Friday, August 31, 2012

An unexpected absence!

Sorry everyone. One moment it is Monday and there is loads of time for blogging but you are just too tired from a demanding weekend to do it, then the working week starts, then there is a day off in lieu to celebrate your son being 20, then more work and suddenly it is Firday and a whole two weeks have gone by without updating.
I get a bit fed up with people who don't update their blogs very often...

Anyway - quick recap of my life in the last fortnight: work; work; work; walking by the sea most mornings with the dog (not this morning as she was naughty last night and although it was Phil who got up and sorted everything out and then slept on the sofa so he could stop more whining, I felt tired in commiseration. That man is a star I tell you) (BTW the whining came from the dog not me, in case you were wondering); getting up at 5:30 to drive to Upminster for the GSCE results; congratulating daughter on 3 A's 6 B's and some C's (it gets really complicated these days and it may in fact be 5 1/2 B's but I have stared at them enough and keep forgetting); holding her hand when her sixth form place was in the balance and rejoicing when we found it was all OK; celebrating with the Romford Church at being 350 and doing my little bit to help things run smoothly; feeling smug at having bought tickets to Plymouth Aquarium online which meant that we could walk past the long queue and go in another way (we have to go to some sort of aqaurium on Hywel's birthday - it is the law apparently). Um, that's about it really.
I have squeezed in some crafting so will show the cards today and the layouts another day.
I still haven't found the optimum time for photography and everything has a blue cast on it at the moment. Admittedly my room is very teal blue but it shouldn't affect it that much surely?

So here is last weeks Daring Card - Beside the Seaside
I went for quick and simple so did a little boat
I had die cut a scalloped border for the waves but then realised that the bits the scallops were cut from were move wave like and used them instead! The papers are from Basic Grey Archaic 6x6 pad and the sentiment is from Imagine That.

And now for this weeks... Rein asked us to Focus on Flowers
which almost gave too much choice!
I decided to use a Studio Calico 6x6  pad  and see where it took me.
I added in some Prima colour in canvas flowers and leaves and a lovely new buttercup yellow liquid pearls. I do love liquid pearls but have the to remember not to touch too often! The words are from a Marian Emberson set.

And so that is it for August (eek!)
I'm kind of looking forward to it being September and having more of a sense of routine but I am not looking forward to having to get up earlier! How about you?

Friday, August 17, 2012

one down, one to go

exam results days that is.
Yesterday was A levels. Emrys and Phil left the house by 6am to return to Palmers College in Grays, Essex because you either had to pick up the results in person or have them posted to you (!). They arrived in good time and Emrys achieved AAAB. Because two of his A levels were double IT which is mostly course work based, his lovely parents suggested that he carried on with both Phsyics and Maths to A2 standard, which he did. We are so proud of him! So he is now off to join Hywel in Middlesbrough next month. Although it is a LONG way from here, there is something special about them keeping a connection to the area in which they were born (and it is very cheap to live there!). We get to do it all over again for the GSCE's next week. Fun,fun, fun.

I was glad to have the Daring Cardmakers challenge this week to keep my thoughts occupied. Jo set the most wonderful Dare
Film Quotes
I'd like you to use a line/quotation from the Big Screen as your inspiration and see where that leads your cardmaking.

I decided to do two as I might not be able to participate at all next week!
This one is actually a sung line from Pinocchio. Maybe Jiminy Cricket says it as well - its a while since we have watched it...
The card is a Craft Creations sqyare blank which I printed the greeting onto and then decided how I would fill the space. I wanted a cloud and a star so used a Nestablilities Label 6 die cut in half and a QK Primitive Star. All the papers are from a recent 6x6 Heidi Swapp pad. I also used a border punch, a Cuttlebug embossing folder, black sharpie pen and lots of stick on yellow gems. The star was covered in Rock Candy Distress Stickles as well.

This uses some of my hoarded Scenic Route Surprise papers and a die cut arrow. I printed out the words on spare kraft cardstock using the Times and Times Again font and layered the papers with some Bazzill cardstock, embossing the red layer with a Happy Birthday folder. The words were added with a Tiny Attacher. It may have said "blow and" at one point, hence the sapre holes in "and" now!

It took longer to chose the quotes than to make the cards to be honest.

I've got my first Babbacombe baptism on Sunday and I am going off lectionary (the set Bible readings for every week) because I can't do the bread of life anymore. I love talking about Jesus as the Bread of Life. But not for 5 weeks in a row as the Lectionary suggests. So we'll be thinking about what baptism is - an outward sign of God's love for us, how we need to share that love with the baby being baptised and what the baby can teach us about God. Hope it all comes together and the baby doesn't cry! (you just never know....)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

There goes the sun

We had a brief hint that we are in August on Friday. Then because I planned to go and sit on the beach and read my book - just because I can - on Sunday, it was horrid until about 4pm. I decided I still needed to go out so Phil and I went down to Torquay harbour (a short drive. we could walk but only one way. We have walked back up the hill once. Never again. Until I forget just how punishing it is and end up having to say never again, again). Once we had arrived at the harbour - about 10 mins later, the sun came out again.

(photo by Phil. I'm standing just behind the black post on the far right!)
We had a fantastic walk and boat watch, planning where we should take our great nephew Max when he comes to visit next Summer. (We need a beach with real sand and not just pebbles. Torre Sands should do the trick)

I made the mistake of dreaming that I could go and sit on the beach this Sunday afternoon as Phil said it was going to be sunny. Phil had been reading the weather for where we used to live - the South East, rather than where we do live - the South West. Which is apparently going to have rain, rain, rain and a side order of rain.
Still I can do some house cleaning and crafting instead (oh joy) (that is in reference to the former and not the latter) (although I could say it twice, once with sarcasm and once with feeling) (yes, lets go with that)
which is kind of what happened this weekend

This follows (fairly slavishly) the August 1 Sketch n scrap sketch. I used a rather lovely peacock feather stencil because that is a constant motif in Harry Potter.
OK, I used it just because I wanted to. But I did add some glitter to the feathers which is magical
The papers are a mix of MME Andrea Victoria, some Prima and Echo Park For the Record. The stickers are from loads of different companies (aka didn't write them down) and I added more glitter to the most important word in the title (at least if you are Carys)
It truly was one of the best experiences we have ever had as a family and looking at the photos brings back such happy memories. I can't rate it highly enough (as you can tell.) But go early if you can
The other layout brings back memories of another day out as a family that has already become an infamous part of the canon of Nevard circular walks. Even before I became a Nevard these walks that turned out to be much longer than they should have been, were the stuff of legend. I like to think we are just passing on the tradition. There will be more layouts from this walk at some point!

I used another sketch - this time a page maps one featured on the kraft it up site. Obviously I won't enter it as it doesn't fit the criteria at all - what with the total lack of kraft! but I did like the sketch
I used more of the Echo Park papers and spent hours finding letter sticker sets with the right letters left on. The tree is a Simple Stories sticker and I grabbed lots of other random ones to use as well.

 Here's a close up of the writing

All this is displacement stuff as I am starting to get nervous - A level results tomorrow! Emrys and Phil are trecking off at outrageously early in the morning in order to get to Grays before 12 to pick the results and phone them back to me. Good luck to all students - and nervous parents!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The height of summer

In between finishing off my sermon for Sunday and having lunch/doing my share of the cleaning/thinking about some church stuff I have been blog hopping and found Julie Kirk's recent post about
Julie is a very talented scrapper and storyteller. She is a lovely person who helped me out with queries about H's choice of Uni as I noticed from a layout in Scrapbook Inspirations (RIP) that she worked in the department he was thinking of applying to. Yes I am that stalker. And when she relates stories about funny things she has overheard I often wonder if my son said them. And then remember that if he is not in lectures he is in his room so, doubtful. And now son 2 is likely to be heading to the same place and course so I'll have even longer to think this. Except son number 2 is unlikely to say much even in the lecture hall.
Another lovely thing about Julie is that she is the perfect height of 5'2" and a bit. When you are 5'2 that extra bit is all important. Once I was measured at 5'2 and a HALF. I suspect I am slightly less than that really though.
Here I am with absolutely no comparison so I could actually be 6' 2 standing next to a really high hedge
but I am not.
I may look a little self conscious here. I was helping Phil set up for some shots and mucking about when I noticed people staring and that's when he pressed the shutter. Ta mate. I am also not supposed to show this photo as it is from my parents 50th which Phil is editing. Aren't you, Phil?

I always thought I would be 5'7. My mum and dad are both 5'7 so I expected to be too. Without realising at that point that 5'7 is small for a man. And that my mum's brother is smaller than she is so genetically I was hit both ways. Its the Welsh thing. It took me YEARS to come to terms with the fact that the expected growth spurt would not come. And now I am heading for my 50'schances are that at some point I will shrink a bit. To add insult to injury, now Carys has reached at least 5'3 I am the smallest in my family. Again. Although both lads are not going to be as tall as their dad so that's the Welshness coming out again. Sorry boys

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm telling you to get knotted!

in the nicest possible way.
It is my turn to set the Dare on Daring Cardmakers this week and I chose the theme of knots - any way you like it!

The girls have come up trumps and I think the blog looks fab. I made two cards as a far few people are away at the mo'. One of them explains why I am so late in blogging today...
I've been conducting a wedding today. The bride was slightly late - I think because of the horse and carriage. And then there was a pause while she was wired for sound. Because the wedding was being recorded for a Channel 4 show about a certain Torquay hotel... (not Fawlty Towers although the inspiration for that is just down the road from me). I think if anything there will be 20 seconds shown of the church - but tis the first (and I suspect last) time I have ever had to wear 2 mikes for a service (church speakers and tv recording equipment). I used the wedding at Cana where a reception goes wrong and Jesus saves the day. Lets hope the reception goes without a hitch this afternoon and evening....

The papers I used for this card are actually Basic Grey Christmas ones. The groom is welsh and I knew that the colours were from the Welsh flag so the papers were perfect. I had no end of trouble getting a photo though. There is loads of sparkle on the front and when I snapped it yesterday afternoon it just came out cold and blue. These photos were taken late at night and are a little better with the flash! The middle section is raised on foam pads as I wasn't posting the card. I also used a Cuttlebug embossing folder; Imagine That stamp; nestabilities dies and Papertrey ink ribbon; ooh and Glamour Dust and red glitter.

As the pad was out I used the same set for my dads birthday card. I paper pieced some ties.
"dad" is using a Dienamic alphabet set and the green ribbon was from the Craft Barn. Everything else is about the same as the last card - oh apart from the Meiflower red gems.

Life is still very hectic for a whole host of reasons at the moment but that is ok. I had a 45 minute break today so persuaded Carys to come with me to the beach to sit and have an icecream. Can't be bad eh?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wednesday already?

Its a funny thing time.... I feel like the week has shot by and at the same time can't believe it is only Wednesday as I feel like I have been working forever. And I only had a day off on Monday!
I had a fab weekend with my first communion service at one of the churches. every church shares bread and wine a little differently and it is always funny to note what you forget to ask. "What do I do with the offertory?" I had to ask as it was being collected. I'm still not sure I did everything in the right way but there you are - I don't think God minds.

Sunday afternoon we went for a family outing to see The Dark Knight Rises. We are used to Multiplex world so it was odd to have to pay for parking quite a way from the cinema. I went in and announced the ages of the kids as there was a sliding scale at Vue. "That'll be 5 adults then" deadpanned the assistant. The film time was 4:30. The film started at 4:55. Still at least the ads were done by Pearl and Dean so Carys and I could do the Pearl and Dean dance (upper body only. We do ahve standards) and some of the films on the trailers looked watchable. And I think 5 adults was still cheaper than Vue. Although cheaper is a relative term... And DKR was fabulous. One of the highest rating films on the Nevard scale (you give films marks out of ten at the end - don't you?). I think it helped that we watched 1 and 2 during the week before AND that we had a pressing where you could understand what the baddie said. I guessed the main twist but didn't tell anyone else so it doesn't count. Didn't get the other twist which could hint at something new.

Monday I had a lie in. Mmmmmm. And read a book. In the afternoon we had a "Nevard family walk". words that for several generations now make for knowing faces. "That means that we will attempt a circular walk and at some point get lost and end up walking a lot further than we expected to". This one was even better. we managed to get lost trying to find the place we wanted to walk around. AND got lost on the walk. For an added bonus we were stalked by ponies. This will be scrapped in future. Actually it was a lot of fun and we managed to exit the woods before it got dark. Just.

Monday evening finished with a DVD - Troll Hunter. Didn't get as high a score as DKN thanks to one family member not being keen but I thought it was equally fab if a bit silly. And it is in Norwegian which immediately makes you feel sophisticated for watching it. If a film about trolls can ever be sophisticated. it is a film that becomes even funnier if you are a Christian. And I don't get to say that very often.

And in short bursts I spent time finishing a layout which, along with the other one I had already done, has been photographed.
Exhibit A

Carys in Hogwarts great hall, enjoying the wonder that is the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tours. Just part of an amazing day. I used some PB and J papers from Basic Grey and Hambly Studios acetate. A mask was used with distress stains and some glimmer mists were splatted about (techincal term). I used two die cut alphabets (Dienamics and Sizzix French Market) along with some die cuts from various places, Kaisercraft wooden flowers and Prima distress flowers cut up as clouds.
 I added some liquid pearls and stick on pearls at the end.

The journalling isn't easy to read so see if the close ups help

Exhibit B
Boy does she love this hoodie! I wanted to make something complex and layered so no wonder it took so long to do. All the papers are MME apart from the spotty arrow. The resin bird was pink but got the black sharpie treatment. The words top right are from a Donna Salazar nestability set. Gems, squares and brads come from the "out of the ark" stash section. Some of the papers have been embossed with a Nestability folder (hint: you must read the instructions to use these as it is not the same as using a Cuttlebug folder)

This is my fave detail. A sort of version of the Ravenclaw logo with a heart stuck on for good measure. Done using a MFT wreath die.
And the talky bit...
It is my Dare day this Friday so I am off upstairs to my lair for some creating as the last two days I have worked as hard as I played in the ones before! And then - Sunday's coming!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Waiting in

Phil is having a new purpose built chicken run delivered this morning. Or afternoon. Phil is not here. Guess who has to wait in? (OK yes, there are three teenagers in the house but we are indulgent parents and they don't really do mornings). I was allowed out to play (aka morning prayers and coffee morning at church) until 11 but I am now in. Actually one of the advantages of living opposite the church is that I can be home in 2 minutes so having to come back isn't such a chore.

I'm also waiting in for inspiration with regards to my sermon. Its the first one at the church I didn't preach at last Sunday so its always an extra bit nerve wracking. Plus the reading is a part of John 6 where Jesus does an awful lot of talking. What he says is good but to be honest it would be a lot easier to think about, preach about and listen to preaching about if there had been a bit of action thrown in to break up all the talking. Perhaps there was and John decided to take it out as it wasn't serious enough. Or maybe people could concentrate for longer in the olden days. Its the bit where Jesus has done the feeding of the 5,000 but the crowd comes after him wanting more. "Show us a sign and we will believe you are from God" I'm sure Jesus sighed inwardly. Doesn't feeding you all with a few fish and some loaves count? They want him to give them bread from heaven and he says that he is the bread of life. Its good stuff. Just a bit dense - in the sense that German bread is dense. Anyway, enough of that, how about some cards?

Can't show you the layout as I forgot to photograph it so I'll save it for another time
Its the beginning of August (yikes!) so it is colour challenge time on Daring Cardmakers
Kathy found this lovely photo
being too lazy to print it out (!) I decided to stare at it a bit and then go upstairs and see if I could find any papers that matched my memory of the colours.
Here is take 1

 the colour of the ink used in the stamping is close to the colour of the pink paper in reality which has come out a smidge brighter than in reality. And I am sure it is nearer to the colour scheme than it looks here. Trust me. (ish) This is a real something old and something new card. The papers and die cut oval are from the Scenic Route Surpise collection which came out in 2008. (Still love it but really ought to use it up now). The Memory Box fuchsia die and the two sets of stamps are new. "With" is from the Imagine That set Hello Sunshine. "Love" is from an American Crafts set where you stamp the outline first and then add colour with a second stamp. Expect to be bored by its use soon. The flower head was cut multiple times and the whole flower covered in glossy accents.

I thought I would do a second as some of the DCM gang are away at the moment.
I used a Dienamic hexagon die, some washi tape and papers and stickers from Cosmo Cricket Delovely (another oldie) and the same Imagine That stamp set as before. A prima gem in the middle and that is that.

Since I started this, the delivery has come. It is big. It is all on a pallet. We have gravel and the pallet carrier thing was sinking in the gravel so now the pallet is on our driveway. I might need to go out and get a padlock for tonight in case someone wants to steal a chicken shed before Phil comes home again!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Life in the slow lane?

Maybe people think that life is slower paced in the West Country because when they come here they are on holiday.
And certainly some of the time it still feels like I am on holiday.
But actually the last few weeks have been filled with lots of work and it all seems to whizz by. This is the first time since Friday I have had a chance to blog my card for DCM.
Don't feel too sorry for me though. After all 3 minutes from the house is this
It is called Babbacombe Downs and has a wonderfully 1950's feel to it. And of course a fabulous sea view.

And I've been busy with events as well. My parents Golden Wedding was brilliant. No photos as yet as Phil is editing them in order to make a photo book as part of their present. And the weekend after was Induction time. I made the mistake of asking Phil if mine could be on the Saturday. Which meant I took part in my service, led worship Sunday morning and preached at Phil's Induction on Saturday afternoon. Monday I was tired.

I had lots of lovely friends come to help me be Inducted. Anne (on the left) writes wonderful prayers and led the Intercessions; the Moderator (the man at the back!) David, led the whole service in a very thoughtful and moving way; and the "twins" (she says safe in the knowledge that they are hundreds of miles away and can't hit me), Ruth and Rachel preached the sermon together. Good times.

Which brings me back to my Daring card
Kathy decided to challenge us with "the house that Jack built" 
 which meant that I could make a little house. I like making little houses
I hand cut all the elements and pieced them together. The tag at the top was cut from one of the papers but had some other words in the middle which I covered over and used my Imagine That Block it out stamps to create a new message. All the papers are MME from a recent 6x6 pad.

I have made another layout since I last posted but that is it and I am just too tired to go all the way upstairs to photograph it. Don't feel too sorry for me though - every time I do I remember that I live next to this!
(rainbow optional)
and just wait until I take my camera to Brixham where my other church is located!