Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Unbirthday to us!

or maybe it is extra Christmas!

there has been a flurry of spending chez Nevard. Phil had some Christmas money and I had some gift and craft work money to spend so we have bought a new DSLR camera. A big one with a removable lens and everything. Bit scary really! We have bought a Nikon D60. And a few props to help us take better photos - I hope.
Before entering the world of digital we did have a SLR camera which I loved using - we still have it and I might just dust it off and take black and white photos with it. It is, sadly getting harder to get films developed though!

We have also - well not so much Phil as Carys and me - bought a Herstyler to make curly hair. Carys' hair used to be really wavy but is less os now. It is like mine, some days curly, some days straight. They demo'd one of these on her hair at the local shopping mall but I found one on the net for half the price. Sweet. So here is a combo of Carys' new hair, our new camera and the collage tool I have just discovered on Picasa (which is free!)
I have also bought two new big girls bras but I won't be modelling those on the new camera...

It was my turn to host the Dare on Daring Cardmakers this week. So I went for what I love - patterned paper.
Patterned Paper Passion
I want to see 3 different patterned papers on your card.
And to be extra daring, why not see if you can use 3 different lines of paper!

But oh what a palaver and kerfuffle I have had! If you recall last week I showed off our new hall floor. Well we have kept the hall empty as it is going to be painted along with the conservatory where I keep my craft stuff. We thought they would start in the hall. We had a message Tuesday night when we got back from a meeting at 10:30 pm to say they would start in the conservatory at 9 on Thursday morning. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I would have to tidy away all my craft stuff, and I was going to be out most of Wednesday. And I hadn't made my card. So I quickly made my card.

Wednesday I found a bit of time to pack up the room. My plan was to move my craft table and some of my bits upstairs so I could still craft. I started packing a box or two. then Phil snesibly said that if we left the craft table there then all the stuff could be stored under it. So I put it all back.

And then remembered that I hadn't got my card out. And couldn't remember which box it was in. And everything was piled on top of everything else. In the end, being stubborn I took out all the boxes until I fuond the card (bottom box of course). Hurray! But somehow (I suspect from my fingers, the usual culprit) there was blue ink over the crisp white stamped image. Disaster!

My dear friend Sue suggested photoshopping it. So I have to confess that the image on DCM is a fake!!!!!!!
This one here
if you look really carefully you can see where I have masked as the lovely embossed circle just disappears. In real life I have gone for the chicken pox option. Would have been better if I had not run out of these gems but remember, I had to pull these out of the box as well. As they are self adhesive I might end up trying something else as I do want to save the card!
I managed to get the colours better on the fake too :( )

Anyway, what papers did I use?
Firstly the card. It is a white square card. It used to be a Christmas card. I made about 15 too many and wondered what to do - then I decided to recycle! the papers are
Basic Grey Offbeat Carefree 6x6
Scenic Route Bellville Crosswind (large circle)
A2ZSolar flare stipes and ginghams (strip)
Also used... Coredinations cardstock; Anitas teal ribbon; Doodlebug paper trim; Anitas gems; a lovely stamped image that I recieved in a Funky Hand swap and then cut through the name on the back so I couldn't read it; Liquid pearls and lots of doodles.

Must go and make the painters another cup of tea!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Got the number?

tomorrow morning 11am on Ideal World - Anice launches her fab Funky Daze CD of papers on tv!
Some things wot I have made may be appearing alongside her.
(they are a bit nervous)

Here are two more cards made using the papers. These won't be appearing but are not sulking as they have already winged their way to the recipients.
My baby brother is now 40. Eeek. (Cos I know how much older than him I am!)
this colourway is great for blokey cards. I am trying to layer my cards a bit more. Still have a long way to go though. The card base is American Crafts cardstock. everything else is from the CD.
And this card is for a little cutie at Church.the colour is not quite right on the photo but this colourway is lovely shabby soft pinks and purples. I added a spot of ribbon and some flowers, the top one is a quilled flower I had in a swap ages ago. One of the layers is embellished with a swiss dots folder. The printed papers are great for embossing as the print comes off leaving a lovely distressed look.

Today I have had fun with my DCM buddy and great crafty friend Sue. We didn't do much crafting but we did manage to chat, eat, shop and make a mess! It is always so lovely to spend time together nattering and crafting!

Cheer Anice on tomorrow if you can. I will have to record it as I am out then!

Friday, January 23, 2009

So that's better

Daring card done - tick! (actually choice of two. Cos I didn't like the first one)
Salt layout done - tick!

Virtuous feeling slightly marred by dog with v. upset stomach. Will say no more but I am sitting in a very smelly room at the moment...

Let's do the catching up first. The Salt challenge theme this time round is
I (Esther) have been reading through the book of Judges recently, and have been struck by the way God is so merciful to his people despite their continued sin. The people of Israel; time after time turned away from God and turned back to their old ways of sinning- does that remind you of anyone? Yet despite their actions God still showed MERCY!
I thought about this a lot, trying to think of what aspect of mercy I wanted to depict. In the end I decided to focus on one of my favourite Bible passages from Micah which actually is about how we too need to show mercy in our lives - part of the response to God's love to us. It fits in really well with a book I have just read that has had a profound effect on me. It is called the Shack

the blurb reads...
Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?
The pain in this novel is that Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.
Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, ostensibly from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.
Against his better judgement he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare.

I won't say any more because it would spoil it. but it is really thought provoking. And it underlined for me the importance of acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. And just how much God loves us.

So for my layout I wanted a photo of some of the family walking. This proved harder than I thought because I have loads of photos of the family walking in front of me. but they are all on a corrupted hard drive that Phil is promising to fix! So I used a photo from our New years Day walk. it is a bit blurry because Phil kept running ahead of us. SO I converted it into black and white so it didn't matter quite so much. I would rather we weren't all smiling - living God's way is serious business! but there we are.

I will just show you the original and why we were smiling. It is New Years day. Freezing cold. Hywel is eating an ice cream sandwich. Emrys is walking just behind him. Reading a book. Hywel has a book under his arm which he started to read when the icecream was finished. Mad family.

I decided to make the layout on a transparency because... well I fancied using the transparency! It is from Fancy Pants About a Boy, as are all the papers. Transparencies are hard to photograph so here it is with a wood background and a white one. You can see my shadow on both!

other details... American Crafts thickers, Doodlebug letter stickers, Making Memories alpha stickers; Distress stickles in orange and blue; Basic Grey button; black and white pens.

Daring Cardmakers this week has gone all lovey dovey.

Give it some Heart.

feel free to make a card fitting any theme you like as long as it has a heart somewhere on it.

I didn't like the first card I made very much but I'll show it here anyway cos it took ages.

Cream square card; Crate Paper Avenue papers and die cuts; Grungeboard heart and wings. Wings coloured with a krylon gold pen and the heart with red distress ink. Some red Coredinations card was stamped with a Squiggly Ink stamp and Versamark and then fine glitter was sprinkled on the top. One of the problems with the card is that my Krylon pen either doesn't work or leaks. And I don't like the handwritten sentiment. May have to rescue it but not sure how.

So I whipped up this card as an alternative.This is on a cream square card and once again uses Fancy Pants, this time the Daily Grind selection. The heart is from the 12x12 cardstock and the rest is the 8x8 paper pad. The heart was on a little card but I cut that down and then cut it out altogether! I used my Threading Water punch (why is it called that?) and added some Basic Grey rubons and some tiny Anitas bling. And no sentiment just in case. Will probably end up being a useful "with love" card.

Right off to spray more air freshener around the room...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Not the one it should be

today I should be revealing my Salt layout of the fortnight.
But having been a bit pants this week I am behind and so will have to do a two hander tomorrow.
I think I have the tail end of a virus in my system which, when I get run down leaves me a bit feak and weeble. Either that or I am just a big wuss.
I did have short bursts of feeling a little better when - oh the irony - I made some get well cards as that is what I am low on! I am heaps better today, phew! can't afford the time to be sicky.

The Funky Hand gang (sounds like a rap group) have been doing an image swap so I have been rediscovering the delights of colouring in. these were done with distress inks but I have also been using my Prismas whilst watching tv so expect to see more cards with images on soon. I finally traipsed up to the Post Office to send mine off tonight. Only he had closed early with computer problems again. Hm. PO'd is exactly what I am!

OK back to cards. Exhibit A
Penny Black stamp, tall card, Basic Grey Urban Prairie 6x6 paper, brown grosgrain ribbon, Doodlebug furry brads; Purple Onion sentiment and letter stickers whose name I can't recall just now.

And "B" is also Penny Black. I still can't decide whether sky is better or not with these stamps. What is hard to see is that I cut out the image with a Nestie and round the edge, closer in than the black line there is a little embossed line which looks v. posh. Papers all Offbeat 12x12 with a bit of doodling. Sentiment is hand written.

PB again. With Nestie frame, BG Urban Prairie 6x6 papers and some cut e black pearly which I think are straighter in real life!

Must catch up with some work now... and finish my layout :(

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just for fun

So the hall floor went from thisto thisyesterday. (Hmmm must wash that door down)
and while that happened I camped out in the conservatory, did some stash sorting, a sermon and a few cards - just cos!
The first is my version of the card Sue made for Daring Cardmakers. Actually the proportions work better on hers I think! Do love the WRMK nonsense line though.the second is because someone was becoming a member of our church today through transfer of membership so I wanted a welcome card. The black (ish) paper frill started out grey but I wanted a black one. I considered using a sharpie pen but went for chalk ink instead. Bad, bad, bad idea.
  • that is the third white paper frill section. I nearly binned the card in frustration. why?
  • it was very hard to get them to stick to the ink
  • and then I got black on my fingers and covered the white with black
  • so on the third attempt I decided to do the glitter and glue routine ... only it stuck to the still wet chalk ink and so I ended up with that part of the card looking... grey.
The other funny thing about this card was that I bought some stuff for church card club from the Docrafts sale and a few Basic Grey bargains went into my basket for me. Bits to go with the latest 6x6 pad I had bought to make some quick fun cards. Only... I bought Offbeat accessories for an Urban Prairie pad. So have now had to buy the Offbeat pad ruling out any bargainosity all together! (ooooh blogger hasn't underlined bargainosity, is it a real word then? Oh no just put the big spell check on and it is just that the underline version wasn't working. Still, like it, use it)

maybe I'll write "sorry you are feeling pear shaped" inside...
the letters are Making Memories. They are my favourite craft item ever.
The latter two cards had to have something laid over the whole front because I ruined two cards by putting chalk ink as an edging for another piece of paper on a card and leaving ink stains all over the place when I had to move said paper as the placing was wrong. I think I am going to have to lock that black chalk ink away. I'm not safe with it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Get someone else to make it

Oh what fun!
Jo set us a fab challenge on Daring Cardmakers this week.

Get someone else to make it!

Any card, any theme and any colour scheme of your choosing - but the catch... some one else must actually make and assemble the card for you... (with your supervision)!

I did think of asking Carys, the boys (well no point asking them really, even though one is doing art gcse), Phil (I dread to think what he would have made. Not that he is unartistic, just norty), the dog, the piggies or the chooks. Hmmm. IN the end Sue helped me out by suggesting a swap. Which was great.
She sent me loads of bits to choose from - I sent a few back. (blush, wish I had been more generous now...). Still I like the cards we made!

I sent Sue some bits from WRMK Nonsense range, some doodlebug rubons and some Poundland gems (see how generous I am? But seriously these teeny weeny nail art gems are brilliant) and a few paper flowers. I must admit I then visualised what a card would be like and then wrote the instructions. And this is what she did - isn't it great?I am hoping to do another card which shows what I visualised but it hasn't happened yet.
Sue sent me lovely Basic Grey two scoops papers and ribbon and tags. I came up with this
I don't think the photo does it justice but that is the best bow I have ever tied. I am so proud. Once I had stuck things down I realised I hadn't done it all right so tried again using Funky Daze papers.I added some fun flock to some of the pattern with a glue pen. It sort of works. The butterfly is a little punch, don't know where I got it but I have had it a long time. Yp, that narrows it down...

Tomorrow we are having our hall floor resurfaced (it is a gorgeous 1930's wood block) so sometime this afternoon we have to move the grandfather clock, the piano, the shoe box, the music cabinet etc etc out of the hall. And tomorrow we have to avoid using the hall for a couple of hours. Yes the hall that kind of joins the whole house together. Now that really is fun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

She posts again

Don't worry, normal service will be resumed next week I am sure. I've not resolved to be a better blogger, becasue I am wise enough to know that I never will be.
It is just nice to be able to show what I have been doing craft wise straight away! Between Christmas and the New Year I have been crafting like a mad thing but all for other places (watch this space in March!). So I had a lovely day yesterday making things for Funky Hand that I can show (off!) today. Oh yes, still struggling with that instant gratification thing...
Oh yes, there is another one but I can't show that until Friday (dozy cow)

So here goes - all papers from Anice's new CD Funky Daze
The last set of papers on the CD are a bit different from the rest, but I love them so! I am a big fan of pink and orange together - and so is Miss C in this picture as you can tell. She is wearing her Hamtaro t shirt which is pretty funky in itself. She bought it with holiday money in France about 4 years ago and it used to be a dress! It has worked out to be brilliant value for money (I suppose even more so considering I made her buy it herself. Ha ha) as it still looks good as new.

Anyway the papers look good on their own but I also went a bit wild with the old black pen. It is an 8x8 layout, simple and bright with no journalling as it is going to be a sample. I may well make another version for me with more words on.... This is actually the second layout I have made using the piggies but I will be sending both away!
They now have an indoor run so they can stretch their legs and Carys sits in it to snuggle with them. It looks like she is back in a playpen!The card I have made is based on the 2 Sketches 4 You sketch this week. I keep meaning to do them and then, well don't!
It uses the "Saturday Lie in" papers from the Funky Daze CD again. You might see a few cards in these colours as I decided to print out one whole set to get the idea of how all the papers go together. And there are a LOT of patterns! I also went rather mad with a glue pen and loose glitter. The butterfly is a Heidi Swapp mask that I drew round and cut out (cut out two and stuck them together so I could fold up the wings).

I know Kathy B will ask "And why didn't you use the Robo?"
Answer: it only just occurred to me.

I did create a photo corner and cut out the circles using my nestabilities though. Oh and everything is inked around using the rose distress ink.
Not usre about the finished card but I do love the papers and the glitter - which you can see even better in their close up!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Look at this!

Yes, changes to my side bar! The first time in at least 2 years and probably nearer three.
I'm trying to find a couple more blinkies and then it will be better.
Next on the list will be awards I have been awarded and then don't do anything about. (Sorry lovely people, its just that darn html)
And maybe, one day, a new blog header.
I kind of like the plain look but it has been the same since I started!

And also look at my first design work for Funky Hand, using the latest Funky Daze cd. this is a cool collection of papers in lots of funky colourways. My first effort was a card using my fave blue and green colour combo.
There is a wee hint of doodling, a sizzix cut star and soem black pearls. The word "Star" is cut from the matching alphabet and the other letters are done by hand.

Then there is something a little odd! One of the paper options is covered in birds that carefully look like birds and chickens. So I decided to make an egg carton cover. we give away a lot of eggs so it is nice to make it a proper gift! It might also remind people to return the egg box for refilling!I peeled off the original egg box cover and used it as a template on blue patterned paper then cut it again using another paper, just a little smaller. Other paper was used to make a top piece. You do need extra strong tape (the red stuff) as egg boxes are made of a funny material.
And then I made a tag to match!
I found an old sample folder full of threads and wool so I will be threading buttons and tags galore!
Can't wait for tomorrow when more crafting will occur!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And finally

the Salt layout is done :) It is amazing how something so simple can take a while!
The challenge this week is
I love Ruth's comment
"This is serious, as one of the fruits of the spirit - the outworking of LOVE - is SELF CONTROL."

and it was a no brainer for me as to what I should portray. Me, getting angry over nothing; me reading Perez Hilton instead of the Bible; me, stuffing my face with chocolate. There could have been a lot more photos really...

the photos have been photoshopped to give a "palette knife " effect. Just on a whim really! I stuffed 3 Quality Street in my mouth at the same time and it was rather sickly and horrible. The things I do for art...

Down to the details:
Black Bazzill cardstock
Turquoise Papermania scalloped cardstock
Patterned paper from Cosmo Cricket Get Happy pad (its new! its lush! expect to see a lot more of it!)
the words "anger" etc put through a Round the Block dymo maker
Papermania ribbon and spotty brads.
the other brads are Making Memories metallic red but look black
Ribbon brad - no idea where from as I have had these for ages and never used them.
Papermania letter stickers
Journalling done using Times and Times again font.
I wanted to write something personal but not take up anymore space on the layout so wrote inside the boxes. The close up is rather blurry but here you are.
The writing in red reads: "Oh how much do I agree with these words of Paul. its the gift of the Spirit I really struggle with. Lord help me!"

Now here is some important news. We are looking for more people to join the Salt design team. If you are interested please read the details on the Salt blog.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I am proud to say

I design for Funky Hand craft backing papers

How excited am I!
It has been one of my secret dreams to join this team. In fact recently many of my crafting dreams have come true, which is just amazing.
I just hope I can do Anice and the team justice!

I am less proud to say I haven't managed my Salt layout for this week yet. It is on it's way and it is rather amusing that it is on (lack of ) self control as if I had pulled my finger out and shown some self control it might be ready to roll now.

I have managed the DCM dare for today (can do a card quicker than a layout see)

'Tis the Recycle!

We'd like you to do your bit for the planet and make a card using some recycled items.

Well although I am Mrs Untidy 1997, I do like to keep on top of things over Christmas. especially with so many dogs around. So all the recycling was gone before the new year. Havering Council let you recycle loads of stuff which is good. Until you remember you neeeed it for a dare. the cards though only came down this week and I managed to rescue them. trouble is with them that we staple them together to hang on the walls ( I know, how fancy are we) so I could only use certain areas of cards. which is why there is not a huge amount of recycling actually on my card.
the original card had 5 presents on it. I cut them down, and down and then decided to turn one of them into a vase!

Here are the details:
Card made with American Crafts cardstock run through the D'vine Swirls Cuttlebug embossing folder (D'vine. I ask you). AC cardstock is American sized which means it fits better into the folders. the cardstock is actually already embossed but I decided to do my own on top.
White card: from the scrap pile cut with nestability die
Glitter card - Doodlebug. This. Is. Lush. expect to see every last scrap of the pack used up on a card near you.
Three Prima flowers and two Auntie Sarah's Bloomers with tiny Anitas gems in the centre. Anita's have brought out gemstone wheels and they are a great idea as you can store lots of bling pretty easily. They are fiddly to stick on but look cute!
Foam alphabet stickers covered in Glitter glue

Sadly, I mangled all the other presents so there won't be any more vases!

And here are the girls
Meet Abbieand Trudy
Have you ever heard the noise a Guinea Pig makes? it is the cutest, cutest sound. I really must try and record it for you.

Back soon!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Grab a cup of tea and put your feet up

'Cos this is a long 'un!
Well there is a fortnight to catch up on. Doesn't time go fast over Christmas?

Here are some of the highlights of the season
* the tree in her full tacky glory!* the joy of the pyjama service (Christmas eve, me and the little kids from Church dress in our pj's and bring cuddly toys and I read a Christmas story and say a prayer. It is just brilliant)
* the anticipation of Midnight Mass
* the Christmas table decorated in a posh manner (first. time. ever.) (maybe last)
* the 6 dogs getting on well (only 4 in the picture. there were actually 3 collies, 2 Tibetan Spaniels; 1 greyhound. And a partridge in a pear tree)* the extreme excitement of a cage for Guinea Pigs (they arrive tomorrow. there are 120 rescue GP's to chose from. Only 2 are allowed here) the one in the cage is a cuddly toy. What a surprise that amongst the 3 million soft toys owned by Carys one is a GP)* presents all going down well. lots of fun and laughter and love. my present was to have my marathon cross stitch framed. it was a complete surprise and looks great. But I haven't taken a photo yet...
* Phil's family leaving on Saturday and mine not arriving until Wednesday giving us some time to be just the 5 of us. even if we spend a lot of it in different rooms.
* Going to see the 39 steps at the Criterion. V. expensive for us but a complete hoot. the kids had never seen the story and we stopped them watching it on tv the day before, but I think they need to see a thriller version now to get all the jokes. this was a 4 hand comedy and was just amazing.
* Spending some time crafting - magazine work that had me v. afeered as I didn't really feel up to the task. But quite pleased with what I have done.
* Getting a new year hug from the family. Watching the first series of Outnumbered together while we waited for midnight.
* Receiving my copy of Docraft Creativity with a two page article by ME! in it.
Which included this layout featuring Carys.
When I showed it to her she said "nice" When I asked if she wanted her won copy to show her friends she said "not really no" Which burst my big head and has made me giggle at my own ego ever since.
* making cards for this weeks Daring Cardmakers Challenge. Oh how lovely to say "must just go and make a card" and escape for a while! (yes hostess with the mostest I am)
And the theme was, naturally - thank you cards. Which I will use as samples at the church card club tomorrow
OK so I made that layout in November. Hww funny it looks almost the same as this card :)
Some of the elements are the same - Basic Grey Urban Prairie Papers. but the card uses the pad not the 12x12 scale pattern. And BG chipboard letters (other letters are Making Memories). The cardstock is American Crafts embossed card. I decided to buy a pack as it is 81/2 x11 size which means that cards made using it should fit into the Cuttlebug embossing folders. I am also trying to force myself to use coloured card bases.
And I managed a whole two before going back to white :) :) :)
BG papers
Stampin Up white card
Swiss Dots CB embossing folder
Imaginesce stamp
BG button
LIquid Pearls
(funny thing just happened. I couldn't remember the name of that stuff. Knew it was made by the same company as do Stickles and that the colour was opal. So stuck them in google to see if that helped. Apparently there was a woman who died June 22, 2007 called Opal Stickles. So there you go)
Heidi Swapp stamp using Colorsnap green ink, outlined
BG papers as before
Doodlebug paper frill
Papermania brads
x cut flower punch and a hole punch for the flower centre
Same things as before but in a different order!
in the middle of the flower is the teeniest weeniest gem. A great find in poundland under then nail decoration section!