Monday, March 30, 2009

Big smiles here

:) :) :)

We have just finished Movie Night. Tonight's movie - Elektra. The film was ho hum but the entertainment enormous as we all made little comments that made each other laugh. Ah, good times.

I've had a load of good times today as I went to Sue's house to play and picked up a Martha Stewart punch she had snaffled for me in Florida (legally I hasten to add...). You know how people go on about the MS punches? Now I know why. They emboss and everything. So cool! You can't really see the embossing but you can see the punched effect on this card.
Jury is still out on the card as a whole. Should it read "hope you're birthday is a real hoot"? Does that make more sense?

Anyway I set myself a challenge to use up some of my old Self Addressed kits and took along all the left over 8x8 kits. The 6x6 will be more of a challenge somehow. But I am determined... I know the green spot paper is Scenic Route but I don't remember where the others are from. ON of the papers had these frames on and I wondered how to use them until I realised that just a few were whole ones that I could use as um, frames. the little owl is from Sue's Papermania Secret Garden set. I added a Doodelbug paperfrill and fuzzy brad and a crochet flower that I have had for YEARS.
NB If you decide to punch the bottom of the card you may have to create a new bottom for the card to allow it to stand up. I'm so glad that Sue uses the same card bases as me so I could stop the owl looking tipsy...

I so liked the frame idea I did it again
Same set of papers, a tad of Bazzill, Papermania glitter brads, two of Sue's Penny Black stamps (notice the theme emerging? Sue is so great at lending me stuff! And allowing me to keep the foam tape I used as it was better than the little squares I brought with me)

I actually made this card first and it was nearly very quick as well (until I decided to fiddle about with it a little more). It is based on the Sketch This sketch for this week
OK it's not totally visible but it was my jumping off point. Same mystery set of papers plus some distress inks and an Imagine That sentiment stamp. I had such fun with Sue, though I am sad to see the water damage :( Hope we can do it again sometime soon...

This is all totally out of chronological order as I actually made this layout yesterday.
This uses some of the bits from the Crafty Templates Quirky Kit that I have just received. It is so lovely I could almost eat it. (Don't try the paper is rather chewy). The green bingo paper; the squares paper; and the spotty curved paper (actually the bottom of the bingo one!); the tortoise (had to add a new head!) and the gorgeous soft felt sewn circle are all from the kit. I added Daisy D papers and die cut letters plus some Kaisercraft and a teeny bit of Crate Paper too. I used my rubber stamps that look like the Rebekah's Birthday font and some Basic Grey rub ons. I don't think I have ever used so many different companies at once!

Friday, March 27, 2009

He's home

but obviously it being us it wasn't as straightforward as it should be. One of those comedy of errors where one person gives the other information not strictly true and while I was waiting for THE phone call my poor son was waiting for me to pick him up lonely and cold at college. (Not helped by him having run out of credit). Needless to say someone was called "your father" quite a lot. Although I should have listened to the bit of me that said "just go anyway" and I didn't. Still a good time was had and it has helped us get ready for Uni. For H it was a chance to see what it is really like. For me, the chance to experience life without him at home all the time and the big bag of dirty washing he brings back.

Incidentally I had said to him "when you go to Oxford say hello to Mansfield college if you see it, but I don't expect you will" Well guess where they spent most of their time. "Did you tell your tutor your parents were here for four years?" "Uh. Couldn't remember if that was the one" It has changed a lot now. We spent our first four years of married life at Mansfield training to be Ministers. Happy days. It was odd because I was only two years older than some of the undergraduates and yet was married which made me feel very old indeed. Hywel doesn't really want to go down the Oxbridge route as he wants to do Games Programming which is a vocational degree - so Southampton is more his sort of place he says. I loved Oxford but would rather be there as a post grad than under graduate. Waaaaaaaaaaaay too much pressure in my opinion.

This week has been quite hard going work wise. I am struggling with figures for a stewardship campaign at one of my churches. Despite being in the top set for maths in school I do find numbers hard and they make my brain ache. especially columns of them. but I have to understand everything in order to present the campaign. SO not so much crafty stuff this week. But I have done a card for Daring Cardmakers today.

It was Jo's choice and she went for a cute number!
Bunnies and Chicks
With Easter nearly here - doesn't time fly! I thought that I would choose a dare this week to incorporate this...
I would like this week to see cards with a chick, a bunny or both!

I don't really go for Bunny and Chick Easter cards but I thought it was a good excuse to dust down my Quickutz chick die that I haven't used since making 70 hen and chick cards a few years ago. I remembered why afterwards as there are so many little bits. but it does look cute when done!
I put a piece of Bazzill cardstock through a Cuttlebug embossing folder. The chick and all the patterned papers are scraps of the Kaisercraft left over fron my last Salt challenge. Cream thickers were inked in the same brown Distres ink as everything else; ditto the Adornit letters. Finishing touches were three little Anitas gems and the most fab cream ribbon from Crafty Templates. I bought one of Leo's fab quirky kits and threw in a few dolly pegs of ribbon as an after thought. Oh my! They are soooo soft and gorgeous!

Here comes the unecessary close up...

I've also polished off two layouts this week. One is for Doodling Along 3 at Imagine That. It was a bit stretching as I had to do the sort of doodling I don't normally do. I had the Daisy Bucket papers and chose2 sheets of co-ordinating Bazzill. Then had to find a photo to match. Can I say - look at the trousers and crocs - perfect! (love it when that happens)
If you want to know more - book a class! (there are loads more fab classes, take a look!)

And this is the backing that didn't become the biker layout
I had already cut the cardstock to 11 1/2 by 8 and pierced the pattern. then decided it wasn't right for the photo! I think that was a good call... The swirls are from a piece of Cherry Arte poolside paper that I used as a template. the papers are all Scenic Route Belleville/Brighton. the overlay is Hambly. I'm still not totally happy with the title but it will probably have to stay like that now (sob). Various thickers covered in glitter glue I like, I think it is the letter stickers I don't really. Self adhesive gems make the frame sparkle and the thread is sparkly too. It was very therapeutic doing all that stitching.

More necessary close up to see the sparkle...

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm just hanging on the telephone

waiting for Hywel to ring and say to come and pick him up. So I thought I would update my blog while I wait as I can't settle to anything. He has had a great time by all accounts. They managed to be at Stonehenge and Avebury for Spring Solstice so shared the sites with some interesting people! H said that some one asked if he could sit down and drum next to him while he ate his lunch and he was sad to miss the egg rolling but they were then setting off for Oxford.

I had a lovely day yesterday. I think that Mother's and Father's Day ought not to be on a weekend as some of us have to work you know. But it was a wonderful service and a good church meeting and I enjoyed my traditional slap up lunch at McDonalds (just realised we should have photographed it as it would be a great tradition to scrap. Doh. Father's Day will have to do). I did get a card and layout finished yesterday and another one started. Don't know when that will be done as it is Imagine That day today. This morning was doing the how to doodle pages, this afternoon teaching a Doodling class and this evening making the page for the new doodling class when I have to doodle direct onto card stock. Eeek!

But here is the stuff I prepared earlier...
I decided to have a go at the card making challenge on UK Scrappers. I look occasionally and don't really participate which is a shame so i am going to try to do some of the challenges there.
The March challenge was to use three from, Bling, Birdies, Blooms, Bunnies, Buttons, Bows.

I went for bling, blooms, bows and buttons (ok I can't count)
I used grey cardstock on a white square card. I cut it down and added a scallop edge. All the papers are K&Co Amy Butler. I did intend to use some outsize bloms but they just didn't work so instad used a chipboard flower I painted and Glitter Dust glazed years ago, layered with two paper flowers and a button. I added faux stitching not my best effort but there we are - BUT I tied a real life honest to goodness bow all by myself. Shock! (If I am honest I still do two loops to tie shoelaces that is how bad my bow tying skills are). The bling gems are from Anitas and the sentiment is one of my new Imagine That stamps embossed with white emobssing powder.

This layout started out as a white 8.5x11" one
which will now feature a totally different photo and papers! What took forever with this layout was getting my sewing machine to work. I really must use it more often and then there wouldn't be so many mistakes. Please don't look at the sewing too closely. I keep accelerating too hard. It's not a car I know!

I was going to do the sewing in white but the thread kept breaking but I am glad I went for orange instead. The papers are Cherry Arte Poolside and a snip of Pink Paislee Office Lingo. I have made4 layouts with these Poolside papers now and there is sitll a little left over- not bad eh?. I used up a load of the matching chipboard shapes too. The letters are Basic Grey, the journalling spot American Crafts. The felt stars are from a German Euro shop. Sadly said bike is not being used at present as fitting a kickstart is proving complicated.

Well that has killed 30 minutes and he still hasn't rung. I do hate waiting like this!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mums the word

Actually I don't THINK I have to keep quiet about the Mother's Day cards as I don't THINK the 'rents know about this blog, but if they do, look away NOW...

Tracie has given us a nice restful challenge this week on Daring Cardmakers - ie I didn't have to think hard about it!

Cos I'm a woman!

I want the focus of your cards to be the girls. It can be any style, any theme, and any recipient - as long as she is female.

And I helped myself further by using a sketch from March 3 at Sketch This and being inspired by Roree's card in particular. I think mine is different enough to say inspired and not lifted?
I used a Shortcuts clear card blank. They were still a good deal from the States, rare now and the customer service was fab (can you tell I stuffed up my order?) I haven't shown my first clear card attempt as it was not great but I am working on it as I love them. To my shame, I didn't do all the proper back to fronting so the inside is not as pretty as the outside. And I wrote on the back, where you could still see the tape and some PENCIL LINES! Gah! Throw me out of card school.

The patterned papers are all Amy Butler Tea Box as are the die cut butterflies. I do wonder if I will end up buying another sheet of the butterflies (if can track them down) as they are things of wonder and I did use three at a time on my Mother's Day cards (but they are worth it!). That green and grey paper at the back is beautifully glittery. I added some embossed Coredinations cardstock and a circle of grey American Crafts. The little rub ons are Doodlebug and the big ones are AC. Button is from my button box (there's helpful).

That one is for my mum. This one for mother in law
Everything the same apart from handwritten sentiment. Those teeny tiny rubons can make you lose the will to live I tell you. And the white letters are AC stickers not rubons this time.

On Monday I managed to finish another layout at double quick speed just because.
Putting it in the album I realised that I have not scrapped anything just because for ages. Most of my scrapping has either been for my Salt album or not destined to live in my house. I think I need to step it up (and where would you find the time says the voice of reason?)

Phil took this molto cute photo of Trudy (spelt her name wrong according to Carys. They are Trudy and Abby. Not Trudy and Abbie or Trude and Abbie. Get it right muuuuuuuuuuuuuuum. Huh (almost) teenagers.) There is an even cuter one of Abby that will need to be scrapped too otherwise she will get jealous and stop squeaking at me.

Almost everything is Crate Paper Prudence. I did enjoy indulging myself with the embellishment pack. Normally I think that is an extravagance but it makes life easier! The scroll is cut with the craft robo, I have used my new best friend cream sparkly Thickers and the rub on is from Upsy Daisy - part of the stash that I won! I won some lovely stamps and rub ons. I haven't been able to track down the matching papers in the UK but they go quite well in tone with Prudence so I shall make some cards with them soon. I'm trying hard to use up paper sets rather than leaving little bits all the time. Hard though!

H phoned in last night. 12 of them had gone to Pizza Hut who ran out of individual bases so they all had large pizzas for the price of small ones "so we have lunch tomorrow sorted out with the leftovers". I have a feeling every meal he has to buy will be pizza based...

Thursday, March 19, 2009


This is the title for our first Salt Thursday challenge with the new ultra Salt Design Team (with wings!) (Don't know that you will get the wings comment if you are not from the UK. It's slightly off colour but always makes me smile. I suppose I am just a slightly off colour kind of person)

Anyway it is lovely to see so much talent on the team. There was always lots of talent but there were less of us to go round so it is fab to have more people to share Salt with and learn about faith together. It is hard setting challenges you know!

Ruth set the challenge of "Serenity". I note from her blog blurb that this came from the Serenity prayer
God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr.

this is what I chose to focus on. It is very apt as I am in the middle of reading for an essay on the Spirituality of Alcoholics Anonymous, for whom this prayer is very important. Here is my take on the theme.
When I was away at the beginning of March I took our old camera in order to take some arty shots. In the end I just took some self portraits, which I find I use a lot in faith scrapping (is that vain?). My bedroom had this long thick window sill which was perfect for writing on - in Picasa obviously!

I chose papers to go with the turquoise cardigan I was wearing. And then realised you can't see it in the pic - ha! I love these Kaisercraft double sided papers. It was quite hard to use one as the backing really as the other side was gorgeous too. The only other things I added were a few holes (!) some fab scalloped felt ribbon and American Crafts glitter thickers that I discovered in my stash (blush) how could I have forgotten about them? The journal spot has more of the Serenity prayer but I ran out of space so read the whole thing on Hazel's blog!

With the leftovers I made this card for someone at church
The sentiment is a wonderful new stamp from Imagine That's own brand. You can buy the papers there too.

I'm feeling a little sad today as number 1 son has gone away until Monday on a trip round Southampton and Oxford Universities. I used to go away all the time at his age with never a thought for my old 'uns. Wouldn't contact them at all. Hywel has said he will phone every day. Bless.
And how am I going to cope when he goes to Uni in 2010?
Parents of small ones let me tell you it doesn't get easier!

Have a serene day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've got that Monday feeling!

For most people Monday is a blah day because it is back to work day. For me it is not at work day! (although people do forget and phone me up and it is hard not to pick up the phone or listen to the messages or read the emails). This Monday has been a great one after a really hard couple of weeks (yes, poor me!). Life is slightly easier for the next couple of weeks but then it is Easter which in my line of work is as busy as Christmas. Only better. But with less presents.

Today it was my turn to get up with the kids (pah) but I was awake and it was sunny so that was ok. After a bit of web surfing I started on my Daring Cardmaker card for this week. I have done two layouts and 3 cards today. Not bad considering I also fitted in dog walking, washing (but not putting away yet), cycling to Imagine That and picking up some fab new papers and their own brand stamps (which are amazing as you'll see when I photograph the card I have used them on), sorting out music for Phil and I to sing next Saturday at a Fairtrade chocolate evening, helping Carys with her piano exam oral tests and having Movie Night (Red Eye. Cillian Murphy gets 8 out of 10 but the film gets 2. WHY do US thrillers always have to end with death?).

Actually I can't show you anything I have made today as it is either for a challenge coming to a blog near you this week or not photographed yet! But I can show a layout I fitted in yesterday afternoon. (Funny story. I cleaned and tidied up the craft space yesterday and forgot about it so when I opened the door this morning I kind of screamed as it just looked WRONG having a bare table!) I was late along to the Salt Party yet again and this was a special one too...
As we now have a bigger challenge team we thought it was a good opportunity for an extra challenge to say hello and we have linked up with a Faith Perspective to do it. The challenge theme is Friendship and I knew straight away that I wanted to talk about our special friend.

The title is taken from one of my favourite songs. I have a book which gives the old tune a blues rhythm which just makes it fabulous!
The photo I found at Scripture Pics and is for the Lectionary when Peter tries and fails to walk on water and Jesus pulls him up. Matt who puts the pics together has done a super job with this one. The statue of the hands actually looks quite different but tells its own great story here.
The papers are all Fancy Pants - some About a Boy and some Daily Grind. I love how the ranges go together. The black letters and the "friend" circle come from the QVC scrap and card set that I have had for about 3 years now. There is a lot of stickle use on the layout too. The curvy writing was done with my Creative Memories lines template. The one I really, really wanted and was so sad at losing on ebay and then I had the chance to win it and was so excited and then didn't use for about 2 years. That template.
If you find it hard to read the writing get new glasses.
OK sorry, it's tomorow already and that was unecessary!
Here is a close up

I have my last MA seminar of the semester tomorrow and then a trip to the Theatre in the evening to see Sweeney Todd. Its the sets at the Queens theatre that are the real stars so I can't wait to see what it looks like!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ready, steady, zzzzz

It should be Ready, Steady, Cook as per the Daring Cardmaker Dare this week but I am so tired that the above title is more accurate. It has been a long few days. And the hard stuff isn't quite over yet. But next week is easier. So it is just as well that I did my card for this dare on that lovely Monday I had off this week.

And it was a great dare too. Kathy took the show Ready, Steady, Cook and made it a card recipe.
I'll tell you the ingredients you have to use, then all you have to do is make the card.
Here are your ingredients: 3 different papers At least one piece of chipboard At least 1 button At least 1 piece of ribbon optional: 1 extra item/element of your choice

And for the team Kathy sent us all the things we need. Cool eh?

Now when my little parcel arrived I of course ripped it open and oohed and aaahed over all the bits at my work desk. And then later moved them to my craft table. Where I discovered no chipboard. Now, if you could see my desk you would realise that it is even more untidy than my craft space so I might have lost the chipboard, or Kathy might have missed it off. So I did use my own chipboard as well as something of my choice.

The papers are Bo Bunny Sweetie papers. The circle is a big chipboard button. I carefully cut the buttonholes out... and then covered them over with the other chipboard. The sticker is a KI Memories one. I actually added it to this bit of chipboard about 3 years ago and never used it! The colours go together so well. The dots on the sticker were a different colour originally and I added the spots and stripes to the buttons. As I had some left over paper I decorated the inside a little as well
I love seeing decorated insides to cards. However I often gasp at how generous people are with the inside decorating. I still can't bring myself to cover the whole inside so beautifully. I'll try doing more soon though! On the inside I added Making Memories Mini Alphas.

I thought I would share with you close ups of some of the layouts I did for Creativity Life. It will enable you to see the details - such as they are!
I can't get the levels of colour right on this, the square at the bottom is far more shocking pink. Just about everything here is Doodlebug. I am ashamed of the grammatical failure but I do love this layout as the whole idea makes me smile!

This layout I love as well. I'm not usually a classic paper fan but it is so good to be stretched. My favourite aspect are the paper roses that I made myself using punches and lots of distressing.

Finally today, the announcement has been made about the new members of Salt. It is so exciting to grow the team and I look forward to us working together!

Monday, March 09, 2009

And relax...

I had rather a stressful week last week - and will have another again this week but in the middle I have had an oasis of calm. I was one of the worship leaders at a conference which meant I had to be away from home overnight Friday. apart from having to get up and lead worship on Saturday morning (eek!) I ended up with a fair bit of free time to do some MA work and um, sleep. Which did me the world of good. And today I have been able to take time out and craft. Naturally I have not done as much as I would like but faffing about is also a joy!

I have a fair few cards finished now. I'll just show a few tonight. these are all part of my recycle the Christmas card glut and use the Basic Grey Offbeat bargains project. There are lots of bits in the Offbeat chipboard set you know. I have loads more left yet!All Offbeat apart from some Core'dinations sparkly cardstock (which I thought was going to be glittered but is more or less the same as Bazzill bling), a button and a sentiment from the Clare Curd Signature set. I added glitter to the butterfly's spots
Letter stickers by Adorn it. Fabby fringed paper frill by Doodlebug.
Doodlebug ribbon and Coredinations cardstock.

Now I am completely relaxed it is time to ratchet up the pressure again with lots of work so I will catch up again when I can!

Friday, March 06, 2009

I luvs our new camera I does

As it does all sorts of funky things which means that even in manual I can show details of my cards that I couldn't before. Its not going to change my life but it is fun!
It also allows Phil to take amazing photos like these

I'm going to show my close up love using my Daring Cardmakers today
Jane chose the theme of
It's a patchy one!
Yes, that's right - I want you to be inspired by patchwork and make a patchwork looking card. Great chance to use up scraps of off cuts - or buy some new papers if needs be! Any theme as long as it is patchwork inspired.

As all the stuff was still out on my desk, I decided to use those Crate Prudence Papers again. My intention was to make a little patchwork for a small area of my card but got a bit carried away!
I did manage not to use a white square card this week. Yes, I branched out and used a cream square card... The first layer was paper pierced. It is funny that I started wanting to do more of this just as Papercrafts Mag landed on my doorstep with loads of fab piercing ideas. I found my proper piercer too which helps! The next layer was done with the Cropodile. NOt helped by the measuring bit slipping which meant I had to do some doctoring. You can probably see it close up!

I then cut a square of card using a Nestie and with a green square punch cut the little squares out. They were all inked and stuck down then I added faux stitching. A Nestie scallop went underneath and then I added the obligatory butterfly. (One day I will manage a card without a butterfly!) This is a cuttlebug one, embossed with the dots and a few gems added. The sentiment is a Clare Curd Signature range stamp. You get loads of different size sentiments for £5.99 which is not bad in my book. I DID buy them myself, I'm not just promoting Docrafts here I promise.

And here are those promised arty close ups
the layers!
the butterfly!
ok so I could have got more of the butterfly in focus but I still really like this shot. Not as impressive as the Egret in flight though...

I'm away overnight at a conference where I am leading worship. It dawned on me yesterday that I will have a lot of free time which I need to do some MA work. Yes, I shall be immersing myself in the Spirituality of Alcaholics Anonymous. ENjoy whatever you are doing!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Just sharing how I feel today! Not ill or owt, just a bit overwhelmed with stuff and frustrated with other people. And myself!
Still it is a beautiful day, I have achieved quite a lot and I know that God loves me.

It is Salt day today and God willing, this is the last one with the small team as technical difficulties notwithstanding we should be able to announce the expanded team soon. I am very excited to meet the new talented people and have them share their creativity and faith with us!

It was my turn to choose the challenge this week. It is funny as it was mine this time last year when I discombobulated (I think this is my third fave word ever) people with "Lent". So I went for something we all recognise -

New Life in Christ.
My daughter was baptised at the end of February. This was a very special time. Baptism is a symbol of new life in Christ as Paul writes in Romans
‘Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:3-4
New life can come at other times too and I would love to see your creative reflections on this theme

I just had to scrap that baptism! Made slightly more tricky as there were no photos of the baptism itself, only a video. So the photos in my layout are less than the best quality stills. However, it is lovely to have those so I am not complaining!
The photo doesn't really do the layout justice so I might try again later. Plus I don't think it is really finished, I just ran out of time so thought I would mull it over a bit more at my leisure!

The card stock is Bazzill Dotted Swiss and all the papers and some of the die cuts are Crate Paper Prudence (you can buy them here). The letters and scrolls are cut on my Craft Robo. I was alerted to an amazing French Robo pattern site. It is funny because I have been trying to track down some flourish dies for ages and then thought "surely I have some patterns for the Robo?" And yes indeed I do. Loads I have saved already. Stupid brain. Expect some major scroll and flourish overload to be coming your way.
The letters and scrolls were sprinkled with glitter and inked.
Here is a close up of the teeny weeny writing