Friday, June 29, 2012


is the theme of our lives at the moment.
Last weekend was very tough but lovely too as we did lots of goodbyes.
A final choir concert with a visit from Britannia, songs written especially for us (one sung during the concert and two at the after party) and being given some gorgeous pictures to hang on our walls. An "at home" last Saturday with guest around from 4-10. Really nice and relaxing though. Two final services at the churches that I have been at for 13 years (this Sunday I have one service at the church I have been Minister of for the shortest time) followed by an afternoon celebration of Ministry which meant more gifts - including our own Mike Hill chapel painting which I will photograph once in situ and lots of tearfull farewells.

And this week has mostly been sorting and removing. Freecycle is awesome as we are able to pass on goodies we can no longer use to others. And we also live near the tip which is useful for those things that are in no fit state to be passed on. During the celebration on Sunday we used a Litany of Farewell which has helped with the feeling that we are dismantling our lives here as well as the flat pack furniture. Of course, that is all because we are going to rebuild in a new, rather lovely place, but that doesn't make the letting go of lives and churches and stories (and disgusting old yet oh so comfy recliner chairs) any the easier. So I am allowing myself a few maudlin moments as the next time I can blog it will be from my new seaside residence. Don't know when that will be as we will be at the mercy of Mr BT and his trusty broadband engineer.

Anyway before getting back to the sorting out lets talk crafty for a while! I wasn't going to join in the Daring Cardmakers challenge this week but needed a thank you card for the choir last Friday and as I was making it realised that it would fit for this Friday's dare! Leo wanted us to use a minimum of 6 different patterned papers. I managed 7!
The secret is layering. Almost all of these come from an Echo Park 6x6 pad where the papers are double sided making choosing so much easier as they all blend together. The musical note is cut using a Cuttlebug die and is from a Heidi Swapp pad. It is patterned but you can't tell in the photo. I also used 4 Nestability dies, a Cuttlebug embossing folder, Martha Stewart punch, Imagine That stamps and a sharpie pen for outlining. As it was being hand delivered it also has several layers of foam pads. Oh I miss using them for posted cards!

I've nearly finished my stint as Guest Designer for Quirky Kits. I've been sharing the layouts that I have made using the Footnote Lite Kit

The how to details are on the Quirky Kits Inspiration blog
I've got one layout left to reveal but that won't appear here until I live less than 5 minutes walk from the view on the layout above! By then Carys and I will have celebrated our joint birthday - we are 63 together which must mean I will be 31.5. Which is odd as she was born on my 31st birthday. Oh well. Maths don't lie. 31 it is. We are going to the Harry Potter Studios and to see Top Hat. Making the most of London while we can!

We'll meet again, do know where, don't know wheeeeeeeeen!
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day (or not so sunny as the weather has been terrible for ages)

Monday, June 18, 2012


not for you, but for the rest of the Daring Cardmakers team. You see I had told them this week that I wasn't going to be participating again until after we move and have broadband up and running. (A life without the internet, how will we cope?). However I needed to make a birthday card for a lovely boy at church and when I had finished it I realised that it fitted the dare requirements for this week. Samm asked us to make a "Hole in One" using a reverse die cut technique. I didn't do this deliberately but obviously my crafting subconscious was at work. Here is my card
I used an old Basic Grey pad - archaic. I've never really known what to do with the dinosaur papers but figured that 7 year olds love 'em. The central section is mounted on foam pads. The "7" is a PTI die cut, stuck on top with glossy accents as there weren't many parts of the number that touched the edge of the cut out star (star is a nestability die). I really like this look so will use it again - but obviously only with cards I can hand deliver. The hike in postal costs really cramps my style. It was so lovely to use foam pads again!

I've been scrapping away with the Quirky Kit - Observations. It is amazing how far everything has stretched. I'm out of embellishments apart from a few journalling tags and a smidge of ribbon but still have some of the papers and alphabet left - after 5 layouts and a tag. Here are more of the layouts that I have revealed on the Inspirations blog - you can read how I created them there.

The last one features my new house. Two weeks today Operation Removal begins. Ulp! It is very hard to leave. There are some people that I will never see again and that is tough. There are jobs that are not quite finished. There are things I wish I had done better. There are lots of goodbyes. I've managed not to cry yet but next Sunday is the big farewell do and I am dreading it. It is part of life and ministry - we are supposed to walk with people for a while and then move on to allow others to walk with them, or for them to find a different way of travelling (to stretch a metaphor). Doesn't make it easy though

Friday, June 08, 2012

A lovely staycation

is what I have been enjoying this week :)
It hasn't been filled with anything much - a couple of movie nights (Lincoln Lawyer - better than I thought it would be, maybe a tad above average and the Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - the Swedish made for tv version. Which was gripping. They had to cut chunks out of it  - I loved the "so you're emancipated - which if I recall takes about 100 pages of the book. I just can't see a US version working if it will be less than 3 hours... ); a lot of ironing; a load of bin bag filling. And some crafting.
But no running.
Have you noticed I went quiet about that?
I spent a really rough couple of weeks at below par and somehow haven't got the hywl to start again. I think it will come but perhaps not until we move and I might do a bit of Couch25k to get me back to 5k (was on 6.5)

Anyway here is some of what I have been doing...
this week's Daring Cardmakers challenge was set by the lovely Nat
and the challenge is Resin Inspiration - to use some resin somewhere on the card.
this card was inspired by a sketch - but I can't remember where I got the sketch from (sorry. I know its not a current one). There is some of yer actual sewing maching stitching on here. I still panic while I am stitching which makes the machine go faster than I want it to. I have a fair bit of this lovely variegated thread so I might do some pre stitching of card bases again.
The papers are all from a MME 6x6 pad. MME pads are just so lush, lovely thick paper. So I chose a few that would tone together with my Prima resin flower. I also used a doily punch, leaf punch and  loads of nestability dies. The sentiment is an Imagine That one. The cream layer has some embossing done with a Nestability folder. Which didn't like going through my cuttlebug. When i read the instructions it turned out that this is because I was using the wrong sandwich and could have wrecked folder and/or machine. READ first, use second. When will I learn?

I've also been super early with my Father's Day card. Turns out Dad will be out of the country so it doesn't need to be ready yet! This time I know where the inspiration is from - Tracie Claiborne's card as seen on Two Peas.
Another day, another MME pad of paper. I am so pleased with this so thank you Tracie for the inspiration!

And I want to use stamps a bit more so dug out my Imagine That balloons
Guess where the paper is from? You are right.

I wrote another blog post on the Quirky Kits inspiration site yesterday. The layout is all about the Tithe barn in Upminster that is only open once a month and we keep not getting round to it. Last Sunday was our final opportunity and it is such a fun (and free) place to visit! The Quirky kit had lots of eclectic goodies to use that brought out the eccentric nature of the museum.(See that blog for more details on the page)

We've got a Sunday off this week. Only we are going to church to hear Carys sing in the morning, then Phil is doing a worship planning seminar and we are both taking our (final) evening service. We've planned it together and haven't argued. Yet. Its a miracle!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Hugging myself with joy

why? I hear you ask?
I have had a splendidly crafty day with Sue H today. Sadly it is our last crafting session together before the big move although we do have plans to get together with another crafting pal next week so it wasn't goodbye
why am I only now thinking that I should have taken a photo? bah.

And also
I am the current guest designer for Quirky Kits
Soooo cool. I've been sent both the big kit and the small kit. My plan is to use the larger one for as many layouts as possible before using the small one and then merging them afterwards. Currently I have made 4 layouts and 1 tag and there is at least one layout left in the kit. I've only revealed two on the blog so far. I'll show them here but if you want details and close ups then pop over to the Quirky blog for more. I love the Quirky!
I also love the layout of the Quirky blog which means you can make your work extra large without covering over a side bar. One day I will summon up the courage to mess around with my template as this is a bit tired now. (Still like my plain, no frills header though so that will have to stay. Probably)

It has also been a good day in that my fabby husband has done oodles of work on the house in terms of tidying boxes up. He has discovered the joy of vacuum packing duvets and pillows. Unfortunately we are going to need some of them before we move. I suspect anything that keeps still is going to be vacuum packed in the near future. I'm not complaining. He is a man worth more than rubies as Proverbs 31:1O meant to say

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Quite another week

I had hopes of blogging at least twice this week. But no.
So what did I do?
Saturday - contact centre in the morning. Church Quiz in the evening - my table won (we were shocked!)
Sunday - 2services plus a BBQ at a third church
Monday - wedding anniversary - which included a meal out and a trip to Sweeney Todd in the evening which was fab, fab, fab (Michael Ball is so good at being eeevil and misunderstood)
Tuesday - trip to Doncaster to meet up with my pastoral triad. We talk over issues and support each other. Also fab, fab, fab but with a lot less eeeevil.
Wednesday - left Doncaster and travelled up to Middlesbrough to pick up Hywel at the end of the second year of Uni
Thursday - included travelling into London for an exit interview with our moderator (sort of like a Bishop but not so eeeev - no, that won't work)
and Friday   work.
Saturday - a mixture of work rest and play including singing with the Kingsley Choral Group at Eastbury House in Barking (we ended with a bigger audience than we began which is always reassuring)

I did have time to sit and stare and do other things too but it does seem a bit of a blur now!
On Monday I made my Daring Card. It's another colour challenge and what else could it be but red, white and blue for the Jubilee weekend?
The papers are all from Junebug by Basic Grey. I traced round a die cut cup I had. The scotty (ish) dog was already on one of the papers. I added an embossed Heidi Swapp crown stamp, a sizzix die swirl, half a doily, Imagine That "celebrate" stamp and a flower with Craft Candi in the middle
I've made a few more cards this week. One uses a new Martha Stewart punch. I ordered a punch from Oyster Stamps and there was a little mix up with the order, but they sorted it out promptly and generously so I wanted to say a public thank you. This punch is a new doily border punch - isn't it lovely? (it is the blue layer)
Almost everything else is from a very old Crafty Template card kit. I adore that silver and cream paper. And the dull silver sequins. And the cream card lace. So I have been hoarding them. time to let go I think. I also used Imagine That stamps, with black and blue ink and some sticky backed gems.

Last week my prize for winning the Scrap 365 sketch competition arrived. It was an Echo Park kit from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn. I leapt straight in to using it

The words come from one of the papers. Other bits come from that same Crafty Template kit, a Prima mask, Tim Holtz heart (sprayed with the same colour ink as used on the cardstock but it looks so different), an EK success punch, a butterfly punch and some glitter thickers

Thanks to the Queen moving half term, we have to preach tomorrow on Trinity Sunday - a Sunday that Ministers often try to avoid because it is hard (said in a moany voice). Let's see if I can explain that it is just another way of trying to understand God in a meaningful and worshipful manner.
For one of the sermons I am using this quote from Romans 5 as translated in the Message. Eugene Peterson has a wonderful way with words and there is so much love in this. I love the picture of doors opening, so I shall leave this epic post with his take on a quite difficult passage

 1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.