Friday, January 27, 2012

That Friday feeling

It has been strange not participating in Daring Cardmakers for the last few months. I get a bit anxious every Friday about 9 o'clock and then relax, a bit sadly, as I remember that I am on a break. So it was lovely to think this week that actually, I have some time to join in! So I did. Plus it was an excuse to go shopping.
The wonderful Jo set the theme of Wishi Washi - making a card using washi tape. I didn't have any so browsed the net and discovered this shop . I was worried that the tapes wouldn't come in time - they were at my house the next morning! So I had no excuse...
The papers are all old MME, as is the chipboard bird. The doily is my Cheery Lynn one again. The sentiment is from a Marion Emberson set. I stuck the washi tape on some card as it is very see through (its USP really but I wanted the colour of the tape to show through) The sentiments didn't stamp totally clearly so don't worry it is not your eyes. I couldn't be bothered to walk all the way through the house to pick up my black sharpie (all that exercise and I am still that lazy) so used a similar pen. NOTHING  is the same as a Sharpie. Yes, that does sound obsessive. The rose is a Wild Orchid one.

It was a friend's big birthday this week. I was kind and didn't put the number on the front of her card, but wanted the card to look special. Anpther recent buy was a Hero Arts cling stamp after seeing it used here - isn't that card amazing?
Here is my version
For some reason I decided this photo at an angle was the best one! The petals are painted with various red distress inks. I swooshed some green paint onto some card and drew the leaves. Then remembered I do have a large leaf stamp so will use that next time. How did I get the red cardstock to match so perfectly? I painted some white with distress ink to match the flower. Simples. Add an Imagine That sentiment (NB watch out for the new stamps arriving soon) and a little MME patterned paper and bob's your card.

I added a little glossy accents to the stamens and centre of the flower.

Here's another quick cute card to finish the crafty stuff with
Oh how I am loving those pennant ends at the moment. More MME and Distress Ink colouring and that lovely stamp from the first card too.

Its not just been sermon avoidance day today - although that is next on my to do list. I have been at a meeting to look at the pastorate profile of one of the churches I minister with. It is a bit sad thinking about not being with them, but it is also a good way to celebrate what is great about the church, what work needs doing, and how that might happen. I have been involved in two of these in different places and found them both quite uplifting and a positive way to face the future. I'm also booking in weddings at one of my new churches for later in the year and having to think about patterns of work there, all of which is rather scary.
And the Bible stories set this week are interesting - authority, power, influence and evil spirits. Will my story of being freaked out by The Exorcist help or hinder I wonder? Hopefully some lunch (and the Holy Spirit) will help me decide!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


14, 733 words that is.
That is the sum of my dissertation not including bibliography. (ooh forgot to attach that when sending the rest to my supervisor. Be right back) Done.
Also 14, 733 does not include any quotes over 50 words long.
or the 47,737 words I transcribed from interviews.
Its not finished yet. I will be in fear and trembling next week when meeting the lovely Revd Dr C.
But I am so close now, so close.
I may go on about it a lot but it has rather taken over my life for the last 13 months.

Then it will be lots of finishing things off and beginning to start new ones. A very strange feeling.

But it is lovely to have just a little time for play. And I played ad played on Monday.
(flashback to Carys as a 3 year old when I would pick her up form the child minder. "What did you do all day?" "I played and played and played and played and played" "What exactly did you do?" "I played and played and played and played and played")
 This is where it pays to sort through your scraps. I've seen paper like this in a new MME line coming out and thought "oooh love that painted blue". Opened an old box and lo, there was some there. It is paper rather than cardstock so I stuck it to a white card for better backing.
The papers are Echo Park Times and Seasons. I also used a Cheery Lynn doily die (lovely die, terrible name) plus some Kaiserkraft wood pieces and an angel from Tesco, painted cream (she was pink and gold, bleurgh. They sound like Cheery Lynn colours).
Phil and I thought it was so funny that on this hard to reach island which basically is a monastery community there were all these signs for Facebook in random places.

This layout was inpsired by Miss Smith's Just One Sketch. You are supposed to choose your own, which I will one day but for now just nabbed hers! Everything is from a Gotta Craft kit apart from the sticker with "Skrinkle Haven" written on it and the gems. And the sprays.
Its another funny story about how we forced everyone on a family trip on holiday and then it rained so we went home again.

Right, just getting ready to Shred. I've actually recovered enough to go running twice since starting to throw myself around the sitting room like a mad thing. Wish I could master the press up though. I blame gravity myself...

BTW thanks to all those who said that they read the blog - much appreciated!

Friday, January 20, 2012

I can run 5k but I'm still not fit

says it all really!
I am pleased beyond measure that I can now run 5k, something I NEVER thought would happen. But I haven't lost any weight - to be honest I have put on a pound or so over Christmas and my squishy tum is still squishy. So I decided I needed to add some other kind of exercise to do the trick. I have now done two days of the 30 day Shred.
And I won't be able to run again until I have done a few more days Shredding.
My body is in agony! My thighs are dying and there is no way I can run until it has all settled down. As I have shredded before I know it will, but right now everything is screaming.
But it needs to be done.
If you saw me you might not think I needed to lose much because I dress quite carefully and have thin legs up to just above my knees. But with my frame I should be a size 10 and I am a good size 12 so there is work to do. At 46 I know that if I let it lie now then it will be there forever.
(If this were an article for the Church magazine I would then launch into a bit about caring for our inner selves and working on the bits that are unsightly so that we are a fit part of the body of Christ. But it isn't. So I won't.) (Plus that sounds remarkably like the last Church Magazine article I wrote. See Ministers don't just work on Sundays you know. We have to be journalists as well)(Bad ones, admittedly)

Enough of that - show us yer scrap pages I hear you cry. Well I don't really, Not sure anyone is reading this anymore but its a good place to record my crafting life and other news

Title: Every Day.
In a chapel on Caldey Island was this amazing desk crammed full of small pieces of cardboard with heartfelt prayers written on them. There was a note to say that they would be taken regularly and used in the prayer life of the monks
Products used
Papers: Lilybee (from November Gottacraft kit) plus scraps from stash. Stickers: Lilybee and Basic Grey; Stamps: Studio Calico and MME; mask: that special touch; Mists: Glimmer Mist in olive and suede;  buttons from stash

Title: Good Times
Our family holiday was all worked round being able to share in my Dad's 80th birthday celebrations in Swansea. His birthday was on a Monday but he chose to have a party the day before and he wanted to make preaching part of it.
I used a Studio Calico sketch
Products used:
White Bazzill; Cosmo Cricket Salt Air from Imagine That; Cardstock Stickers Cosmo Cricket; dies: Papertrey Ink; Cuttlebug Embossing Folder; Mister Huey white spray mist; twine.
Scallop detail: these were offcuts from a card I made that were lying on the desk and just gave the softness needed for the journalling. The journalling strips were layered together

Title : Jolie laide
This photo was taken at Dad's birthday meal. Its not a bad one really. "Jolie Laide" really means someone who is unconventionally attractive but I have used it to sum up what I see when I look in the mirror. This will go in the Tenby holiday album even though its not really about the holiday but that is what I like to do - have photos from the time together but sometimes use them to reflect on other things

I was going to use a sketch but somehow that didn't happen! Instead i jsut cut boxes and strips and layered them. It all came because the edges of the masked bit were harsh and needed disguising

Cardstock, Papers and Stickers: Lilybee from November  Gottacraft kit; Doily, Crown and Mask from Imagine That; stick on gems, mini postcard and lace from stash; Studio Calico Mister Huey white ink; Black soot distress ink and everything outlined with black pen

Must now finish my sermon on the call of the fishermen (Did you know there was a woman with them? "As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two fishermen, Simon and his brother Andrew, catching fish with Annette" I always want to go "boom, boom" at that point in the reading but so far have managed to restrain myself. One year...). There is also a chapter of Jonah as well, the least action filled one but perhaps the most dramatic. Jonah says "In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!" And the Bible goes on to say "The people of Nineveh believed God's message". SOME of us have to say much more than a sentence to make an impression...
Have a great weekend - and if you are curious I am playing Romford, Western Road at 9:30 and Chadwell Heath, Mill Lane at 11:15. Love to see you there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2 months and 2 days later

Now I'm really back!
I have been rather quiet I know but life is beginning to settle down again - at least for a short while so I can update you on a few things if you are interested

  • Dissertation: Draft one is done and needs reading through and culling. But I am on schedule which is good. Spent a lovely 8 days writing the Diss at my Mother in Law's house where I was looked after royally. She lives in Milford on sea - one of the most gorgeous places in Britain
  • Running: I have finished Couch25K and am still running three times a week. I have put on a pound or so rather than losing weight so am thinking about redoing the Shred as well. I am certainly fitter than I was. I managed a 6K run at Milford and another with sea on one side and ponds on the other side of a path. I'm afraid Upminster doesn't seem quite so scenic
  • A year of two halves. Jan - Jun will involve packing up, saying goodbye, GCSE's and A levels. It may also include learning to ride a scooter. then July onwards will be hello Torquay, (hopefully) hello University, making a new home. After a bit of a rethink, I will now be making my bedroom the craft room. The room was going to be Carys' but she rather nicely gave it up (possibly because she didn't want her mum coming in to her room to make cards). It will be repainted but look at that lovely light

In other news... I had a lovely crafting day with Sue H yesterday. Because of the Dissertation I hadn't had a real day off for a while and certainly crafting for the last 2 months has not really been on the agenda (did have fab Christmas and family time so not all bad! Oh and I did knit 5 scarves as presents. no photos though)
Sue brought me lots of fabby presents including some cute stamps. I made a card with them after she left. Isn't that bunny sweet? I coloured him in with Distress Inks and a water colour pen. I am trying to use up some of my paper pads (as you will see below). This is a MME Lime Twist one. Also used loads of Nestabilites, a Sharpie pen and some stick on gems.

the rest of the cards used a Kaisercraft pad - all black, white, red and silver. This card came about because I wanted to cut the circle out of the middle and then rather liked what was left. The black panel is actually raised on thin foam pads. The middle section is Nestability die cuts plus die cuts from the pad. The greeting is PTI (my fave one for birthday cards as you may have spotted). The black dots are Ranger Enamel Accents. That swirl looks rather James Bond doesn't it.

About 2 years ago Emma at Imagine That hosted a PTI party where we brought along our stamps and swapped them. I am now using up the images! You may wonder how I got the whole border of the card embossed when the embossing folders are too small. well, I trimmed it down to be an American length card and problem solved. Also my usual crafting suspects of dies, black pen and stick on gems. The sentiment was computer generated using Papyrus font.

And this is the circle from the other paper. All from the Kaisercraft pad apart from the bird which is Paperartsy and the sentiment which is Imagine That
Finally I trimmed a border from one of the card sheets, stamped a phrase onto a die cut label from the pack and added a few glossy pen dots. Simple (good for a man). (not that men are simple)

I've even made some layouts but I shall share them another day - and not in two months I hope!

Incidentally, when I try to look things up in my new home I keep putting TS1 as the start of the postocde, rather than TQ1 and ending up with a map of Middlesborough where Hywel lives. I am obviously still missing him loads