Friday, September 30, 2011

Au revoir, auf wiedersehen

Well I started to write this blog post an hour ago but our dog (not so) Lucky hurt her paw somehow while she was out for a walk with Phil. He had to dash home to take his bike for an MOT and attend a coffee morning so I was left with an unhappy dog who didn't want anyone to look at her paw. It turned out that she cried a lot less if she could be sprawled on our half landing with me sitting on a step next to her stroking her while trying to do some work. Phil is back, we can't see any lasting damage and she is now putting weight on that leg. I am as stiff as anything!

This week it was my turn to choose a Daring Cardmaker challenge. I looked up what significance Sept 30th has and it turns out it is World Language Day. I thought that was a great excuse to revisit one of the very first dares that DCM put up almost 5 years ago now. Here are my cards from October 2006

and here is this weeks - has my style changed a lot?
Well I am not sure this is really my style anyway but I do like it. I guess the big change has been the use of distress inks or some form of outlining on a card and I am more likely to use stamped words.

Details: Cardstock: Craft Creations; Papers: Pink Paisless and MME; Flower: Wild Orchid Crafts; Lace: Ribbon Girl; Chipboard: Pink Paislee; Stamps and pearls: Imagine That; Stormy Sky and Aged paper Distress inks; needle and thread. Butterfly cut from a template (another paper with butterlfies on it)

And here is another card made with the leftovers and a new set of sentiment stamps by Paula Pascual available from Imagine That  - where this weekend is discount weekend (1-2 October) so head on down and grab some bargains
This is also a good time to say au revoir. I'm not stepping down totally from Daring Cardmakers but I do have to step back for a while. Work life is getting increasingly complicated and home life may do to in the next few months so I will only be an occassional contributor until I can see the wood for the trees. Sob.

I have managed to start my holiday album for this year with the title page
It was based on Shimelle's starting point for this week but now looks rather different. I had decided to use Distress Stain and a Mask but didn't like how it turned out. Last night I spent ages moving things around and adding them to cover most of it (can you see it just peeking out). This morning in the shower I suddenly thought - why didn't I just turn the Bazzill Kraft paper over? Numpty.

Details: Papers and Stickers: Simple Stories; Spellbinder Die; Vintage Paper distress ink; Brown pen

Its a harvest festival double bill on Sunday. Still not quite sure what new and interesting way we can celebrate it this year. I know we will talk about Bangladesh and give our gifts to the local Women's Refuge but the rest is still rather a blank page at the moment. Here's hoping God will sow the seeds...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My mad 48 hours

Friday morning 8:45. Loaded up the car with all of Hywel's Uni gear.
1ish arrived in Hartlepool. Ate lunch and then had a trip down memory lane driving by the old house, the old school  and ending up on my "patch" the Headland. To find two new statues
This rather lovely one of a fisherman (with the photogenic St Hilda's in the background)

 and this one of Andy Capp. Reg Smythe who created Andy went to Sunday School at the Independent and probably danced round the maypole (everyone of a certain age who lived on the Headland danced round the maypole)

 and then there was this much less photogenic scene. my first Church. It was closed down about 11 years ago now after I left but I was the last Minister. (The closing down is a long but not altogether sad story) Its been sold for a while but obviously redevelopment hasn't happened yet. Although the shape is nice from the outside, it would be a nightmare really and pulling it down might be for the best. better than this anyway. The halls could be entered from the street below as they were under the church and the Sunday School rooms to the left are about 3' lower than the church building so there are stairs EVERYWHERE. It was very hard to take photos but somehow I thought I should.

Friday 3:00 arrived at the home of Sts Elspeth and Andrew who offered to look after Hywel as he couldn't move into his Uni accommodation until Sunday. So they moved him in today (all arrived safely!). It saved one of us having to go back up to Teesside today.

Friday 4:30 after having an all too short catch up with Elspeth (Everyone needs an Elspeth in their life - she is kind, caring, funny and always a delight to chat to. She saved my life many times when I was a new mum and is obviously still doing so 19 years later!) and saying goodbye to Hywel (who was so anxious about the journey ahead she almost forgot to say goodbye and give her first born son a farewell hug? I couldn't possibly say) I did the scary thing of driving to Lindisfarne via the Causeway. It is longer than I thought it would be but at least it was still light! My friend Ruth who has been scoffing at my fears almost missed the tides and had to drive over in the dark. Won't be scoffing again eh Ruth?

Friday 7:00 booked into the Lindisfarne Hotel. Having had to phone them up and ask where it was. There are only about 20 houses/pubs/hotels on Lindisfarne but my Satnav had taken me past it and I was lost. How embarrassing. Still the warm welcome from the lovely Sean and the gorgeous room made up for it

Friday 8:00 Meal in Rachel's new house making new friends whilst waiting to see if the old friends would make it over before the tide. And then catching up with them after they did.

Friday 11:00. Bed for me. Phil at home was getting ready for 5 hours in prayer overnight to prepare for Back to Church Sunday. What a star.

 Saturday 7:30 Out jogging alone this path to the castle and back. In the rain for some of it as well. I never expected that all the words in that sentence would ever apply to me. Still only doing 3 minute runs but I'm hopeful of improving!

Saturday 10:00 Walking off a rather fab breakfast by wandering round the island and catching up with St Cuthbert
 and spotting seals (they are the little black dots in the photo below)

1:00pm Lunch with some lovely people and then a walk before getting ready for

4:30 The Induction of Rachel as Warden of the St Cuthbert Centre. I did a little singing, Bible story telling and preaching. I described Rachel as having" a wise head, warm heart and creative spirit" - all very true!

6:30 Getting changed in the Disabled Toilet at the Centre. Was down to lacy bra when... clearly door not locked as much as I thought it was. Hope it was only one poor chap and not the whole hall that saw me...

6:40 left Lindisfarne for the drive home.

12:50 arrived home. Hours between rather tedious but at least I now know I can drive that far on my own.

Sunday 9:30 first of two services. praise the Lord he gave me the strength to get through, plus all the memories of the day before helped. I am pretty sure that all the mistakes would have happened even with more sleep actually
Most of the rest of today has been recovering! I'm so glad I did it though.

But it does mean that I am late with my Daring Cardmakers card for this week. Jo came up with a wonderful dare - Green Eggs and Ham, using Dr Suess as inspiration. Thanks to the wonders of t'Internet I came up with this

Quite simple really. Outlined papers, die cut using Nestabilities, printed on sentiment (thanks to Sharon for the font tip) and that's about it really.
So if you have had to read through ALL that stuff about my road trip when you really just wanted to see the card - sorry!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Surely not?

Almost the end of Monday already?
Now I'm not one to moan (cue those who know me well collapsing in fits of laughter)
but BOY am I wiped out.
I'm having an adventure up north this coming weekend so have had to work today and that comes on top of a heavy week last week - not just in terms of what is in the diary but issues and problems that I have to deal with, or that are too big for me to deal with which is overwhelming in itself. It is humbling too as it is a reminder that being in Ministry is not about "fixing" things but rather pointing people to the One who can truly make a difference.

Which goes someway to explain why I still haven't blogged my DCM card from Friday. Tsk tsk.
So here it is
 We got to play with the lovely new Funky Hand "Happy, happy birthday" CD, which is full of loads of different papers in amazingly different colourways. I ended up using a brown toned palette which is great for turning a card masculine. You can see the fab array of papers by looking at the Daring Cardmakers blog and by clicking on this link to Funky Hand too!

To be in with a chance to win your very own CD rom you must

1. make a card for this week's challenge and leave a link so we can see it

2. add links to your blog telling your readers about Funky Hand and the Daring Cardmakers

3. enter your card for no more than FIVE other challenges

I printed some of the patterns at 4 on an A4 sheet and some at 2 on an A4 sheet so that the scale of the papers changes. I used some nestability dies and made the flame from punching a small circle and cutting into it a little. Although it is a man's card I had to add some gold glitter on the candle. The sentiment is made from two different Imagine That stamp sets - Write Big and Number One.

This Sunday is Back to Church Sunday and many churches of different kinds are getting involved. So if you have ever even fleetingly wondered what worship is like then this is the Sunday to give it a try as you are sure of a warm welcome!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just as well this is not a webcam...

I've just finished Couch to 5k week 1 and am really rather red! This is yet another autumn attempt to keep fit and it is early days but so far so good. I decided I would rather like to run - inspired by all the women detectives in US novels who always feel so refreshed by runs - but more so by the awesome success of my lovely friend Ruth who started  in the new year and is now super fit. I'm using the NHS version with podcasts that tell you when to run and when to walk. I am still mostly walking (well wobbling) but will go up to the next gear on Friday.
will this last longer than last years get fit attempt? Who knows?

I thought I would show a few recent layouts. This one is based on a layout by Finnabair and really doesn't compare but I love her style and thought I would have a go

 to be honest a lot went wrong...
the stamping was rubbish. my sewing machine wouldn't play (perhaps because the paper was still a little damp from the glimmer mists). I decided to leave the loose ends on my journalling lines to show how we were unhappy that 2 important people were missing from the wedding. yes, my scrapbooking is DEEP). Still it kinda worked and I used a stamp I bought years ago and never used (the ruler one)
Details: Papers: Glitz Design; Stamps: ruler (unknown) and MME; stickers: Websters Pages; Glimmer Mists; Papertrey Ink number dies; black soot distress ink

 This page was really quick to do. I had been showing the gorgeous Sue Hyde how to use Distress Stains so used the turquoise piece of Pink Paislee paper as one of the layers. Most of the rest was cut out of MME papers with lots of glitter on.
Details: Papers: MME, Pink Paislee  and Prima; Diecut word Papertrey Ink; seam binding from the ribbon girl; Distress Stain

and a rather bright one using up scraps. I added some paint splodges and some buttons as pretend Mand Ms. Peanut butter ones are to die for by the way but at £1.99 a bag will have to be a rare treat
Details: Papers: Echo Park (I think); Dies: Spellbinders; Letter stickers: MLS; buttons: donated by my mum and therefore vintage

I am off out to a Bible Study tonight. I love Bible Study especially the lightbulb "ooooh I see" moments that people get sometimes. Here's hoping there is one tonight! And I stop talking. I talk too much. Instead of letting people have time to pause and think I just go on and on and on and on and....

Friday, September 09, 2011

Call off the search

yes I'm finally back blogging.
I don't like to advertise the fact that I am going on holiday so did rather drop off the face of the internet. I've actually been home almost two weeks but haven't had much time to blog. Fortunately there is Daring Cardmakers to keep me going!

We went to sunny Tenby
which was lovely. We were in a quiet holiday park just outside so this was the wonderful view we saw every day. And hardly any rain for a whole two weeks! We visited my parents in the middle of the hols to celebrate dad's 80th and generally had a fun and relaxing time. There will be scrap pages so I won't bore you now. And then life on return has been a mad hectic whirl.

We have two back to school and college, one counting down to going back to Uni
and the addition of one cousin who is staying with us while he does an internship and course in London. He is so busy we hardly see him though. He is my only first cousin. I held him when he was newborn and I had just finished my first year at Uni. He is now 27. I am just old.

So back to DCM. Keilly set her first dare this week and it is fab! We are to be inspired by this photo and also add butterflies. I had also spotted a great sketch from Sassy Lil Sketches which I used. And used pretty slavishly if I am honest! (My creativeness is still creaking from the break)

I had started to panic about the papers as, much as I love green and pink I didn't have much of them. Then I noticed the papers I had just been using for a layout which were a slightly more acid version so I used them and grunged them up further, also adding a liberal amount of glitter.

Details: Cardstock: Craft Creations; Papers: Glitz Designs; Punches: Fiskars and Martha Stewart; Dies: Spellbinder; Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug; Sentiment: Imagine That

Its another tough week for those of us who have sermons to write - the parable of the Unforgiving Servant mixed with remembering 9/11 and Racial Justice Sunday. This week for movie night we watched the Infidel which has given me some food for thought in trying to put it all together (mustn't mix it up with Cowboys Vs Aliens which we saw the day before and has a very different message...). Forgiveness is a hard thing to preach about because it is so easy to moralise over it when you don't have enormous things to forgive. I found this article from last year which sums up the difficulties and gives me some pause for thought. Ah well sometimes preaching is about asking questions not answering them!