Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm so excited

yes, I have that Friday feeling. Sadly not because I have a work free weekend as I actually have an extra work filled weekend, but because I am featured in TWO magazines that hit the shops this week. They are sister publications - Creativity and Creativity Life - but it is something I never thought would happen.

To be honest I still judge myself wanting compared to all the other talented people in there. Not false modesty, I really don't think I am as good as most of the scrappers in Creativity Life or the other crafters in Creativity. But I still feel honoured to have been asked to be "Guest Designer" for Creativity Life this time round. The mags are ones you buy in craft shops rather than other shops and feature products that Docrafts promote and sell through their website. There are some fantastic freebies on the covers so I think the mags are worth it for those alone. And I was even more excited when I realised that one of my cards is featured on the front of Creativity this month. I've never been on the front of a magazine before. Not sure I ever will be again so I am going to milk the moment.
See that card with the embroidery on? I made that I did. It uses the new stitch templates and some fab glittery papers and stickers by Doodlebug that are made for Easter.

Right I shall calm down now... actually I am still excited as it is Daring Cardmakers day and Vanessa gave us a brilliant challenge.

All things Circular!

This week, the title says it all - I want to see lots of circles, you can decide how you use them, whether it be the shape of your card or how you display circular elements within the design and thats it, nice and simple (I hope :-)).

Now I actually did something sensible with this card (I know, I can't beleive it either)
I cut down a square card so that it will still fit into a regular envelope despite having an off the edge look. There are quite a few circles on this card. The inspiration was the wonderful die cut K and Co Amy Butler butterfly which flew to my house yesterday from here, to go with the matching papers already sent. The Tea Box papers are just amazing, most of them have some sparkle or dimension and are double sided. I used a glittery/striped paper here. I added circles of glitter with a glue pen to the striped paper. The grey circles are cut with nesties and one embossed with swiss dots the other dotted with pearly stuff. I added my favourite ribbon of the moment (and that green seems to go with everything just now!), a printed sentiment and some circular brads. Oh and the ubiquitous threaded water bottom to finish it off. Yes, there wasn't much of the original card left after I hacked it to pieces!

I'm also excited because on Sunday one of my churches receives an Eco Congregation award - the first church in our borough to get one and it is a big deal for us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A great day

Yesterday was a fabulous day for my family as one child was baptised and one confirmed. Although the baptism was at Phil's church as that is where the kids go to church, as we were taking the service together, Phil suggested that I baptise Carys as he had baptised Hywel. It was a truly awesome moment. I am amazed I didn't cry as I cry at everything - but was pleased I didn't.

Photos will follow as the event was filmed rather than photographed. The church had a new screen so the whole thing was projected as it happened. Hywel and another girl at Church were confirmed and made members. that is another big step of faith. We had a little party at home to celebrate and both Carys' godparents were there. We made the mistake of having a lot of ordained godparents which means it is not always easy for them to come to things on Sundays! But both Anna and Sarah were there. We haven't seen Sarah for ages and it was both happy and sad as we all missed her husband Rob (the ordained one!) as he died 5 years ago from cancer.

I made some cards (obviously). I wasn't too pleased with the baptism one although I later added a pierced edge which helped. I had gone for tone on tone texture. The papers are doodlebug and so are the stickers. the cross is made using an Anna Griffin punch and a yellow circle one.Also some doodlebug ribbon, Docrafts glitter brads and some stickles. Hmmm

the confirmation card for a girl was made using some new to me fab K and CO glitter papers and more doodlebug stickers
those stickers appear AGAIN on Hywel's card but this time in black with cosmo cricket get happy papers and a paper frill. This one I like!
Today after waving goodbye to the family members who stayed for the weekend (can you beleive they were all gone by 9:30?) I made a card for the Pink Elephant challenge using a sketch by my Funky Hand team mate Carol.

It uses Basic Grey offbeat papers and stickers, BG rub ons, a cuttlebug embossing folder, Nestability dies and Making Memories letters. And I even decorated the inside!
all the same stuff with the addition of some lace tape.

If this post seems a little rushed it is - as I have a hubby waiting for some late supper :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kermit rides again

My second favourite frog gets another name check.
My favourite frog is, obviously, his nephew Robin, who can still move me to tears when he sings this aw....
I used to have a Kermit mask on my wall in Uni - like one of those stuffed moose heads. It came from my boyf at the time and reminded us of watching some animal programme with Richard Attenborough when he said
"the jungle at night is a dangerous place....
for a frog"
It made me laugh then. It makes me laugh now. It makes my family laugh because, although the boyfriend was left behind long, long ago - that sentence is the most lingering part of our relationship.

So when Rein set the challenge this week on Daring Cardmakers of
Fish or Frog
I want to see a fish or a frog on your cards.
Apart from that, it's all up to you what you make!
there was really only one thing I could do...

Well actually I was going to do a fish card but my lovely Sue H had already used the only image I had (maybe because she owns the stamp I had borrowed!) and done it so well I didn't want to be compared. Then I remembered that I had been sent a frog image in the Funky Hand design team stamp swap
Ooooh by the way don't forget that Anice is back on tv tomorrow for Ideal Worlds Craft Weekend The show is on live at 6pm - 7pm and features Funky Daze and Now That's Funky.

so I used that. And here we are

its a reused Christmas card (ie I made too many of the same design) covered in Fancy Pants Daily Grind 8x8 papers. One was cut with a Nestie and put through a Cuttlebug folder. the button and felt ricrac are from here. I saw the ricrac on someone else's blog (sorry enabler but I can't remember who) and fell in love. If you check it out also look out for the scalloped ribbon. I think I shall cry when I use it. And burberry check buttons too. Amazing! Sarah at Paper and String also gives prompt service and wraps wonderfully. I love it when that happens!
Once more I failed to note where the stamp is from and I must credit Carys who had coloured the image in for me. (I hope she dones't remember and want to use it on a card herself...) I added the stickles sparkles.

Carys is looking different todayHer train tracks are in and she now has a full metal mouth.

I have taken some shots of the finished album for you to see.
if only the back was a shade bigger then the right hand side would fit better.

And if I was doing such an album again I might try and get the pages to tell the same story from front to back rather than left then right. But that might need less pages in order to stop me from going mad...

Thursday, February 19, 2009


So can someone tell me where the last week has gone?
I am ostensibly on holiday this week.
Apart that is, from going to Cambridge for an MA seminar on Tuesday and dealing with a funeral and a pastoral situation which wiped out yesterday. And tomorrow is Friday. Already
However I do say that Ministers are the only ones who can control their diaries so can't complain when they do it badly.
So I am not complaining. Just feeling sorry for myself.

there have been good bits to this week too!
No early mornings. No real lie ins either as the painters have still been here - gone now though!
Theatre trip on Tuesday. We have signed up to see 4 plays at our local theatre and this week saw "How the other half loves" by Alan Ayckbourn. I did find it hard to like a play when none of the characters is really likeable. But fab, fab set once again. We are not allowed to photograph the set which is a shame as they are always things of beauty :)
Movie night last night - Fun with Dick and Jane. Which was quite a lot of fun. though it edged on the slapstick which I don't appreciate.
(eek I am sounding such a curmudgeon)
today I have taken a class at Imagine That based on the set of cards I made as a Daring Cardmaker Little Extra last summer. there were 6 people and it was quite complicated to get a handle on - mostly because the person who created the cards just really cut into the paper and made it up as she went along which doesn't necessarily translate into a logical class. Emma however did a sterling job of adding some logic in with some diagrams which helped a lot! I was on my feet for about 3 and a half hours so am now on my knees!

And I have finished the Aachen (not so) mini album. It has about 80 6x6 layout pages (one on each side) and I will now need to reinforce the back! But at least it went through the Bind It All which I doubted at one point! And I am still not tired of Basic Grey Ambrosia. Maybe I'll amke some cards with it soon just to finish it off though. I'll photograph it and add it to the blog tomorrow.

But the photos today are different. In a mo' I will show my Salt layout for today which features a photo that I wrote on. And then I want to showcase some of PHil's photographs.
Salt this week has, as ever, a fab challenge.
Please feel free to share something you've created based on this week's theme of sacrifice. You may want to focus on someone who has sacrificed for you; your parents, family members, or friends, all of these given to you as a blessing from God. Or perhaps you'd like to focus your effort solely on Christ's work on the cross. Whatever you prefer, please leave us a comment with a link back to your blog or gallery. It would be a tremendous blessing for you to share your work with us!
I knew what I wanted to express and that is my thanks for Jesus making himself like us
This is an A4 photograph, from Scripturepics
So very simple really. I used some Doodlebug letters (the ones for Sacrifice and cross are lovely and sparkly!), some Making Memories kraft words and a Sharpie pen.

And here is what Phil is doing with our new camera - a Nikon D60. He is taking it off manual and everything! I am so proud of what he has done with it.
The first one has been photoshopped

the second had a colour change too

but this last one is, as is.
Carys got a little wet! But not as wet as she will be on Sunday when she is being baptised...

Friday, February 13, 2009

As Kermit once sang

It's not easy being green

But it is easy to use it on a card.
Jozza chose one of my fave colours for our dare for Daring Cardmakers this week.
The dare is feeling green.
I want to see lots of green on your cards in any shade you like.

Usually I like to use it most with blue but this time I wanted a mostly monochrome look.

I used some of the papers from my Costco set (still loads of that to use up).
The base layer was inked.
Layer 2 was inked and I ran a pinking wheel around it and bent the edges up slightly.
Layer 3 went through a cuttlebug folder and was inked.
Layer 4 went through an embossing folder and was sanded and inked then adhered using brads
Layer 5 is a nestability scallop die cut
Layer 6 is a nestability rectangle put through an embossing folder and inked.

The ferns are grungeboard - inked with pine needles and peeled paint (same colours used everywhere). One is layered on top of the other.

The printed sentiment uses the CK free Ali Edwards handwriting font. Inked and matted.

to be honest it probably took less time to make than it did to describe it!

I've been to the orthodontist with little C today. She had her train tracks glued on (always makes me laugh when the orthodontist gets out his heat gun to set the metal bits on the teeth) ready for the rest next week. Now it is time to hit the sermon. Although I think I have found the title for my MA essay on the Spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous (which is actually very interesting I'll have you know)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last weeks news

thanks to the lovely shiny new white painted conservatory, a heavy weekend of work and then being away for two days I am rather behind (as well as having a rather big behind). BUT I have finally made AND PHOTOGRAPHED my Salt layout. Due, er, last Thursday. (Twas made Monday but didn't see much daylight until now!)

Hazel came up with a great theme.

Jesus’ disciples were called by Him and became His followers. Jesus final command to them ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ (Matthew 28:19-20)

It too me a while to work out what I wanted to say. And I'm not sure I have expressed it clearly enough on the layout. But if Jesus calls people to be his disciples and we say we are not good enough, as we then doubting his judgement? And if we don't dare do that, then there is no excuse for not following. After all, the first disciples were a rum lot too - and look what he managed to do with them!
My layout is called Disiple rather than with the ship on the end because I had reflected more on what it means to be a disciple rather than doing discipleship. And I ran out of letters. If the letters I used had a question mark on the end, there would be one. But there wasn't.

The photos are a recent one of me (now my facebook pic!). I discovered via Emily Falconbridge's funky blog this rather cool site that does funky things to you here
The papers used are white Bazzill; Pink Paislee Office Lingo and Dream Street Birdie Bits. The butterfly (yes, again) is more of the KandCo papers (OK might have been left over from the cards earlier in the week but it is a good symbol for being a disciple. Honest)
The stamp is an enormous one that was a lovely Christmas present from Sue H
What I haven't worked out yet is the best way to use it as it unmounted but far too big for any mount. Suggestions?
the letters are Chatterbox
And there is loads and loads of black pen outlining too.

Also last week the whole Funky Hand design team produced their goodies to launch the new download Huge Funky Love Wordbook
I'm glad I didn't embark on this project before I saw Anice demo on Ideal World and mentioned printing a pattern on the other side of your chosen letter. Doh! Never thought of that. So I did. The word books are ever so easy to put together and you just need a few more little bits of paper and embellisments to decorate them.

I have one photo of my grandparents wedding and my dad sent me a few of my parents wedding recently as I had to do a layout of a heritage wedding for an article (more of that when the time comes). I put the book together, used the Bind it all (found I had some brown rings - joy!) and added the bling afterwards. I ahve had this set of Prima say it in crystals for ages and hadn't used it so decided to treat myself to smothering it all over the book. The words on the right hand pages are from the explanation of what love means in 1 Corinthians 13. It is often used in weddings. Only this bit of the reading works for a wedding in my opinion but we usually do the whole thing!

There are a lot of pics now so I won't add any more words. Hope you like it.
Oh must just mention stupid brown ribbon that sticks up at the back for each photo. Boo to you brown ribbon.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Have you ever done one of those tests...

where there is a long paper to do with all sorts of commands like "underline the fourth word of the third sentence", then when you get down to the last command it is "don't do any of the things above", in order to teach you to read through the instruction first?

Well I feel a bit like that with this week's Daring Cardmakers challenge.
Oriental Splendour
I would like you to make a card with an Oriental influence and the ‘Take Away’ I referred to is the twist in the tail.... no red or black
In fairness, I was feeling slightly giddy at moving back into my craft space. But that isn't really any excuse for this is there?
I did remember not to use red... If I have time I will redo it in different colours. I quite like the screen effect of the panels. I'll add on a sentiment when I need it. Some of the paper is from DCWV All Dressed Up stack that my lovely friend Sue sent me. Yes, the Sue that set the dare. Oh the shame. the other paper is from a Kand Co mat stack. They are just the best value as they are great for cardmaking rather than matting photos and are double sided and a lovely texture. the butterfly is a Cuttlebug die. I have a thing for butterflies at the mo' as you will see...

this weekend at Scrapitude there is a wonderful card making challenge weekend. I love it because it is ever so relaxed and supportive. A bit like this gem of a forum really!
I set a challenge called 3,2,1, Go where you have to use 3 of one thing, 2 of another and 1 of another. Easier to show than to tell.
You would NOT beleive how long this card took to make and i still don't really like it! It has 3 stickers, 2 ribbons and 1 strip of patterned paper. I added a peeloff (gasp!) and oodles of doodles. I bought loads of ribbon for the Church card club from Crafty Ribbons which is where that wonderful pink ribbon is from. the paper is K and Co again and the stickers from Docrafts.

And you would not beleive that this card took about 20 minutes
actually maybe you could! Ever so simple and even more shiny in real life. 3 adhesive black gems; 2 patterned papers (those DCWV papers again, one with extra white gel pen) and 1 shiny ribbon.

Tina challenged us to use at least 2 patterned papers and die cut/punched embellishments
more of the paper that Sue gave me (just so lush, now I am trying really hard not to buy the stack myself. Some pink co'ordinations card was put through a Cuttlebug emobssing folder and sanded. The die is a Sizzlit heart that was outlined in black. The black and cream zebra print was scallopped with a border punch and ribbon finished it off. I will probably add "sending you love" rather than use it for valentines.

Kimmy gave us a sketch challenge and I kept to it pretty straightMore of the Kand Co and cuttlebug!

My craft space is now plain white all over and it is so bright that I was able to take this photo at about 7pm last night without a flash!
More crafting fun tomorrow which is good as I have loads of overdue projects!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Snow day!

It is one of the "are you really a grown up" tests.
Do you go "yay snow!" or "oh no, snow".
Today it is a "yay!". Tomorrow it will be a boo as I have to go to Cambridge and as I wasn't well and missed the last class I really, really want to go this time!

At 11 am it is still snowing in Upminster. I don't think I ever remember it like this before! Hywel knew that college was off at 7:30. The other school didn't let us know until 8:15 - not on the website or radio Essex or on the school answer machine or anything until then. We are near enough that walking is no problem but for other parents who drive I would have been miffed. Actually as there are no buses in London AT ALL today I guess most outlying kids would have had to be off anyway. Phil's sister who lives in Alberta Canada where it is usually -30 this time of year will be laughing at us wusses

Our poor dog - I let her out about 7:40 and forgot about her. Carys said at 8:15 "shall I let the dog in, she looks a bit cold?" Now she had gone out without her coat and greyhounds have such thin fur, I feel terrible! The chooks weren't sure but they do look purty in the snow
this is our road earlier todayI don't think I have ever seen real icicles like this

and we need some arty shots of the fishing lake (we are going back later to do some more art!)
and from our bedroom window. As Carys was off we had time for more snake hair. Next time I will move my pj's first!
Of course it also means the painters haven't come. That means even longer until my craft space is mine, all mine again! I am now resorting to going into the conservatory and pulling boxes out. I do know now that I am addicted to crafting as I am getting fidgety without it. Sadly I hadn't put the punch I need for my Aachen stuff back in the right place so can't finish any pages properly yet. But here are a few recent ones. I am onto the shopping section and then there are a few photos of Bruges and then the monster needs to be bound which I am v. nervous about.
The right hand page is on acetate and you can see a shaped page and then the next page underneath.I usually don't like the idea of using one set of papers for a mini book as I think you can get tired of them. But I STILL love Ambrosia by Basic Grey. Which is good becasue at this rate I will have to buy some more!

It is Candlemas day today. We celebrated it at church last night. Something we don't usually do. We were going to parade around outside the church with candles to celebrate the fact that Jesus is the light of the world. We opened the door, saw it was snowing, my candle went out, so we retreated fast ! Actually we ended up in a part of the church with glass doors and so our reflections went on and on through them. truly beautiful.

I mention Candlemas also because it is still snowing here and there is a traditional rhyme that goes
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won't come again.

Doesn't mention snow...