment - the rest of the card must be left plain.

I read it as make a card using lots of white space. And made this one.
I used some Stampendous clear stamps with Colorbox Queue chalk inks. The flower was mounted on some black card given the dots treatment and then some Sassafrass paper. I added a bit of bling and some teeny letters. Yes the kind of teeny letters I was looking for. Jo Kill sent me to Rebecca's Scrapbooking Stash where I found some teeny letters. I bought a few other small bits and bobs and the stash came to me so speedily and with a lovely little packet of freebies. I heartily recommend the site!

Having made my card I re-read Kathy's blurb and created one that actually met the brief.
5x5 cms is very small you know...
White card embossed with yup - the dots! The top layer is an embossing folder which was covered in ink first. The next two layers were embossed and then inked. A few little gems from Hobbycraft finished it off. Actually strictly speaking it still isn't right as I was supposed to leave the rest plain and I made it dotty. Ah well.

We are having a good holiday. We did travel for one and a half hours to the Big Pit yesterday only to find there was a Museum Curators strike in Wales for one day. Who would have thought it. We still had a good time though. We went to the ruined ironworks instead where they have done up some of the cottages (and people lived in them for a serial shown in Wales last year). Blaenavon, where pit and works can be found, is now a World Heritage Centre. I do understand the reasoning but it does seem amusing when you watch a film about it which says " Taj Mahal! Manchu picchu! Stonehenge! The Great Wall of China! And a South Wales Coal Mine"...
In the evening we won the quiz. Those of you who are regular readers may remember (though I doubt it) that Thursdays in Swansea means the pub quiz at the New Inn Penllegaer. The highest we have ever come is third. But last night victory was ours! OK so there were less people there than normal but a win is a win right?
Last day of full hols today and then the essay is looming!


How come no-one told me how fab Muse are before? I am currently driving the family mad by playing tracks over and over again. Especially Supermassive Black Hole and Knights of Cydonia and Soldier's Poem. Just so cool. Queen meets Keane meets Radiohead. Or maybe just their own sound... anyway the Hoosiers are out of the car cd and Muse are in. I tend to overplay stuff and then not listen it for ages!

Here is this week's l'il extra for DCM. The theme is Pretty Pastels
Now I have more pieces of patterned paper than many shops. But not many pastel ones. As you may have noticed I am more of a bright colours kind of girl. But I persevered and found some BG Lily Kate that I reckon counts as pastel. Pink and cream. Mmmmmm (bleaurgh).
I also used a stamp that was a docrafts freebie that I don't think I have EVER used before. Its quite nice really! Watercolour pencilled and tiny gems bling. Then mounted on two nestability circles, the cream one having been run through my latest fave embossing folder. Swiss dots. Layered up on more LIly Kate paper and mounted on cream card. Add a bit of ribbon and a hand written sentiment and bobs your girly card.

I finally remembered to take my camera to Imagine That to photograph my work... on the day Emma gave them to me to take home as the new classes are going up!
But it is kind of cool to see them in situ
The two layouts that I did were using KI Memories Pop Culture. It is "lush" as I can say while I am in Swansea. Here is the right hand side one in close up.
The funny thing is that one day when I was teaching I said how much I love brown and lime green together and then looked down at what I was wearing. Yup, the exact same colours!
The background is Bazill but the green is the back of one of the coloured papers. I think that outlining them makes the patterns both stand out and work well together. The flower has a ribbon stem and centre and the word "goals" was cut out using a sizzix alphabet but I can't remember what (I used one of the alphabets at the shop). A bit of white pen doodling finished it off.

I'm in Swansea at the moment and the sun is shining. I think I remember what that looks like! And I am CHILLING. Mmmmmm.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pins and needles.

My arms are aching this morning. I think I was sleeping with them flung over my head again! I've started doing that a lot. Or I wake with them above my head and folded. And I'm just not young enough to spring back easily any more. I also sometimes sleep on my arm and have pins and needles enough that I lose all feeling in my arm. Its quite funny in that I can feel it is there when it makes contact with the rest of my body, but not in itself. And I can't move it either. Well it is funny until the blood flow starts working properly again and the the pins and needles REALLY hurt.

While I am wittering away (yes it is sermon avoidance Friday), isn't it strange how we only say "pins and needles". "Needles and pins" doesn't sound right. And I knew a chap from the Czech republic who told me how much he loved "chips and fish" and I had to suppress a giggle. And my all time fave one of these (whatever it is) is that the French for "walkie talkie" is ...
"talkie walkie"

All of which is an inane way of introducing today's Daring Cardmaker theme.
Pins and Needles
Its very simple really (prickly maybe but..:) I want you to design a card to any theme- but I want you to include pins or needles of some sort. Sewing needles, safety pins, dressmakers pins- any type of pin goes !:)

I was stumped to start with.
It wasn't helped that I found a cute little safety pin and promptly lost it. And I know I have a few coloured ones somewhere. But I eventually found a pretty dressmakers pin and decided to use that to fix a flower.

Everything bar the flowers, gem and pin is from the February Self Addressed kit. I love these shaped cards and on the kit inspiration page they had a few turned this way up. You have to lean them to display but I figured that was ok!
The paper is We R Memory Keepers whiteout given the ol' black pen treatment. I have to admit I am mighty pleased with the effect. The flowers are a gift from the radically awesome Kathy B. I jsut love the vibrant colours and they are so soft and pliable. They also took black pen really well! The little punched green circle has orange stickles (current fave) and white opal liquid pearls on it plus a cheapo gem. Handwritten "hello".

I am hoping to do some of the dares and challenges for when I am away over the weekend but it depends how long it takes me to pack ready for Monday! SO this may be "goodbye" again for now. But like Bianca and Rick-AY... I'll be back

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm so tired all I want to do is

moan about it!

I'm not a doctor or a teacher or a nurse. All of whom have far more stressful and hard working lives than me I know. But the week after Easter I get sooooooooooo tired ands having to work through it is pure torture. I have an easier week than I have for a long time for sure. But I can still enjoy the whining. Still next week I shall be chez mum and can sleep eat and read to my hearts content. Less crafty time but you can't have it all. When the family return I am staying at my parents to work on my essay. The deadline looms and I am tres nervous.

Anyway I did have time this week to create my latest Salt layout. I have chosen to always do layouts so I can keep them together in a special album. Which has become my top favourite! But I am constantly blown away by the variety of art that happens on the Salt blog. Whether you are a person of faith or not it is worth a visit just to see the talent. I'm not worthy really. But it was my idea so they are stuck with me!

Esther came up with a fantastic topic.
This week's main topic is 'Believe',
but I (Esther) also wanted to share with you a verse that
has particularly struck me recently which is taken from
Jeremiah 29:11-13
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
If only we truly believed in God's promises- we would worry so much less. It is such a reassurance to know that we have a great God who is in control of all things.

Here is my take on it.
I have a small photo album with photos that have not got anywhere else in them. Photos that should have been in albums. But that sort of thing stopped partly becasue of digital cameras and partly when I started working full time. But it is full of potential photos to scrap which is great because it stops me just using up to date ones.
This photo is the kids climbing in a tree house Phil made in Grandma's garden. I think they are about 2, 4 and 6. See who is at the top? Little Miss Daredevil. She used to love heights at that age. Hywel looks so cute. And Emrys (the blondie) was the most photogenic little boy. He really should have been the Milky Bar Kid. I never, never, thought I would have a child with blond hair. It is dirty blond now and he is a spotty moody teenager. Which is why these sorts of photos are important I think. Because it reminds me that those sunny natured kids are still there. Just as cute, daring and beautiful. And my prayer for them remains the same. that they will share the faith that sustains me and that it will help them grow to be the people God has made them to be.

If you want to know what I have used it is Scenic Route Laurel - the backing paper and the cut out flowers. Bazzill blue and Stampin' Up red card cut with the Craft Robo. Hand cut photo mount. Some 99p gems from Craft Central. Orange stickles as it needed more orange (what doesn't) and of course lots of inking and outlining. There is a tiny bit of writing in the bottom right corner which is my version of Kim Hughes handwriting. I have discovered you can buy her fonts at Scrap n' Fonts if you love it and want some for yourself

And yes, as ever I managed to photograph the layout slightly squiffy and counldn't straighten it much in photoshop. I think i need longer legs...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Even happier Easter

We have had a fabby weekend here in Nevard towers.

Not only was it the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead. And there we were at 7:30 in the morning worshipping on the hillside in the snow (well not all the family, but quite a lot of Christians!) But also we had Phil's mum and sister to stay. Easter is just so much more meaningful for me than Christmas. Although with less presents! It is quite work intensive with lots of services to prepare but it is just such a privilege to lead people through the story of the passion and resurrection of Jesus. We call the story of Jesus last week the passion and I always hope that there is passion within it. I spend a lot of time with the family playing down the over excitement of Christmas and then whipping up the excitement of Easter!
It is always a bit sad that because we are both ministers the Nevard family is never all together for the big services. But at least it gives us something to talk about when we are together . (Kids "we had that fat balding boring Minister again this week" Me: "you mean your father")

This is the flower cross from Trinity Upminster. My camera batteries died as I was taking a photo of the one in Harold Hill. Less artistic. more colourful. But I love the message of each of them that new life comes from the cross.
And Lucky was over the moon to have her doggy friends here for a short time. As she lived in kennels for 4 years she is used to the company of other dogs. We are used to having a dog who attacks others when they come near (ah dear old Dutch) and so it is still strange and marvellous to have a dog who runs up to others and just sniffs them. She is pining a bit now though. Spin, Topper and Spell have gone back home. Spin is still the most photogenic dog in the whole world.

And yesterday I got to do a big of crafting. Absolute bliss!
I only made 2 cards and half a layout but it was all good fun. Carys joined in and did a layout of me and Phil. Aw. I love the way she felt the need to point out who is who. My little crown is made from the white wall above me. I think I look good as a Queen!

Anyway here is my card for this week's Daring Cardmakers Little Extra
Our midweek Little Extra is titled ‘The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring’ and we would like you to create a card with flowers.

Simple? Aww but hold on…….there’s a little twist because we don’t want to make it too easy for you. We want your cards to have flowers on but we don’t want to see any Prima’s or shop brought blooms. The idea of this dare is for you create your flowers yourself, so let’s see what you can come up with.

Not a new kind of card for me. I love making layered flowers with punches. Even better, I've used scallop nestabilities to add closer together layers. I can't send this in the post though as it sticks out a mile!
The papers are from a recent Self Addressed kit - Collage press I do beleive. So is the scalloped card and the green Bazzill. The whole thing is mounted on a cream square card and finished off with a gem which looks more like a pearl in the photo.

I'm hoping to fit in more crafty time this week but with all the work of the last few weeks the house also needs a bit of attention. Oh for a full time housekeeper!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good, Good Friday

It's only 2:15 in the afternoon and I'm ready for bed!
I'm exhausted - but in a good way - following our annual Journey with the Cross through the centre of Romford. I got to lead the part about Jesus dying for us on the cross - that part is always done in the middle of the market place. I was just a teensy bit nervous (you know most of us public speakers still do get the butterflies, we just get better at hiding it!). I think it went ok though. There were LOADS of Christians from many Churches worshipping together. Amazing. And we also gave out hot cross buns with leaflets explaining why they have a cross on them to those who were shopping in the market.
That reminds me, I haven't had one yet. There were buns for everyone at the end of the service but there were so many of us we ran out :( Well :) really but not if you didn't get one like me!
But it has left me rather drained. Many of my Church of England and Catholic colleagues have 3 hours this afternoon as well!

Onto this weeks Daring card. Sue H came up with a fantastic dare this week

It’s all in the Game
Tiddlywinks, playing cards, dominos, jig saw pieces…….the list goes on and I’m sure that most of us have a drawer somewhere that has the odd one or two of these lying around in.
Well now’s your chance to use them because I dare you to make a card using some of those pieces.

I have had these mini playing cards for yonks. I bought them from Crafts by Carolyn with all sorts of ideas of how to use them. This is the first I've used...
The paper is "play" by American Crafts - rather apt doncher think? with just a bit of doodlling added. How did I manage before my crafting buddy Jo Kill started the black and white stripes and I slavishly copied her? They just add something fresh and funky wherever they appear!. I just added some letter stickers from my QVC card kit from two years ago and that's it really. You may be able to tell I had to create an apostrophe. But I bet you didn't notice that the 'r' was originally an 'n' did you? I love letter stickers like this but they are hard to find. I don't know WHY Making Memories stopped doing their bitty letters, especially before I ever had a chance to buy any. If you can source any other similar ones then do let me know!

Once I've rested and eaten my hot cross bun I have to tidy away my scrap space NOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooo!!!! until Monday as Phil's mum and sis are coming to stay and my suggestion that one slept in Carys' room to save me the bother fell on deaf ears....
I am looking forward to seeing them though!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I'm back briefly!
Finally managing to get my head above water. Thanks in part to DH who has twice forced me to go and do some crafting. You know you are seriously overworked when that happens. This week too is busy, but in a good way as it is Holy Week and there are services of some sort every day preparing for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is just the best time for having your faith renewed and revived.

Then this weekend Phil's mum and sister are staying over. Erica arrives at Heathrow on Saturday morning and we are a good recovery stopover! It does mean that I have to tidy up my craft space to turn it into a bedroom, but you can't have everything.
I'm around another week and then won't be able to craft for a while again. Sob. Combo of a little holiday time and a lot of essay time. I have a 6000 word essay to do. I keep telling myself that I write about 2000 words a Sunday so it is really a breeze. But it all looks a bit scary from here.

Anyway I have two services today so must get on. I have done a dare card for today - hence the post! The theme was Easter Greetings.
Which actually is harder than you might think for a Christian because cute as they are - and the other Easter cards on the blog are just the cutest I have ever seen, Easter bunnies don't mean Easter to me. But an empty grave and people looking puzzled don't really make for an exciting card either. So I was inspired by what we now do at both my churches. Which in turn was inspired by my dad and his church in Rochdale. That is, to have an empty cross outside the church on Good Friday and fill it with flowers on Easter Sunday. Here is a picture from 2 years ago. At this church the cross is outside all the time. We just cover it with chicken wire and fill it with flowers.

And this is my card interpretation of it. (When I showed it to DH he informed me I used the same design last year. Oh well)

The lens of the camera apparently needs cleaning...
I printed onto the card using the new Ali Edwards free font from CK. If only you could really join it up... The papers are from a BG Mellow 6x6 pad. Prima flowers added with Opal White stickles type stuff in the middle.

I do Sympathy cards in a similar vein. The strip effect on the side was an accident as I didn't have the greeting spaced evenly. But it adds a little something I think. Sadly I have had to make far too many of these recently...
I'll be back sometime on Friday - but worship preparation starts early so it will be afternoon. Have a good Holy Week. Think of us Christians as we go on the final journeys with Jesus through cleansing out the temple, eating with his friends, trying to share everything with them before he died, being betrayed, arrested, beaten, treated unjustly and crucified. All for the sake of the world God loves so much.