Friday, October 24, 2008

Proud Momma

That's me!
Last night Hywel had to go back to his old school to receive three awards. ICT Achievement, GSCE Excellence and the much coveted Library prize (family joke. H and his mates all helped out in the library for their 5 years at school. It was a way of keeping out of the line of sight of those who thought them just to nerdy to exist. Every year one of them would get the prize and it was never H. I like to think they saved the best til last. The librarian has said that she misses him!)

It was for this that H had to have a suit. He is still quite small - about 5' 8 I reckon and stick thin, so I was surprised that it was so easy to get one that just about fits. I think he looks quite smart in a long haired geeky kind of way!
We are standing in front of his English coursework. He got the second highest score, losing out to his "rival" NW who was at primary school with him. (for many years in the Juniors they were secret loves. She is really nice and clever and pretty so I would be happy for the love to continue. H would not. She did get more prizes than he did but he claims it doesn't bother him. I suppose 16 is a bit young to settle down. She goes to a different sixth form anyway. So I better stop looking at hats)
And here he is at home in full length glory. I'm so proud of him!

Onto things crafty then!
The theme of Daring Cardmakers this week is ...
WARNING here, if you are of a certain age (early 40's ish) then these two words may get a certain song going round your head. Every time I read them a flute going "do, do, do, do , do, do, do do, do, do, do, do , do, do, do do,whhheeeeeee oooo" starts playing in my head. I do love the song - and the whole of War of the Worlds but it is driving me nuts now!

I blame Sue who chose the theme because she heard the song on the radio.
Forever Autumn.
make a card that depicts Autumn.
It can be an Autumn scene or it can be something completely different but using a palette of Autumn colours……the choice is yours!

The trees along the M11 towards Cambridge are glorious at this time of year - makes the tedious journey there and back just a bit better. So I tried to get some rich autumn colours going
The papers and ribbon, including the card base are from an old Self Addressed kit. I took some brown Bazzill and ran it through the cuttlebug with a Fiskars tree bark plate. The effect is more subtle than an embossing folder - but it is also easier than trying to hand emboss with the plate!The hero arts birdie has been hanging round, coloured in on my desk for months so I slapped her on with a little extra inking round the edge. The leaves are QK - yes those dies again! I also used my threading water punch and stick on pearls. The greeting was done on the computer and inked to death.

This weekend is a little easier than the last one. And then it is half term and we are half on holiday (I have to go to Cambridge for an MA seminar on Tues.) So I hope I have time for crafting, sleeping and family. Perhaps not in that order!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

That was quick

Where did the week go?

Saturday - did the gardening at church. I hate weeding. Especially pulling weeds up through cracks in gravel. The Open Doors evening was really interesting. We heard something about life in North Korea. It is grim. The person who gave the talk was there in a group of 6. They were put up on the 43rd floor (out of 46) in the tourist hotel in the capital. They were the only guests... At night, in the capital there are no bright lights, no cars, everyone is at home. The visit was very strictly regulated.

Sunday - the Salvation Army farewell service was FAB! I really enjoyed marching from our church to their newly refurbished one. I was at the front behind the flag. If it wasn't for the fact that female officers have to wear skirts and heels I'd be tempted... their building looks amazing and is v. high tech. There are cameras everywhere to help record services and the boys in the AV room were having fun zooming in on unsuspecting people!

Monday - a tiny bit of crafting but more of it spent with DS1 buying a suit in Lakeside. I love Lakeside. Not. But we had a bit of chat time and managed to get him an el cheapo Primark one which ALMOST fits. In the evening we watched "Oceans 12". There was a tricky moment as the film gives away the twist in the Sixth Sense - which Emrys was to watch in school as a GSCE assignment (when did English get to be THAT much fun, shouldn't be allowed). Fortunately he had already seen the first half and like me (smug) had guessed the twist straight away. I enjoyed Oceans 12. The fact that the plot was good was a bonus but quite frankly Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon in a film together and I don't really care about anything else.

And then it has been mostly work since. I did sneak in time to make a few cards like this using my new stamps. The corner stamp did come out a tad smudged but I wanted to send the card off and so decided to leave it like that (oh the shame!)
I have stamped and cut out loads of the flowers like this so I can make some quick cards for the church fair. I think black and cream is quite sophsiticated, n'est pas?

And I managed my layout for Salt.
(with a grateful heart)
Isn't there an abundance of things that we can be grateful to God for?! For starters - sending his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sin, so that whoever believes in him will not perish eternally in hell, but live with Him forever and ever and ever in heaven- praise God!

Ok so it might not be easy to thank God in the hard times, but lets not forget all the blessings he has given to us and be thankful for them! Amen?!

After wondering what to do I decided that the thing I most had to give thanks for was the cross - everything else comes from that - my life, my family, my hopes and dreams, everything.
The photo is from Scripture Pics. The papers all from my MME pad. I love the colours and becasue the papers are quite thin they are so easy to distress. I used a Technique Tuesday tile as a template then got messy with Making Memories paint and Heidi Swapp masks. The butterflies are to symbolise freedom and new life. The layout also features a Heidi Swapp stamp embossed with white emb. powder, a Rhona Farrer stamp coloured with distress ink, some brads from a Costco kit, flowers cut with punches, nesties and a Quickutz die (hello old friends), another QK die was used to cut some grungeboard which BROKE my cuttlebug B plate!!!! American Crafts thickers, a peel off(!), lots of different stickles and doodles and I wrote on some self adhesive lace tape which is rather hard to read from a photo!

The blurb says
"I could write of my thanks for my family
or for all the gifts you have given me
but my grateful heart knows that even they are as nothing
compared to my thanks for your cross"

Sadly this week we have had to announce the loss from our team of Gillian and Casey who have been - and will continue to be so inspirational. May God keep blessing all that you do!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Do the funky chicken with me

Aren't they fab? Phil made these as a present for his mum. EVENTUALLY we will get our own set but there are lots of other crafty things for him to do first. You can see one of the real chickens there too which gives a sense of scale! They weren't really fooled though. Sadly he posed them by the messiest area in our garden. We have another new animal in our garden mind. Lucky keeps trying to get her to play but she is very lazy. (Found in some woods between here and Brentwood. How did she get there?)

I am feeling very smug because I cello bagged all the cards last night. Go me. Although now I need to make some more. Which makes me desperate to scrap. And I haven't really got time for either for days. I suppose I can sneak a few cards in where I can't scrap. Oh well.

We have a big service at church on Sunday. The Salvation Army who have been sharing/renting our buildings for a year are moving back to their refurbished building. So we are starting the service at my church, then marching to theirs and worshipping there. And then it is time for lunch and a nosey round. It is weird how excited I feel about this. NOT that they are going. But there is something sacred and special happening. Quite what that will be I will have to wait and see as the preparation and the worship unfolds.

I did have time yesterday for my DCM card. Of course I had time! It is a special day for us as we have now been going for 2 years. We are not making a big fuss 'cos that hasn't ever really been our way. We don't get much sponsorship and apart from Jo and increasingly Kathy, none of us are "big name" cardmakers but we enjoy the challenge of challenging each other and seeing what other people come up with week after week. I don't write comments on every blog. I'm sorry if that offends some people but I just can't manage it. But I always, always appreciate the people who are playing along.

The first dare was done by Jane, Kathy, Rhi, Kel, Debbie, Saffa, Jo, Lynda, Keryn, Tracie and me. there have been lots of changes in our lives and in the team - lots of joys like babies and weddings and some tough times too. There have been other people who have come and gone within the last two years. All wonderful people and amazingly talented crafters. I'm not going to attempt to name them all now as I will only leave someone out and I don't want to! And the current team is simply fabulous - all supportive of one another and what we try and do. So thanks DCM guys, past and present and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

on to the card after the sentimental bit! Its a bit poignant that one of the "originals" is taking some time out. Rhi we will miss your wonderful cards and hope you will be back with us soon! Anyway she left us a corker of a dare.
Paint the Town........
red, green, sky blue pink with yellow dots on, or any colour you fancy, with acrylics, H2Os or watercolours, with brushes, sponges or splatters.
We don't mind, as long as you use paint on your cards. So have some fun with the DCM and get Painty this week.

So guess what papers I went for?
Uh huh. No "Surprise" at all!
But can you blame me? They are so fab and go nicely with the ranger dabber colours. Its not the most economical way to buy paint but the colours just can't be beaten.
A cutie pie at church is one this week. Her name "Reya" means Queen so I thought she ought to have a crown. The crown and the 1 are grungeboard, the 1 cut with a Sizzix Lollipop Die. I cut some acetate using a Nestie die and painted the back. NB this is even messier than you would think. BUT I love the effect and will be doing it again. Probably quite a lot. The stickers are also Scenic Route and the bling I can't remember and I'm not walking all the way to where I craft to find out. Then a bit of penwork aka doodling. I saw it called pen work the other day and it makes adding a few swirly lines sound much more grown up!

Tomorrow I will be gardening at one church, eating chinese food and hearing a talk on taking Bibles to China at the other and sorting washing in between. What a great job I have! At least it is never dull.
Have a good weekend

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I can spend 15 minutes thinking up an interesting name for the post

or just get on with it.
So I will.

Although blogging time has been sparse, I have managed to fit some crafting in recently.
I can now show you two cards I made for my bff Sue and my god-daughter Nerissa as their birthdays have gone by...
This one uses Daisy Bucket papers. a robo'd butterfly (template from UKS) and letters and one or two doodles.

Everything on this card is from Scenic Route Surprise, my top, top cardmaking paper de jour. Oh everything apart from the glitter letters from Making Memories and the Bazzill scallop made with the threading water punch that sleeps under my pillow every night.

Then on Monday I was able to do a concentrated spell of card making - I need to get some stock made for the Church fair in November. A church friend called Jill came round to help for some of it. I was also assisted by the challenge on Just Bex to make cards and layouts using white space. It was like remembering a style of cards I don't really do any more!

So here are the 17 I made
and a few in close up
the papers are all Basic Grey Boxer. The button I bought from Button It at Alexandra Palace
These two both use a stamp set also picked up at AP - by Impression Obsession . I looked at this set last time I went to AP 18 months ago and am glad I succumbed this time. I can't remember the stall name and nothing comes up on google but you can drool over Spring Squares and other gorgeous sets by the same company here.
I used various inks on the cards and manage to stamp beautifully almost every time!

I'm itching to scrap but need to be disciplined about card making or the stall will be empty. May even put some in cello bags tonight!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick one today

I thought a long lunchtime meeting today had been cancelled. But I was wrong so I'm having to step up my work today! So this will be short and sweet (like me!)

It was my turn to choose a Daring Cardmakers dare today and apparently my choices can be scary! Hope this one is not too challenging.

Gotta Wear Shades

This week your challenge is to be Bright! Clashy is good, hot colours are good, anything super duper bright is good too. If you want to double dare then why not use the sketch that Vanessa made for her marvellous mid week dare?

Actually it was fairly straightforward for me as I love bright colours. My choice of card began with the buttonNow it is hard to get the scale or the true brightness of the button here. I won it at the Capture the Magic stall at Alexandra Palace. It is at least 2" across and a really vivid plastic orange. I think the shiny glare got to the camera! So i had to find papers to match. I picked out these American Crafts papers as they have lovely bright patterns on one side and the colour on the back matches perfectly. While I was reaching for them I knocked something off my desk which turned out to be some blue bling Bazzill flowers which I thought just set the button off. A bit of doodling helped to tone the button down slightly. A wielding of my black and white pens later and 'tis done. The sentiment was hand written - a little wider than I normally do and I like it. Expect to see more writing like this!

I will visit all the blogs that link to DCM, but it may take a few days as I have oodles to do. Weekends as often happens, are times of work, work, work for me!
Have a good weekend

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Thanks for the comments on the last post. I am now as much back on an even keel as being a volatile little Welsh person will allow :)

I have been making cards like a mad thing recently. We have a church fair coming up... I have been using some of the Scenic Route Surprise papers which I love - in fact I bought seconds which is hugely rare for me! I have been taking a little kit into the sitting room so I can craft and be with the family. Gosh, what a sacrifice! (although I do have to keep nipping out for what I have forgotten!). Here are a few of them.
But I've also made time to scrap for this week's Salt challenge.
Casey reflects ...
What Jesus is saying is that we can take on his yoke and will not burden us. He promises to give us rest from all our seeking and striving to be acceptable. That's the bit I think is cool. So often I find myself striving so hard and have not even asked God to walk with me through it.
When I consciously walk through things with God, it is then that experience the REST he is talking about. It is a rest or peace in my heart, even amidst chaos.
My prayer is that you too may experience this rest.

Unfortunately the pattern of the paper means that the photo slightly hurts the eyes. In real life it is much more rest-ful to look at!
It began as a Just Bex challenge - to use grids and lines. Mine is scraplifted from Lis' (Funky Fairy's) wonderful layout. Mine was even more like hers until the last minute when I added the swirls so I don't know if it counts any more!

The photo is of some geese on the fishing lake round the corner form us. I've said before that we are so blessed to live where we do. In 5 minutes we are at the lake or can walk through corn fields, in 10 minutes I can walk to a craft shop and walking from my house to the station I can be in central London within a hour!

Anyway I added the Be still and know that I am God in photoshop using Scriptina and Times and Times again fonts. I did a lot of distressing and curling of the edges of some Scenic Route Sonoma paper and used other Sonoma for the paper strips. It just needed something else so I went for some Grungeboard which I coloured using some cream rub on things I have had for years. I then outlined it with white pen - a pen which is not very white any more! Title is thickers (of course...)

Here is what the printed journalling says...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Finished it

Yay! I am finally done with the holiday 2007 album with these two layouts!
Next to do will be the holiday with the choir - last October. I'm going to make a large mini book for that (if that makes sense) , so it will be photos and simple notes rather than full pages.
The photos of these layouts are appalling - I am rather embarrassed but don't really have time to redo them. So just imagine these are square and in focus...

This layout is called "to and fro". Its a teeny title - I am just showing off that I have finally got my hands on some MM teeny alphas. The papers are mostly Scenic Route Liberty. It may have been made for US July 4th celebrations but I have loved using it. There are some stickers in there from an old Self Addressed kit, a Hero Arts stamp, some bits from a QVC card and scrap set I bought ooh 3 years ago?, a few doodles and lots of space to let the photos sing.
this looks far better in real life - but was a disaster at one point. See unbeknownst to me, I had some black in k on the side of one of my fingers. So I couldn't see it until I had made a big black mark both on the side of the layout - which was going to be a white border - and in the middle of the Dream Street cloud paper. So I really had no choice about where to place the photos. I decided to make a half label journalling spot tracing a Technique Tuesday tile. It was all looking a little stark, but I think a Katie Pertiet overlay printed onto a transparency managed to soften it up a bit. I did a lot of inking with blue and green distress inks - including the thickers which really do look better than they photographed (do I keep saying that?) I also added some Scenic Route Grafton paper, a little bit of fabric paper (the blue/green strip) a few buttons and some Fancy Pants (I think) bling bits. Oh and a little green ribbon.

I'm like a bear with a sore head today. Either I have had a personality transplant or its PMT. I do hope its the latter. Otherwise we will be spending our retirement in different countries. Here's hoping I wake up a nicer person in the morning!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Contrary Mary

I'd just like everyone to know that the reason number 2 son went to school in his uniform for jeans for Genes day is not because his mother forgot to pay the in advance money nor because his loving mother forgot that it was jeans day but because said child decided that he would rather wear uniform than anything else.
I'm still shaking my head in amazement.

Today is DCM day and we had a fabulous theme set by Keryn
I was about to make this card last week until I realised it was crowns and I'm so glad they were in this order as last week I didn't have the ubiquitous threading water punch that is my new best friend.

Yesterday Phil and I were invited to a fund raiser by one of his church members - she is in her eighties and gave a poetry recital at her house in aid of Pact (parents of autistic children together) She was just about able to recite 10 long poems from memory which was quite something. So we needed to make a thank you card, hence this one...
I managed to make it more tricky than it should have been by creating the green scallop strip first, then deciding on the size of card then having to cut the card down the sides a bit. The papers are We R Memory Keepers Vintage Brass ones. The colours are so rich, the photo doesn't really do them justice. I used a Heidi Swapp stamp - its big so you need a big card! I wanted a bit more scallop so made a layered flower using punches and nestabilities. It didn't look right at first so I cut it in half and I think it works better.

Faith scrapping last night went well - people are disappointed it is finishing next week. I have to admit though a part of me is relieved as it is quite hard work - both preparing and trying to help people along. Something funny happened last night actually. Someone had begun an A4 layout by glueing a patterned piece onto some card. She left the table to look for something and it had disappeared. 10 minutes later we still couldn't find it. Until we noticed that someone on the same table had used a small piece of the same patterned paper to frame a photo. Apparently somehow the paper had got separated from the card... There was a very red face and lots of hilarity when we worked it out!

Well I must get on with work as I have two services on Sunday and it is also card club on Saturday which works better if I have samples to share...