Friday, November 30, 2012

God rest ye merry

And so it begins. This afternoon is the first carol service of the year.
To be fair, they really wanted it next week but the church will be filled with people being Messy, so it is this afternoon instead. Next Friday I will be Christingling away. I've caved in and bought some Christmas presents today too. I try not to start to early and then panic for a few weeks before I settle again. The thought of doing a December Daily journal your christmas type thing gives me the shivers. I love actual Christmas - and this year 23-25th December will be filled with worship and family celebrations. But the bit before - eeeeeeeeeeeek. Tidings of comfort and joy indeed.

Anyhoo before all of that, Rein, our Daring Cardmakers host this week invited us to join in with some Fun and Games.
I had several ideas going round in my head - most of them daft. But decided in the end to make a simple card game.
I dug out all my cute animal stamps (more than I expected). Stamped each twice and coloured them in with Distress Inks and a watercolour pen. Discovered the card I was using, whilst it stamps beautifully, does not like watercolour. Carried on regardless. I fought the urge to add a black line round each of the cards, but they just looked bare without. I made a pocket on the front of the card with MME Lime Twist papers. I added some paper ricrac and Papermania letter stickers and stuffed some of the cards into it. The others went into a similar pocket on the inside
and the stamping used a Banana Frog stamp set - the best for individual letters. I may have mentioned before that I have two of these sets as I lost the tiny "A" from my first one and so treated myself to a second in the closing down sale as I love it so much.
And here are all the cards
The animals are all either Starving Artists rubber stamps or a cute Hero Arts set that I bought for £1 in a charity shop. I think there are about 12 different animals so the bonus for parents is that it will never be a long game either!

I did make some non religious Christmas cards with some of the sticker left overs from the Basic Grey kit that I bought. Want to see them?
Well I'm going to show you anyway
One of my favourites. I bought a new Nestabilities doily die that is beautiful but you have to learn how to eject the cardstock without breaking it. I call it "Sweary Circles" but I don't think that is the official name.
This one uses the rest of the doily die and two more of the stickers from the sheet. The snowflakes have a glitter paste added to them for extra sparkle.
You can see the paste better on these ornaments which were cut out of one of the BG papers.

And my favourite card which uses one great big sticker and that's it really
I used an embossing folder on the card base but added another layer with the sticker on it, cutting round some of the sticker for effect and added Rangers enamel accents as a feature. No glitter but it is still very pretty.

And do you like the paper I photographed these cards on? It is perfect for white based cards I think - it is from Crate Paper Random and I might have to buy two more just for photos,as I also want to use it in layouts!

Whether you are carolling or preparing to countdown to Christmas or anticipating Advent (now a journal of Advent reflections - maybe I could do that!) - have a great week until I blog again. I'm always hopeful that I will blog more than once a week and then life happens....

Friday, November 23, 2012

Waiting for the big freeze

Well actually for the big freezer and the big fridge.
Now we have a lockable back garage door we can have a chest freezer in the garage and a tall fridge in the kitchen. We are most excited (sign of middle age?). I am too cheap to spend £10 on a designated delivery time so the slot is 7am-7pm. Nothing yet.... It will be fabulous to be able to buy lots of frozen stuff again without worrying how we will fit it all in!

That does mean I have time to prepare my two services for Sunday and blog about Daring Cardmakers this week. I've had another full on week but did manage to make a total of 100 Christmas cards in the design from last week and will just make a few more different ones as I have stickers and papers left over.

It was my turn to choose the Dare this week so I also had to find time to squeeze in making another card. I went for "Twinkle, twinkle" asking for a star to feature on the card in some way. As I had made a card to send to one son last week I have made one for the other this week.

I can't get away from stars and circles and liquid pearls yet! I used Basic Grey papers and stickers - apart from the large star which is Echo Park. Also used an Imagine That stamp and a PTI word die. I love the way that the ink (Memento Bamboo Shoot I think) matches the paper - especially on the little green star. Yes little things... (The three gems next to "you" are from Sarahs Cards. You get oodles for £1 but have to add your own glue!)

The team have done me proud this week so do have a look at all their wonderful cards

It is the last Sunday before Advent this week. Which means that the lectionary - the set readings for the year - will move from Year B focussing on the Gospel of Mark, to year C - Luke's turn. It is sometimes the last "normal" Sunday before Christmas, depending on how long you can focus on truly Advent themes before getting stuck in to Christmas. I have my first carol service next Friday...
The other service I need to prepare is more informal as it celebrates 4 years since one of my churches moved home from a building no longer fit for purpose to one that was then not fit for anything. It had been the central Post Office for Brixham, and then a funeral directors, complete with chapels of rest, and then a shell that is becoming a multi purpose space. The members have come a long way with many struggles over the years so we are having a real celebration as well as looking forward to the future!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Its beginning to look a lot like


Carys came home last night and said it was fancy dress for Children in Need at College today. After several changes of mind regarding what to wear, once her Dad's funeral cloak was discovered, it had to be "vampire". I was in charge of hair and makeup. She went in on the bus, eager to find out what everyone else was wearing. Most hadn't bothered. I didn't know when I booked her hair appointment yesterday about today - and didn't really think about the fact that I spent ages spraying and backcombing her hair (more post the photos) which the hairdresser then had to spend ages smoothing out. She had her hair straightened after the cut and it looks fab. And she doesn't look a bit like Jac Naylor on Holby. Oh no.

It is looking a bit like that other festival next month as I have to do my cards early this year in order to post out our new address. I've done 57 and hope to finish the lot off this weekend if I can. As ever, i choose a design and then make it in different colourways to stop getting totally bored. I was getting a bit of RSI with the liquid pearls mind.

The papers are mostly Basic Grey Aspen Frost, with a little bit of older Basic Grey. And then some pink Crate Paper selections (second card from the right) which are not Christmas themed at all but kind of look festive. I had to send out for more papers as the design took up a lot more than I expected. I did make one or two similar to this a couple of years ago but not as a mass produced card. The card stock is Card Creations smooth white. I've always used their linen effect as I like it but this is fab. Really heavy and - smooth!

This weeks Daring card came as light relief. Gez asked us to make a card "Just because". And here is mine

The papers are all Echo Park Times and Seasons. The resin flower is actually more burgundy than it looks and matches the paper on rather than the paper underneath the card although you wouldn't think so would you? I also used some October Afternoon letter stickers and a smidge of washi tape. There were 6 pearls in a row at one point but I have no idea where the last one got too. Still asymmetry is an art form. 

I might send the card to one of my sons at Uni (taking off the flower because a) he wouldn't appreciate it b) it would make the post expensive and c) I can then use it on another project and I am sparing with my resin flowers!) but will have to make one equally schmaltzy for the other son.

The Daring Cardmakers blog is looking absolutely spiffing - you can tell everyone is ready for a break from preparing for the old C-word. Or from panicking because they haven't really started. Cards aside, that will be me then. Part of the annual struggle not to let it take over my life and work

Since I came back from holiday life has been as full on as ever and there are only two Sundays left in the Church year. Which means it is nearly Advent - a rather strange time for Christians in that we mix readings all about when Christ will come again and signs and wonders, in with beginning to hold carol services as there isn't time to fit everything in otherwise and we tend to go along with the world and do most of our Christmas celebrating during Advent and not during the season of Christmas which is the 12 days afterwards (you know when my true love gave to me some really unsuitable presents). What we should do is start Advent early so we can have our full four weeks and still have time for all the Christmas jobbings. So why do I only ever remember this fab idea when it is just too late to do it?

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Once more I am dusting off the cobwebs of my blog. Sorry trusty (few) readers but sometimes life (and holidays) gets in the way.

So what have I been doing?
I've been to Swansea to visit my family (and St Fagans - best museum ever according to me, but not necessarily the English part of the family. But as you only pay for parking @£3.50 it is a bargain so there) and see my lovely friends (hi Sam and Sue) and go to Sosban with the family to celebrate my MA
with a champagne/raspberry coulis cocktail. Even with 5 of us there it was a lot cheaper than the Graduation would have been and more fun. Expect scrapping of this grainy phone photo when I have recovered from Christmas stuff.

I've been adding pages to the Quirky Kits inspiration blog and even making a few cards. Two were given to special people this week. One, which fits with the Daring Card challenge this week, may need a little explanation.
Jo asked us to use a camera, photo or frame on our cards and as a friend needed congratulating on a new job I went for this

Its not a promotion as such so I decided to write "something to crow about?" on the inside (nothing to do with how fiddly all those letter stickers or stamps would have been...) I used a mixture of Echo Park and MME papers. Phil took this fab photo at St Fagans. I did make the mistake of printing it 6x4 so it had to be quite a large card! The stickers are also Echo Park For the Record, for the record (ha!)

Another friend reached a milestone birthday so received this
I decided to go for subtle!
All papers from a MME 6x6 pad and the chipboard letters are American Crafts. As I was handing it over in person I went mad with the foam pad layers. Bliss!

Now, cover me as I am going in with my very first Christmas cards of the year. And I need quite a lot very soon....