Friday, May 25, 2012

Its been quite a week

A fair part of it has involved me whinging around the house saying "I've got a co-oooooold". But apart from a little bit of a cough I am all better now. And I did fabulously well on my Christian Aid collecting (50% of the road gave me something and only 20% said no) so i think being poorly gave me some sypmathy cash there!

A part of it has involved going to meetings for the last time. One meeting was quite good in that there was a sense of "our work is done and now it is over to you". Although some of the other faces looked a bit glum at that. That is the hard bit of leaving somewhere

A part of it has involved going to a recording of a radio programme in order to score QI tickets. PHil and I went to hear Rufus Hound doing an episode of "My teenage diaries". Phil had never heard of the show which I have listened to a fair few times on Radio 4. "You'll have heard of the guest" I said airily, and named all the ones I could remember. Usually funny people. Then Rufus said "Welcome to my guest - Jackie Kay". At first I thought - did he say Jackie Clune, the comedienne? Then she came out and no it wasn't Clune. Then the words "Poet?" "Lesbian?" "Bet Phil has NEVER heard of her" came into my head. Turned out I was right on all counts
she was fabulous. It was an amazing hour  - she was funny, warm, thought provoking. Honestly I wouldn't have necessarily gone along if I had known who it would be (I suspect that is why we were bribed withQI tickets) but I wouldn't have missed it for anything and it has taught me that it is worth trying things just to see. It will be interesting to hear what makes it through the cut to the 30 minutes on Radio 4 at 6:30 pm....

I've also managed a little crafting this week. And I was actuallly first to reveal my Daring Cardmakers card this week (faints). Rein suggested the theme of Locks and Keys and as it is our wedding anniversary on the Monday coming up (24 years!) I knew what I wanted to do.
Phil look away now...
I used a large square card form Craft Creations and Echo Park Victoria Gardens 6x6 papers. I painted a grungeboard lock and key. Also used: Cuttlebug embossing folder; Martha Stewart punch; Sizzix heart, Nestabilities tiny label (18?) and Quickutz corner dies; Lilybee, Making Memories and Cosmo Cricket letter stickers; Sharpie pen and Distress Ink

It's my mum's birthday on Sunday so she needed a card too.
Mum look away now...
This card uses Echo Park This and That Graceful 6x6 papers and stickers. The card has a cream base so I swooshed some Vintage Photo over the flower sticker to make it less white looking. Lots of faux stitching going on and I embossed a little bit of vellum as part of the base label for the flower. I was about to give away the vellum when I saw some embossed on a blog and have now retrieved it for personal use! The sentiment is an Imagine That stamp - from the Wish upon a Star set. I love that font so expect to see this used a lot in the future!

Here are two more quick cards. I couldn't resist this set of Artemio chicken stamps - which will mostly go on labels with the eggs we give away
There are loads of little cuties in the set. I coloured them with Distress Inks and found the perfect pad of papers to make backgrounds with - Basic Grey Obscure - which is quite an obscure choice really! 

And finally for now - I am trying to make more use of my Quickutz dies and this card uses some tiny circles
again I used the Obscure pad. I inked round the edges of all the circles with a Sharpie pen and added Liquid Pearls and black Enamel accent spots. Its an easy to replicate card and is nice and flat for UK posting

It is Pentecost this Sunday - a big event in the Church year - but one without all the traditions of Easter and Christmas. I'm hoping that by Sunday I can think of a creative way to celebrate!

Friday, May 18, 2012

We've (almost) grown two men

When H became 18 Phil and I kept saying "we've grown a man". And now it is happening for the second time as Em hits adulthood tomorrow. So where did the last 18 years go?
Here he is at about 8 weeks old. I remember him as an easy going baby. And he didn't cry much because, having had one already I think, I tended to know what he needed. This photo was taken on holiday in Canada. I wouldn't take Hywel out of Hartlepool for the first three months just in case. Emrys was on a plane at 7 weeks! He and H always had a strong bond and when he could talk (which was fairly late because H would tell us what Emrys wanted) often it would just be to add "and me, and me" to whatever Hywel had asked for.

He was a very photogenic child and in my opinion could have been a Milky Bar Kid. If we weren't boycotting Nestle at the time
He was very fond of his capes. If he couldn't find one a tea towel would do.
All the girls in year 2 loved him when he was in reception and they would wait for him to arrive at school so they could care for him!

This picutre pretty much sums up how my three still are. They love to torment each other and spend a lot of time laughing
Now he hates having his photo taken and so they are usually shot with a long range lens. He is intensely private and very shy, but has a fabulous sense of humour, a keen mind, winces at bad grammar. And likes to keep us guessing. For example, Phil has (probably) managed to get some QI screening tickets and now that Emrys is 18 he could go along. We thought he would be delighted.
His response
"Why sit and watch hours of it when you can see the best bits from the comfort of your own sofa?" Fair point.
When I asked him (out of politeness as I was sure he would say no) if he wanted to come on a tour of the Harry Potter studios he said "Of course". I asked again as I was so surprised. I'm still not sure of his motives - might be just to tease his sister....

Emrys the enigma, Emrys the man who knows his own mind, Emrys who kindly allows us to find it hysterically funny when his name comes up on tv (Merlin and Being Human), Emrys with the dryest sense of humour ever, Emrys with a keen sense of right and wrong, we love you and salute you.

To celebrate my geeky boy (sorry, man) it was my turn to choose the dare for Daring Cardmakers this week so I went with the Geek theme. As ever, it proved more difficult to work out what to do for a card for my own dare than for any other! In the end I went Big Bang Theory - a geek classic in my opinion. I could have just used the printed photo that I cut Sheldon from but that of course would be too easy. I did however allow myself not to have to ink or outline all the little balls!
This is the card as it will come out of the envelope
and this is what happens when you pull
I used Marion Emberson and Banana Frog stamps, an old Daisy D's kit (which had several die cut words like "Smile" and "Birthday" from which I plundered the letters for the name. Strangely enough they didn't include the name Emrys in the kit). The papers are Daisy D and Bazzill and I used my favourite enamel accents to dot round the outside.

I thought I would be able to give you a Christian Aid collection update today but I have been laid low with a rather nasty cold and cough this week so have only delivered so far. I will do an evening collection tonight and try again in the morning (Emrys won't want to start his birthday too early!) so hopefully it won't be too bad

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

After the ball was over...

Well the wedding on Saturday
And three services on Sunday
I am wrecked and Phil has given me the gift of his cold.
So today I have no voice. Which is rather annoying as I actually need to use the phone.
(I hate using the phone).

The wedding was great, the bride looked beautiful and the celebrations were good. I don't have any photos as I didn't take my camera - kind of felt I had enough to do as the Minister! As I was going to the reception, as soon as the service was over I changed into a dress and jacket and was amused by all the double takes from people :) I could have danced all night - I love to dance and don't have many opportunities these days. But I managed to drag myself away with the knowledge that I would be leading worship at 9:30 in the morning!

The services all went well. Two were parade all age worship services which are not my favourite style to do. They are a fine balance between keeping lots of youngsters occupied and learning something whilst also being meaningful acts of worship for everyone else. Who knows if I truly managed it and although one is to avoid the "stunt at the front" apparently, the memory of a scout gamely trying to open a tin of peaches with a mallet still makes me smile! (I think the wooden chair is alright but I do apologise to Trinity church if not. I leave this as my lasting legacy - the chair that Lythan dented. Well the scout did it but I was supervising). Choosing to do the same service twice in quick succession I was intrigued to note that neither young lad picked to open said tin can, knew how to use a tin opener. This actually worked in my favour as I was able to comment that Christian Aid does not just provide the right tools for people to help themselves (tin opener rather than over gloves or mallet) but also teaches them how to use those tools.

Maybe it was last night that helped me lose my voice. The United Reformed Church were invited to join the Church of England local deanery session to hear Lee Gattiss talk about "1662: the triumph and the tragedy". 1662 is when 20% of the Anglican clergy were chucked out for refusing to conform to the Book of Common Prayer. This is where many URC's can trace their roots back to - including Romford URC who are celebrating being 350 this year. Although we knew we were about as old as you could be, why the church began then we had been (ok I had been ) a little hazy about. I now understand it all. We had communion from the Book of Common Prayer which was good to share together but it did all cement for me why I am glad to be non-conformist. I suspect it may have cemented for some of my Anglican colleagues why they are glad to be C of E. So it's all good!

Oooh that was all a bit long. Probably because I can't really talk!
Now for some pictures. I did some scrapping last week.
This was the last layout inspired by Shimelle's crop. It was to make a page based on this layout

I managed tocrop my photos too small. Sigh. Still the white border around them is fine by me. I used a mix of papers including the very first Cosmo Cricket ever on the sides. Why are the sides uneven? Maybe because I stuck down the wrong piece on the left. But went with it anyway. I also used some October Afternoon, MME and Echo Park papers along with some washi tape and Thickers. I thought I should add some cross stitches as well.
Here is a close up (slightly blurry) of said WIP
I have now finished the thin column on the right hand side top to bottom. I have started moving to the left, rather handicapped by the fact that I managed to turn to the wrong page and now have to stitch over the mistakes as it is too fine and complicated to unpick (most of the work is made up of stitches with  two different colour threads together). Big sigh. And I have managed to leave the pattern book next to some baby wipes which means part of the colour has leached out and the pages are delicate...

 And here is the other offering for my Tenby scrapbook - still a few more pages to do!

This one uses one of my new Crafters Workshop templates and lots of Echo Park. Instead of a banner I decided to punch out lots of labels and layer them under the photo. The lovely denim rose ribbon i bought from Imagine That, which has a fab new website. This will definately be the last layout in the album as the journalling reflects the end of the holiday. As it happens the photos were taken on our last full day as well. The sea and sky were so so blue! 
 Right, time for a Lemsip....

Friday, May 11, 2012

Get in!

Its actually Friday and I am actually blogging my Daring Card. (and trying not to think about the work on three services on Sunday still to do...)

Jo came up with a lovely dare - Fussy Cutting. aka snipping round (through if you are not concentrating) little details. I used the 6x6 pad "My private happiness" by Scrapcake for this layout. It has turned into the my private chagrin for me as I have discovered on their blog that there are free downloads to match these papers that would have been perfect additions. Just as well I have a lot of the pad left then isn't it (in the third drawer down of Tall Alex). I started this card ages ago as something else and it just wouldn't come together so I am quite pleased to have rescued it really.
Guess who it is for? A lovely couple who are getting married tomorrow. I love taking weddings. When you are the Minister you get a privileged peek at the face of the groom as he sees his bride and the glow on their faces as they make their promises. And lecture them about marriage in some beautiful words
“Marriage is a gift and calling of God, and is not to be entered upon lightly or thoughtlessly,
but reverently and responsibly, in obedience to the gospel of Christ.”
“God has given us marriage so that husband and wife may find comfort and companionship
in each other, and live faithfully together for the whole of their lives.”
“God has given us marriage so that husband and wife may love and honour each other,
enrich and encourage each other, and know each other with tenderness and joy.”
It goes on a bit more but you get the gist. Ah, getting misty eyed at the thought of it!
Control yourself woman - back to the card. I fussy cut the centre piece, the bottom right hand corner and the sentiment. And cut out the heart by hand (there is an even better one on the freebie download). I added their names using a dienamics die, some butterflies overstamped with a music stamp and with gems added, a few more layers including a doily border punched one, some rangers enamel accents white dots and lots of lots of glitter. Which you can't really see there
See now?

I also whipped up a 70th birthday card for someone at church. When I finished I thought it looked remarkably like a straight version of Kathy's Sketch File May sketch. But being a good Minister I thought I had better not pretend I had it in mind all along!
I used papers from a Cosmo Cricket 6x6 pad, PTI numbers, Nestability dies and Cuttlebug/Tim Holtz embossing folders (second drawer down, Tall Alex). I outlined everythign with a brown sharpie pen (basket, right hand side, top drawer Wide Alex). The sentiment is an Imagine That stamp.
I'm trying to memorise where everything is in my new drawers (see post below) so I don't have to label them!)

It is the start of Christian Aid week on Sunday. Christian Aid works hard to give people the resources they need to help themselves. This year we are looking at Sierra Leone. It makes me think of lovely June who was a missionary there during the civil war but who died before she could see the beginning of peace happening. She was a person who was love personified. This week I will be knocking on doors in Tawny Avenue Upminster, smiling and asking for donations for Christian Aid to help give people across the world give themselves a better life. If someone comes collecting at your door please think about giving a little something. If it is against your principles, for whatever reason then please give a polite no thanks. It is hard to be rejected but politeness helps! I wonder where I will be collecting next year?
If you don't get an envelope through your door but would still like to give something then you can click over to here!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tuesday is the new Friday

I finally have a Daring Card to reveal - only 5 days late...
Keilly found this rather lovely colour palette to inspire us

And I made this
Considering it is, for me, a clean and simple card, it took hours to make. And I used papers from 3 different 6x6 paper pads and a rather delicate, but beautiful Memory Box flower die. 

The rest of the time when I should have been blogging I have either been working or sorting out my craft room. I wanted to do that here rather than when we move as it would give me an idea of what else I might have to get rid of. 
I am mighty chuffed with the set up now.
 to the left of this photo - which I did snap but when I didn't have a memory card in the camera but forgot on the take two - is an 8 cubed Expedit cubby hole set. In the new house this will be up on its side with an Expedit desk attached. Dunno where the grey table will go. I have two new pieces of Ikea furniture from the Alex office range. I had seen on Kristina Werner's blog that she had the Alex on castors and was intrigued. I thought that the matching tall drawers would be good as well. Good? they are awesome!

This is the top drawer of the one on castors. All my pens and rulers and scissors etc fit in here. My ATG gu (the yellow thing on top) doesn't, alas but that is all. Here is my favourite drawer. My ink drawer
The Distress Inks are in piles of three so you do have to move them around but they are in colour families which helps.

Here are some of the drawers from tall Alex
My cuttlebug plates and thin dies in the top drawer and embossing folders and sticky backed pearls in the second drawer

 Slightly more messy but more user friendly than the box they were in previously - all the little paper shapes and other such embellishments for cards and layouts are here.
In the 4 boxes to the right are card blanks and envelopes; large stamps and Bind it all accessories.
I can't beleive that it is all so neat and tidy. Neither can Phil. (Or anyone else that knows me). And it can all fit so I can take it all. Woo hoo. OK so there is still another sort through of patterned paper to go but there we are.

Can I make the rest of my house this tidy and organised?
I doubt it!

I've had a very long day - with a successful first Messy Church at one church followed by an Elders Meeting at another, but wanted to blog now before Wednesday became the new Friday. Hopefully I won't leave it as long this week. Although I have a lot of work to fit in. ON the plus side that means I can't mess up my craft space!