Friday, July 31, 2009

And so peaceful until...

Oh still far to peaceful here!
But there are upsides. Like getting the washing done in one load! (won't mention what is in the kids baskets. Will have to do that soon)

And yes, I have a thing for Snape. But not Alan Rickman. Strange eh? I also have a thing for red headed blokes. Fortunately I also have a thing for men without that much hair and what is left is silver! (Actually when I was younger I wondered how any woman could love a bald man. Seriously. And then I met Phil who only had a full head of hair for a short time really. God's sense of humour strikes again!)

It was my turn to pick the Daring Cardmakers dare this week. I decided to dedicate it to my addiction to Bejewelled Bliss. It has to be the Facebook version for me as I love the minute only set up. A few friends and I have a little rivalry going (especially me and Emma from Imagine That. She normally wins though) as you get a friends leader board reset every Tuesday evening. My top score ever is 205,000 which is virtually impossible (top 2%!) Wish I'd done a screen capture to prove it!
(cough not that I am obsessed cough)

Anyhoo, to celebrate my love for Bejewelled Blitz here is the challenge
Bejewelled Bliss

In honour of my addiction to the Bejewelled Blitz game
I would like to see cards with lots of bling and sparkle!
One of my latest purchases is the stamp set to go with the Amy Butler Lotus papers. I saw it on Kristina Werner's blog last week and tracked it down in the UK along with a little box of die cut embellishments that match too. I bought them from Crafty Snippets a site I hadn't used before but the price was good delivery prompt and I had a little free gift too.
Sothey had to be used for the challenge which works as some of the paper in the pad is WELL sparkly.
I made a card from grey Bazzill. Stamped and embossed a leaf spray from the set with Winter Wonderland embossing powder to give some white sparkle. I punched a border onto some grey and green paper from the stack. I then used a sheet that came from a Gottacraft kit and decided to do a lot of "fussy cutting" (love that US phrase!) and layering. Ialso went made with the glue stick and pen. The big bling gems are from Poundland. FInally the little flowers on the die cut sentiment were pink and didn't match so I added Anitas tiny gems instead.

Next week there is an Arts week at Church. I am running a scrapbook class and two cardmaking classes. I will reprise my latest class at Imagine That for one of the card making ones and am still thinking about the other one! For the scrapbooking class I came up with this
The class needs to
1: teach some new ideas
2: allow up to 10 people to use one set of equipment
3: have something in it for beginners and more advanced as some coming I don't know have done scrapbooking before
4: be fairly cheap as I am unsure if I get any expenses!

The tree idea is taken from a Creating Keepsakes magazine, but the rest of the layout was pretty different. I had intended to add some patterned paper on the right hand side and forgot (doh!) but I quite like the clean lines.
I used Paperartsy and Penny Black stamps; sizzix Playground alphabet and lots of punches and nestabilities. And a few buttons. I will need to get some more green ones before Wednesday evening.

The 5 things are hidden in the trees...
Here are some
Two you have to turn up. One has VERY bad handwriting on it. For some reason I decided to write the most on the smallest circle
Card club tomorrow and no cards prepped for that yet. And a service to get ready in between. And I have an 'ickle cold. So I had better stop being peaceful and get moving

Something exciting happening on Monday too which I will explain on Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm (almost) all alone

subtitle: why would you want to send anyone a card with a potato on it?

1 week down in no children land. Not pining so much now but still deep sighs from both of us. Its quite ridiculous really as by 2014 they will all be at University and there will be just us left at home. But there you go. We love 'em!

We did a bit of spring cleaning on Monday. I managed to break the mop (apparently you shouldn't use very hot water as it melts the glue on the mop head. I have NEVER heard this in almy life). In the evening we celebrated with a trip to see Harry Potter. We went to the adults only screening (snigger). The bloke at the desk said "s'just more spensive innit" but there weren't any teenagers or rowdy kids. Don't know if it was worth it. At one point before the film started I thought we would have to move seats (despite having been there FIRST because I am insitent on leaving plenty of time to get there and buy tickets. And watch the adverts 20 times before the Pearl and Dean dance and the trailers) becasue a group of women came and sat right behind us (almost empty cinema) and talked Very Loudly through all the adverts. They didn't even do the Pearl and Dean dance. (mind you PHil refused too, he is no fun) I did enjoy the film and my secret bizarre crush was as seething as usual (guess who it is!)

I've also been doing those quick makes I said I would. I was on duty at the Contact Centre on Saturday so took punches, paper and ink and got lots of little bits ready to put on cards, which are gradually being made. And my first BG pad is nearly used up!!!!
WHile I was taking a class at Imagine That last week I was able to copy some card ideas. Normally I can't but there was only one person in the class and it is a wee bit disconcerting to have someone stare all the time. So I flicked through Cards. Here is a sketch idea I copied - simple and yet versatile
(the photo looks blurred to me - try clicking on a close up and it should be in focus)
Boxer and Urban Prarie papers, Imagine That stamps, Hobbycraft twine and Docrafts ribbon.
The next is a CASE too (don't know what it stands for but means I copied a card idea!)
another quick and easy one using my retro flower punch - best flower punch ever in my opinion!
one using my Martha Stewart 3 butterfly punch
and finally one using the scraps from my Docrafts layout. And a stamped image sent in a funky hand swapactually the backing paper is nearer pink than this - it doesn't go together half as well in real life! This is the card that led to Phil's comment
why would you want to send anyone a card with a potato on it?

I've made about 24 cards now so the birthday box is looking healthier!

Talking of Funky Hand we are all counting down the days to the launch of the first Get Funky Challenge Blog challenge. Don't forget to pop over to Get Funky for your free download

Friday, July 24, 2009

Its oh so still

The kidlets are having a whale of a time.
Too quiet here though...

We are still planning how to get to University Open Days with H. Why are all the good course for Computer Games Creation ooop North? We discovered the other day there is an excellent course at Dundee. So lucky Phil will have an 8 hour drive each way to see it and we will just have to work out how on earth we do the logistics if that is the best course for him. Hywel is really very, very good at computers. Scary brain sort of good. And creative. So the course is a good fit for him. But visits to Dundee would be few and far between. It costs too much to go by train for the two - or fly (though that might be an option for Hywel if he goes there) Suddenly Teeside (current number 1 choice) seems a stones throw away!

Today is Daring Card day. I did post my card on the blog at the right time but somehow life got away from me after that! This week the theme is
On The Edge

We'd love to see you making use of all sorts of border treatments; scallops, trims, pleats, or anything else which makes the edges of your papers and cards look special. You could use Border Punches, Die Cutters, Lace, Fancy Trims and that's just for starters - let your imagination live right on the edge this week - or maybe even go right over the edge!

I bought these fab clear cards ages ago and keep forgetting to use them so I gave myself a mini challenge of a clear card. Actually I think you have to think a card through better than I do to use these as I ened up with too much on the top layer I think! I used the same card pad as Vanessa (Ellepiggo). She has been using her Cosmo Cricket Get Happy papers for a while and that must have influenced me! Still unless you have the papers yourself or are sad enough to know who makes what (like me!) you would never know!
there are 7 borders on my card... I made it from the bottom up. First I cut into the acrylic with a Martha Stewart border punch. Then I remembered that is a stupid idea as it won't stand up. Then I punched through some American Crafts black cardstock as well as a CC Get Happy paper. I layered these and with my Cropodile made sure that there was not much acrylic/black showing through. My hands were killing by the end!
I cut another paper and added a pompom border trim and stuck it on using foam pads. "Just for you" is a sentiment block which I added a Bazzill wite card border to using a Martha Stewart doily punch. Then I remembered the thing about layers and added a white apron punch border (Fiskars this time) to the back. And finally there is a black border on the inside of the card and a white one on the back of the card. You can see that better here when the card was forced shut (it do like to spring open, it do)
A cuttlebug cut and embossed butterfly with a polka dot button and floss and my work is done.
Until it came to photographying the blummin' thing which proved harder than expected...
Here is a side view (I took a million shots, you watch a million shots...)

What I'm not showing was the inside front cover. It started off neat enough. Not quite like that now!

there is a bit of excitement for me today as the Docrafts Layout of the Week is by me!!!!
You can read the details on the docrafts site (ie they are long and involved and I'm not repeating them) What I will say is
1: You can click on this one to get a close up if you want to
2: I am soooo happy when colours of papers etc exactly match my photos. The match is even closer in real life
3: See where that flower ribbon looks out of focus? It isn't. That is how it looks in the package. Real time out of focus ribbon. Wierd.
4: One of the photos is upside down. It was too late to do anything about it. Had you spotted it?

I was going to see my brother this weekend in Blackpool (well my weekend which is Sunday/Monday/sneaking a bit of Tuesday). It is embarrassing to tell how long it is since we have seen each other. But something has cropped up which means it won't happen. I am v. disappointed.

It does give me some time to make some birthday cards - I have 4 left and half my congregation seem to have birthdays in August! but that isn't quite the same thing. StillI have promised my self that if I use up some of my basic grey pads I can have some new ones!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Its oh so quiet

Day 1 (well first full day) without my kids. They come back on August 10th.
I miss them sooooo much.
Don't get me wrong. It is better for them to go away while Phil and I are still working.
Otherwise there would be far too much vegging and tv watching and staying in pyjamas all day.
And I thank God that they have such a close relationship with their grandparents and still enjoy spending time with them (they could have chosen to stay home this year)
But it doesn't get any easier this end.
This is the 10th year it has happened
and I'm still not used to it.
And they are not cute little babies any more
- they are surly greasy teenagers
but I want them here being rude to me.

Right pity party over. Stuff to do, people to see, layout to share.
It is Salt day today.
Nikki has posed a really great challenge. Sadly her life means that she can't participate any longer. We will miss you Nikki - go well.
The challenge is this
According to his purpose
"All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
We all have those "all things"... whether moving, money, health, relationships, or any other challenge. It's not always easy (or possible at all!) to see how they will "work together for good." And we may never see the "good" that God works in the lives of others through the "things" we are facing. But by our faithful listening to God's call, and by our faithful commitment to His purpose, we can be assured that He will work His goodness in our world.

I spent ages trawling through my photos for inspiration. In the end I chose this one. It is a cut down photo of me and little Angel at her baptism. The colourful patterns either side of us are her parents in wonderful Nigerian clothes. Angel has some wonderful Nigerian names too!
I wanted to reflect that we are to tell her that all things work together for good, that we made promises at her baptism to tell her of God's love.
I used my fabby Gotta craft kit again. I love kraft and white so I made the most of it on this layout. I added another sheet of kraft cardstock and cut it out around the bracket. I added lots of white pen patterns and stuck white card behind the punched border to make it stand out. a strip of paper frill, some pearl and black sticky gems, flowers from the kit (I cut one in half) and some Jenni Bowlin letter stickers and that's about it. Oh and I finally used one of my Maya Road sheers. I love 'em but just found them unusable. What helped was that I backed it with cardstock so you can see the writing better. Only another 20 or so to go...

The Salt layouts and cards are wonderful this week. Do go and have a look. And remember that
All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Even being apart from your children for 3 weeks I suppose!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My bottom is bigger than a 13 year olds...

I went to Carys' prize giving assembly today. It is great when a school recognises the progress its pupils have made and invites the parents along. And I can't think of a way to speed up the process - but an hour of clapping kind of gives me RSI. And more to the point. Who put those teeny tiny chairs out so close together. I got to know the people I was sitting next to very well and was just starting to wonder if I would faint (has been known) when someone left and we could spread out a bit. We were thigh to thigh before that. Still it was impressive and as teenagers get a bad press it is good to report that at least at Gaynes school they do a lot to be proud of.

I also bought a copy of the school mag "shine" - really just to wind Emrys up as he thinks the name is appalling. I'm glad I did as Carys has her photo in twice along with a quote about owning a greyhound "they are very docile and don't need a lot of exercise" (although when they go for it they are fast as Richard Hammond found out here) We don't let Lucky go off lead that often as it needs to be somewhere we are confident she will come back - but when she decides to run it is a wonderful sight. 10 minutes later she is puffed out and ready to come home though. The school article also said that there are more black greyhounds needing rehoming as people prefer the other colours. I'm amazed as I think the black ones look the nicest. So if we do ever get another dog I know what colour it will be!

Right then on to my Daring Card for this week. We are Away with the Fairies!

I had several ideas but as Hywel has finished college for the year and took over my computer yesterday and was having a World of Warcraft battle/hunt/knitting contest, several were rejected as I needed to print something. Then I remembered Carys' stamp
Sadly, she has lost any thoughts of crafting as I quite enjoyed her buying her own supplies that I could use...
Most of the papers on the card are WRMK Tiffany collection. But I have also gone retro with some of the products. Papermania have brought out silky metallic mulberry paper and handmade paper with silver drops on it. I was lucky enough to be sent some to do a project with and the colours are gorgeous as you can see. I love this hot pink and turquoise blue! I haven't used mulberry paper for YEARS! I haven't done the feathering with it yet - must give it a go!
I also used square nesties; a Martha border punch; my new sparkly pens; some teeny gems and pearls. The pearls may have been added to hide a pesky mark but I'm not telling! The dress and boots were stamped onto the metallic mulberry and cut out.

And there she is! I have a friend who is a wonderful head teacher who I am going to give the card to for her birthday. She will either laugh for ages or never speak to me again!
Have a magical weekend. I have a busy one and somehow have to fit in packing for the kids to go away for a few weeks so crafting is going to have to wait until they go on Wednesday. Sob! (for the kids going not the crafting. OK a bit of that as well)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven

Have I mentioned chuckling at Michael Macintyre on tv when he went on stage at the Swansea Gran and sang those lines and lifted up his arms and the whole audience sang the rest? in harmony too. Still makes me smile! I have just taken a wonderful funeral service. So many are sad for so many different reasons but this one was amazing. It was for a Welsh retired teacher. Now in Essex in the 40's and 50's they sent coaches to South Wales which came back full of newly qualifed teachers. I kid you not. Some schools only had one English born teacher.
So the crematorium was filled with good Welsh voices. The lady who died was related to Clive Rowlands the rugby player who rather outshone me in the address - but in a good way! ALthough the death was a great shock the greatest emotions there - and we were all very emotional (Welsh, see) were love and laughter. What a tribute. And "bread of heaven" was amazing.

I just about managed a Welsh blessing with a bit of coaching from my Da. the hardest bit was yng ngwybodaeth
yng sounds like the "ung" of "rung" and the words run together to make ung-wee-bod-eye-th (soft th) which means "in the knowledge"
I won't even try and tell you how to say "hollalluog"which means Almighty...

It is Twisted Sketch day today and I am Guest Designer. I know! How cool is that!

Here is Anam's great sketch. The twist is use at least one Stamp - it can be any sort of Stamp in any way, shape or form.
and this is what I did.
The papers are October Afternoon Night Light. I hav just about finished scrapping our birthday now which is good as that stripy shirt kind of takes over the colour choices! I knew from the swirl shape on the sketch that I would have to get out my ENORMOUS Fancy Pants swirl. It meant I had to move the title though. I cut the top photo into two so you can see the details of lil C's face and the cake. I also used another Fancy Pants stamp to make the border and my beloved Tall Timbers stamps for the "cake". Oooh and I nearly forgot the Heidi Swapp crown - 4 stamps! that one had glitter pen over the top for extra bling. Some sassafrass chipboard and adornit letters and that is that.
It was blummin' hard to photograph though as the camera doesn't know what to focus on.
Here is a close up of the title
and even then it is hard to read "13 is not too old for cake"
neither is 44...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hello my name is Elton

that is what Phil calls me whenever I get a lot of packages at once through the post. Its from the old Royal Mail ad with Elton John from a few years back. Incidentally did you see Top Gear on Sunday night? I may moan about the price of a stamp going up but 39p got a letter from the Scilly Isles to Orkney overnight faster than they could drive a letter there. It went on palnes and everything.
Incidentally 2, we are often out walking the dog on her bedtime visit at midnight (yes, I know) and a Royal Mail truck passes us about the same time every night. It kind of makes me feel that all is right in Britain...

Anyway. I had two parcels yesterday. Which was nice. And one was a prize. Which was even nicer! I won the card challenge on UKScrappers last month and the prize was a Crafty Templates card kit. I got down to using it straight away.
It first appeared on a layout.
This layout is for Twisted Sketch 5. I love these sketches. I think it is because they are simple enough for you to add your own details too but there is plenty to get you started too. I think I am quite a linear scrapper. (oooh hark at her!)
this is the sketch
and the twist was to use fabric of some sort.
The starting point for this was the dotty see through stuff on the left of the photo which is fabric paper that I have had for eons. I found it went well with Scenic Route Brighton papers. Then my eyes fell on the fabric rosette in my parcel. Score! I took the gingham ribbon off the bottom and stuck it in the corner with a cute cherry brad from the kit and added a flower centre. It helped solve the problem of lettering as I didn't have the letters for Happy Birthday in the blue stickers (another ancient bit of stuff used) but found some red doodlebug ones instead. The heart is from there too.
Obligatory close up of the lovely rosette. It is not supposed to look like a clock at 10 to 4 thanks PHil.
Next I wanted to make a thank you card to say thank you for the parcel. I need a thank you card for someone else so they will get it. It is a symbolic thanks to Leo at Crafty Templates
I used a 2Sketches4U sketch which I haven't done for aaaaages. And this card took aaaaaages too. It started off as the green card! But I prefer the white background as it is sharper
the fabric scallop, the cherry paper and green card are from the kit. The red card is American Crafts and the letters are Doodlebug. Having used my cherry brad on the layout - I remembered I had a cherry die cut in my October Afternoon stash

My other parcel was a Gotta Craft kit. Now these always launch of an evening and I am usually out and by the time I remember they are sold out. But I got lucky this time! It is a Kraft based kit. Which, seeing as I love scrapping on Kraft, I had to have. (thinks back to those days 18 months ago when she went into artbase asking for Kraft bazzill and the man looked at her like she was mad and offered a paper bag...)
This took no time at all
I used a technique tuesday circle template to cut into the burgundy bazzill and a range of circle punches for the patterned paper. Lots of inking and white pen. The chipboard numbers are Sassafrass and the letters and numbers Jenni Bowlin. These came from the Studio Calico kit I won (I'm on a lucky streak!). Those Jenni Bowlin stickers are well worth having as there are sooooo many. As you can tell if you look back through my layouts. They are well used but still loads left.

I have actually done some other crafting as well but can't show you that yet. I've had a weekend where I have had time to play. Sadly that is over and it will be a while now so I ahve made the most of it!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ooooh my life already

Where does the time go?
How many times have I said that on my blog?
I HATE it when I only update once a week.
But time is not always my friend and I am supposed to be working full time
(that is a joke, church people. I am working full time honest)

Since I last updated I have
been to camp
it was sunnyit was rainy
I slept (a little) in the little blue tent. I didn't have to make a night time walk. Result!
I played rounders (and that counts as work to me. I have no hand eye co-ordination. Sadly at one point my team had one brilliant player still in and two others including me which meant a lot of humiliation at the crease, or whatever it is called in rounders, and a LOT of running.)
I made a button bracelet - sadly it was for 5 year old Adam and not 44 year old Lythan so can't show you mine...
It was sunny again
I got to play a celtic harp - haven't played one since I was 8. People took photos. I haven't seen them yet but I could feel the double chin growing as they did so.

made cards for an Imagine That class
which is a big thing as Emma, Emma and Judy make the most bestest and beautiful cards ever and I don't rate mine as much! I didn't photograph them but you can see them on the class details here. What I do like is that I came up with the design of the card on the right all by myself. OK it is not unique but when it is shut the slider part is completely hidden. All using the fab WRMK nonsense range

had meetings and meetings and wrote minutes of meetings and prayed some
that is basically what a Minister does. And prepares worship. And puts that off by writing a blog post.

Did my Salt layout of the week
OK fortnight but the Harry Hill tune popped into my head as I wrote that. Never heard it? Click here
The Salt challenge was a great one by Mona about Prayer
In the last few weeks I have been studying Hagar and Sarah. Genesis 16:11 struck a cord in my heart - "God has heard your cry of distress." I was also touched by Psalm 56:8 (The Message).

"You've kept track of every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear you've entered into your ledger, each ache has been written into your book."

These verses touched my heart because every affliction, every thought, every worry are heard and remembered by the Father. He loves and cares about every single thing that happens in our lives every day, no matter how big or small. There have been times when I think that my problems are too big or small to share with God, but my 11 year old autistic child showed me that you can pray about anything.
I knew that I wanted a photo of one of my children crying. (!) I don't know whether I am sad or pleased that it was hard to track one down. Maybe I did spend more time comforting them than documenting their distress. Maybe they just didn't cry very much! I remembered a photo from when we went to Carnac in 1995. Emrys had been crawling around and it was time to go home. For some reason he had loved crawling among big stones and was not happy at being back in the buggy. Oh I remember those heartfelt sobs. It turned out to be a great photo to reflect the words in the Bible

When I dropped off the cards at Imagine That on Monday I accidentally bought the new pack of Basic Grey June Bug papers. Which is what I have used for this layout
Everything including the grungy background paper is June Bug. I just added a chatterbox bird, three flowers and gems from elsewhere. Here is my journalling close up (pen started to run out grrrr)
And finally
its Daring day!
Rein made us work this week with her rather lovely theme


as our Russian girl Irina is here staying with us again my dare is put a matryoshka or another typical Russian element like dress, architecture, or... ..... on your card.

I partly bought the Junebug papers as I thought they had a russian vibe to them. I was wondering what to do wih this dare and remembered that google is my friend. I found a template on the Papercraft Inspirations site. When I printed it out it was A4 size! So I just used it as a guide to hand cut my own card one using a folded A6 card.
Again all the papers are June Bug apart from her face which is Urban Prairie. The eyes are blue stickers and the leaves were cut with a QK die.

Right time to get some work done - it is our choir concert tonight so I must get worship preparation done and dusted by then!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Buttons anyone?

I've just spent a happy half hour in a garage full of buttons!
They are from the house of an old man who used to run a haberdashery. Sadly I can't keep them all but some will live with me and some will come with me to camp in order to make button bracelets and necklaces.

I still haven't managed to photograph any birthday cards this week - all been rather manic work wise but I hope to have time next Monday. Such is my life from time to time. I have had a few runs of meetings on Tues/Wed/Thurs evenings and when that happens I get quite overwhelmed. I actually don't have one next Tuesday - woot! I'll probably waste it though...
This is the card that I made Carys for her birthday. I entered it into the Papercrafts Idol comp. I didn't get through but my Daring Card Teamie Jo Kill did. She is also top 5 in the 4Sketches4U comp - final is this week. She is an outstanding card maker and deserves international recognition so GO GO JO!!!!!
My card was made using WRMK Tiffany range and I inked and glittered a chipboard scroll. The ribbon is Doodlebug and I used two colours of liquid pearls. The label was cut using a craft robo.

Last weeks Daring card is this one...
for the postpals dare. Another of those labels! The round chipboard is Scenic Route; Making Memories and Doodlebug letters; a Bazzill edger and a Martha Stewart punch were used. Everythign else is October Afternoon. I added extra glitter to the cherries with Copic glitter pens found here - thanks Enfys who enabled via her blog.

And this weeks Daring card
I love this theme!

Blue and Green...Should Never Be Seen
– they must be the predominant colours, and as the old saying goes...they should never be seen together!! But we all know how they can work beautifully together – so show us what you can do!!

I love blue and green together and think they should always be that way. It is such a restful combination!
I made this card for Em to take to the library today as a thank you for his work experience. He looked at it and said "but that is horrible" with real anguish in his voice. Maybe his colour blindness made the colours funny for him...
What has he done? Has he enjoyed it? have no idea as he will not tell us anything about it. I did find out that the long haired guy is not in charge of computers. He just has very long hair.

onto the card...
It is A5 size - gasp!
I printed out the central section on cream card stock. The bit sticking off the side is supposed to be a library tab which I added a random Dewey decimal number to.
Yes more October Afternoon. And yes, a different border punch. I have suddenly realised that I have bought 7 since last September. It has to stop here! (but they are so luverly....). Two were birthday presents (chosen by me as I have the best craft taste). Some of the elusive Martha Stewart punches are available at Imagine That but are flying off the shelves (well hanging unit really). the apple was cut out of one of the papers and glittered using glue pen and loose glitter. On reflection the pens would have been better...

Right back to playing with buttons and getting ready for a "fun" Church camp...