Friday, March 29, 2013

A good, Good Friday

It is Good Friday. One of the key days of the year for a Christian. Many of us gather together from different churches and have a walk of witness. I offered to create a bookmark style leaflet for handing out to passers by  to explain what we are doing when we walk together. If you have ever wondered why - here is my take on it

On the first Good Friday, a crowd followed Jesus as he carried his cross to the place outside the city wall, where he was crucified.
They mocked and cursed him on the way.
God’s son died for us out of love for the world, to forgive us for our sins and bring us into a loving relationship with God.
So on Good Friday, as Christians worshipping in St Marychurch and Babbacombe, 
we follow the cross -sharing songs and prayers and readings- 
with sorrow for the way the world rejected Jesus, 
but also with thanks and praise that through his death and resurrection 
we know that God still accepts and welcomes us.

I didn't think I would be able to make a card for this weeks Daring Cardmakers but managed a few spare minutes or so - I wanted to support Beckie on her first official dare. She challenged us to Spring into Spring - with a spring!
Plus to highlight to you that this is a prize draw week - woo!
Little Blue Button are sponsoring the dare and offering you

All you need to do is leave a link as usual to show us your finished creation and you'll be entered into the prize draw. The winner will be picked at random and announced ahead of next week's dare (Friday 5th April). Big thank you to Little Blue Button for offering this cool prize! Don't forget to check out their store.

As I didn't have a lot of time I wanted to do something more simple and remembered I had some spring type things in my stash. (As you do). I was quite surprised to find they were pink. I don't usually have that much pink. I combined them with a new Crate Paper Maggie Holmes 6x6 pad.
and some negative space letters using alphabet dies. Note to self - it really is better to do these one at a time even with washi tape. Most of the papers were already in stripes but I still cut them up and ripped the edgeof each one a little. Kind of faux washi tape if you will (I would love to have all of those as washi tape.) I made a tag with a dienamics fishtail die and a little flower with some neglected punches. Its not my favourite ever card to be honest. Perhaps because I decided not to do any outlining and as usual, regret it.

I made another card this week that went a bit wrong. The end result is ok
 I bought these beautiful stamps and dies from Clearly Besotted. I thought it would be good to stamp on vellum. It took so many goes to either get the stamping or the die cutting right or to find that the ink from one piece had migrated on to the clear jar. I used almost all of an 8x8 piece of vellum for what is really a tiny image. Not happy. And then I decided to put the vellum through my sticker maker. and the leaf broke (as you can probaby see) but by then I decided that it was going on come what may. I added a glittered vellum cross, some yellow paper from the Crate pad, oh yes and there was supposed to be a tasteful die cut border that didn't cut properly. Sulk.

Here are my final Quirky Kit layouts using the latest kit. Visit the blog to find out how I made them and get heaps more inspiration from the rest of the team

My second favourite
and my top favourite - bright memories of a fab day - even with the slightly squiffy writing
Have a great Easter - however you celebrate it! For me it will be a Sunday full of love and hope. And I'm not jsut hoping I remember to put the clocks forward...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This week could have been so different

Whenever Phil goes off on his bike I worry a little. When he is a bit late I worry a bit more. I hadn't actually got to the big worry stage when he came through the door and told me he had been involved in an accident. He is fine apart from a few deep grazes. The bike is no more. But I am so glad it is that way round I really am. We've been doing bereavement course training today and it brought home once more how it could have been me in need of it. He would tell me not to be so dramatic... but I think he also knows that if he ever gets another bike then he will have to wear as much protection as the Michelin Man and ring me every 30 minutes to say that he is ok.

But let's not dwell on it!
this week the amazing Nat challenged the Daring Cardmakers to join in the latest chalkboard craze. I think it looks fabulous.
But I have a slight problem.
The thought of using cotton wool and chalky ink on cardstock just makes me feel sick. Don't like suede; don't like polystyrene; don't like the things you need to do for the chalkboard effect. They all have a certain sort of texture that just gives me the heebie jeebies. Ewwwwwwww.
Sorry Nat.
However the website "it's always autumn" saved my bacon by offereing a free Easter chalkboard printout which I was able to print onto white textured cardstock and use. Thanks Autumn! Here is the result
I added some new Fancy Pants papers; a Memory Box flower die and a Dienamics sentiment die; various Distress Inks to add depth to the papers and a Clearly Besotted stamp.

I've put another layout up onto the Quirky Kits blog. I've got another two layouts to showcase and then it is almost time for another kit. Yay!
I made my own cut out title using alphabet dies. Apart from the silver stick on gems and the tools I used everything is from the kit. Its now sold out which just shows that people have good taste! This is the family hanging around together at half term. It was such a fab cottage. Wish we were back together again. Em is home for the hols but H has stayed at Uni to finish his coursework/play WoW undisturbed.

Holy Week is beginning tomorrow. VERY busy but fulfilling time for me, so I expect my blogging will be even later next week. But the week after there is time to rest, rest and play (with no work) which I am looking forward to... but the work that comes before hand will be good as well.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Moaning Minnie

that is me! I've just got shedloads of work at the moment, all of which needs doing NOW. Most of it is good stuff - I'm just feeling sorry for myself. I'll be out of balance for a few weeks until Lent and Holy Week are over and then life will be easier. In fact almost too easy as I have three holidays booked between April and July plus a week away at Ministers Spring School. Still as I only work one day a week anyway...

I did manage to squeeze in time to make a card for this week's Dare on Daring Cardmakers. Just as well as it was my challenge! In fact I made two cards but the second one has had a Liquid Pearls disaster. Well it has had two in fact and the second didn't really cover the first and I haven't had time to do anything about it just yet. Do you want to see it anyway? Maybe you can suggest how to make it better. I'm determined not to just toss it as it took a while to create

This is the one that went on the blog anyway. The dare is called "Make a cute angle" and involves using geometric shapes

I layered up white card which had been put through a Cuttlebug embossing folder and used papers from American Crafts Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm 6x6 pad; Nestabilities to cut out the squares and a corner chomper to, well, chomp the corners. Another Nestie was used for the tag shape and the sentiment is one that came free with a new Stamping mag I tried out. A ubiquitous Martha Stewart butterfly punch and some half pearls and call me done.

And then there is this...
See where the original line of pearls went wrong and was covered by grey card but is trying to sneak out. And the final pearl blob which must have got hit with something before it dried as it wasn't like THAT before. Sulk. And it is a pretty good masculine card, though I say so myself - the papers are by Athentique. So I will have to revisit it.

I've been putting quite a few layouts on the Quirky Kits blog. I'll show them here but if you want deets then head over there. All of them use the latest kits

too tired to say more now!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Daring to be different aka the post where I go parentheses crazy

AKA I haven't posted any of my Daring cards here for THREE WEEKS. Oh the shame. Lets just say lovely as it was being away and seeing my gorgeous boys for a few days, sadly no little work fairy (or should I say angel?) did everything that was needed to be done whilst I was away and I have been thrown back into a demanding time.
However before you get the violin out, some of my work time this week was with 2 real angels who have been sent by God to keep me going. Yup, even angels go to Travelodges. (And they give the best presents ever, thanks both, they are things I will always treasure) (to everyone else, sorry for the obscure bit but I wanted to be public in my thanks but private in the rest)
Even Travelodges in Derby.
(And I am STILL not used to travelling for 2 hours and still only being in Bristol, which I thought was South West before)
I also had the pleasure of watching Milton Jones live last night. Oh he is side splittingly funny. And is never crude (don't mind a bit of crude but always v. impressed if a comedian can be funny without it) But apart from that it has really been work o'clock most of the time.

Anyhoo - cards!
So this was the last dare of February - Hot Chocolate
This card was fiendish to make. I know it looks simple enough

but first, I made the card base too big for the embossing. And had to trim it down. And the whole cut words out of one sheet of paper and then replace them with the words cut from another piece and then back them with a third as you can't read it right, what with the pattern thing? Just don't mention that "Happy" is wonky ok? Then those lovely chocolate liquid pearls actually melted into the scallops because there were holes in the scallop die cut. Sigh.
The papers are Crate Paper Random; Basic Grey (very old); PTI cardbase. The word dies were bought from Joanna Sheen; Prima gems; Ranger liquid pearls; paper flowers from stash

Next! March began last week with a new colour challenge
which meant that we had key lime pie for tea last Saturday!
and I created a pie inspired card...
I used the other half of the Letter sized piece of Kraft cardstock from last weeks card, this time folded at the top not the side.
I used the same papers as last week too (ok they were still on my desk as I was too lazy to put them away) and also a Crate Sticker and some old Bazzill. I managed to use 3 embossing folders as well - all from different companies! (Sizzix; Spellbinder and Cuttlebug); more Prima gems, some Spellbinder circle dies and a PTI stamp.

And finally... my card from this week when the dare was Typography
Mother (and Mother in Law) look away now. Yes, the fact that I made 2 cards like this may seem ironic but they are the best to their children. And a close second to their children in law. It is a split decision with their grandchildren...
White paper card base; Echo Park yellow paper; Spellbinder die cut on white card; word dies are PTI (the ever was trimmed from "forever"); Sizzix; Memory Box and Dienamics alphabets; and "the" is cut from a Spellbinder Donna Salazar word thing. It did say "them" to start with! Also Memory Box stars and a little bit of Liquid Pearl (daffodil) and Stickles (ocean I think) action. The white die cut piece has the thinnest foam pads in the world underneath just to give a little something to the card but still get it through the post.

And that's all folks!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Storytelling Sunday: The jumper

At some point normal crafting service will be resumed but life has been filled with a holiday and then a whole lot of work catching up from the holiday. Hey ho! So instead I will share my story - and the layout I did that arose from last month's story too.  Sian encourages us to tell stories of things that are precious to us and link them here

So this month it is the story of the jumper. Alas I don't have a photograph of it from when it was first bought and worn. You would think that I would have made sure to take a photo of me going off to University for the first time. But I didn't. So you will just have to put up with a slightly less fresh faced person wearing the jumper (and who didn't check that her hair had moved from being funky and pixie cut to convict style thanks to changing clothes before taking the photo. Rats)

So it begins with the September 1983 edition of Look Now magazine. The 18 year old Lythan loved this mag and inside was an advert for the latest styles to hit Miss Selfridge. She saw the jumper. She loved the jumper. She must have the jumper.  The very next morning bright and early she jumped on her bike and cycled the two miles into Swansea town centre (downhill most of the way - it is Wales after all) and was there for when the store opened. "Please let the jumper be there" she pleaded, not having the common sense to ring the store and check before leaving home. It was. Readers, she bought it. And a pair of black cords to go with it. It was cropped and bat winged and comfy and fashionable and everything. And so just had to be what was worn to make an impression on the first day of University.

Did it? I have no idea. 1983 is a very long time ago now. But as this photo was taken at 12pm on 3rd March 2013 you can tell that I still have - and still wear the jumper. Its not quite as fashionable. But people still comment on it positively! And it connects me back to a girl who was at once shy and confident, eager to learn and have fun and to start life away from her parents and begin growing up. OK she thought she was grown up and learned the hard way that there was a lot more growing up to do. But that's another story...

I also still have a cropped black and white jumper that I bought in my second year that I have donated to Carys and it makes me smile whenever she wears it. I haven't given her this one yet, but if she likes it, maybe I will give it to her when she goes to Uni in 18 months time.

(NB for sake of honesty I admit that in a moment I will put a cardigan over the top because my tum and back are cold. I'm such an old lady now!)

And here is the layout I did for the last story. This was created using the latest Quirky Kit and it feels like all the papers were chosen just so I could tell my story!

for more details look on the Quirky Kits blog