Monday, November 24, 2014

Here come the layouts - albeit a bit wonky

As well as loads of work as mentioned before, Phil and I have just spent a lovely week in Mevagissey in the tiniest cottage in the world. When they say "Cosy Cottage" they are not kidding
It seems to be made out of odd bits of other cottages. I suspect it was once a three storey place with one room per floor. The bottom floor is now the kitchen of the house next door and there is a little extension with a kitchen and bathroom in what is left (the white part on the right). But it was perfect for two (and a dog) and right in the centre of Meva (as we locals call it) (or at least we people who do not want to have to keep spelling it out)
It is a lovely place. Sometimes it looked like this
but just as often like this
when I was allowed to stay in and do some scrap booking!

Some layouts were for Quirky Kits and you can find more details on the blog

as I have noted there I have discovered that if I straighten a photo in Picasa then it looses focus and that is not good with layouts as the writing in particular goes all funny. So next time I will take more care hanging them up so that they can be a bit straighter and in focus!

I also made two more. One of which features a lovely ribbon from the kit that was perfect with the page
When we were going away I put some kits together - basically grabbing papers and embellishments that I thought would go together, plus some extra enamel dots etc. So this features random papers - some are Fancy Pants, there is some Heidi Swapp as well - but mixed with Maggie Holmes die cuts.
Works for me!

This other layout was based on a sketch I have from somewhere and uses a tag die set as well. It came together pretty fast
Again a range of papers - Crate Paper the Pier plus some Studio Calico mixed with Basic Grey die cuts
because I am a mucky pup I got some black marks on the cardstock and my usual cover it up with gems just didn't work. Neither did a little white pen. Any other suggestions? (It doesn't look quite as bad in real life though)


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Overwhelmed again

its been a few more weeks of demanding work meaning I am too pooped to play.
Well to be fair I have been playing - just not doing the ol' blogging thing as there hasn't been enough left in  the noodle to write for fun.
As well.
So here is one of those mega catch up photo heavy blog posts.
Sorry and all.
Daring Cardmakers I think I have managed 4 out of the last 4 Dares. Go me! (Although I suspect I am going to be late with the next one)
At the end of October we had to use Googly Eyes - this was such fun
I used an old, old stamp - a red rubber one whose origins I can't remember! I stamped onto some Bazzill textured cardstock as I am a big fan of a cardmaker called Birgit who does the most amazing cards using this technique. I have a lot of practice to do to make it work for me but do visit her and drool over her amazing cards - here
I chose some fun Amy Tan papers and picked out some colours that I could paint my little furry friend with.  He looks fun without embellishment but the eyes are just perfect for him in my opinion.
Then I just laid on the stripes on the diagonal and die cut the letters and the speech bubble too. The letters are from a Little B set that is actually words so I had to find the words with the right letters! I added some glossy accents and wink of stella pen and ... job done!
Then it was a Colour Combo
and I made two cards - part of a gift set for my Mother in Law who mostly needs congratulation cards for friends who train their dogs...
I put an order into Craft Creations (where I get cardstock from). They have the most fabulous non shed glitter card. Only I obviously didn't purchase the right thing as I ended up with this stuff instead. This cardstock is still nice, just slightly less glittery. It reminds me of posh kitchen worktops.
I used a very old Quickutxz dies and some much newer Lawn Fawn Milo stamps.
(close up of the lovely shine on the glitter card)

And also this one
The die cut letters are cut from the white shade of glitter paper I meant to order and I painted some pale pink distress ink on the top. It looks very pretty in real life. I used more of my less glittery cardstock along with an embossed greeting and a star die cut.

Kathy asked us to make a card with a candle theme
and I went a little OTT with glitter on this one (I am really into glittery stuff at the mo'. You may have noticed)
 I used Heidi Swapp papers, and outlined some of the pattern with a glue pen and Gold Glamour Dust. The card is based on Case This Sketch #98
Finally this week it was my turn and I went for Something Old, Something New - a chance to use something that we have bought and not opened up along with old loved stash.
This card feels a little unfinished to me but I have not had a chance to do what I want to - perhaps some enamel dots around the edge? I used some brand new peony dies and stamps. The flowers are painted with Distress Inks. I have now got quite a few different types of watercolour but it seems like this is still my go to medium. I felt like they needed a little extra something so added some white pen dots. I used up some of my best beloved Scenic Route papers which are a pretty good match in real life to the colours on the flowers. The flowers are nestled on a white cardstock die cut. There was another patterned paper underneath at one point but that was just too busy.
Because the light is appalling at the moment (not helped by our house currently being shrouded in scaffolding) this card is a tad brighter here than it is really!

OK that is enough for one post - I am going to put layouts in another one!

Friday, October 24, 2014

So recently I have been

part of a lot of meetings; singing solos and learning words for songs in concerts (not helped by the fact that where I had "men" or "women" singing that wasn't necessarily correct and so had to just open and close my mouth like a fish as I had no clue. But very proud of the fact I could do "uncommonly rare, very unique, peripatetic, poetic and chic" at great speed); interring ashes at the zoo (where our moment of silence was punctuated beautifully by the sounds of birds and animals, reminding us that life goes on); more meetings; attending an Artcards crop in Somerset; loving running the Shape course which involves people looking at all the kinds of gifts and abilities God has given them; organising a beleiver's baptism (have now sourced pool. Next issue is how to get water in and out of the pool and who is going to dry off where); starting to play with my Quirky Kit; feeling a bit not very well; more meetings; driving in my car enjoying the 30 minutes (average) run to Brixham and back where the sea looks different every day; also enjoying the fact that when I forget to take things to the other church I can be home and back again in 3 minutes....

aka: that was the month that was.
I don't have time for everything now. I'm squeezing in blogging otherwise it could easily be another month so here is a quick Daring Cardmaker catch up.
I'm going to go backwards - because I can!
Today's dare was to be Sentimental - using a favourite quote and possibly a technique to share as well. I went for a phrase from the Bible to create a wedding card
I printed out the Bible verse onto thick vellum using the fonts Times and Times Again and Angel War. I created a window in the top panel using a Spellbinder's die. I then brushed versamark over an embossing folder and ran the panel through a Cuttlebug, then swooshed perfect pearls over it to give a lovely sheen to the panel. I die cut the word "love" three times, stuck them together, put a load of Versamark ink on the top and then added sparkly embossing powder. Finally I die cut vellum and  some glittery self adhesive sparkle from Little Claire and stuck them together. It now occurs to me that I could have stuck them together first and then die cut which would have been less fiddly. Doh. There is a tiny bit of Perfect Pearls on the vellum words as well. The vellum was stuck to the front panel and the whole thing lifted off the back of the main card with foam pads.
 It really is all very sparkly!

The week before we were asked to use Book Pages on our cards. I tried a new technique to me for this one too - and I love the effect
 I stamped and embossed a Clearly Besotted image directly onto the page from an old book that I bought in order to use just like this. The page is part of the Grimm story about Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) so I thought a rose would make sense. I then used Distress Inks as watercolours to colour it in and love the way that you can still see the words peeking through. No stamped image is complete without some Wink of Stella pen action at the moment
which you can see better in the close up.
The backing papers are all from a Kaisercraft Christmas pad, including the scallop and tag die cuts. A little (ok a lot) of black distress ink and a little gold thread and the card was done.

I missed out on the space themed dare (so sorry!) but did do a card for the first week of October - a colour combo
I used some new bits and bobs on this card - the balloon string die and some glittery embossing powder. I already had Clearly Besotted balloons but had to make my own string (I know - torture!). This die makes it so much easier. I did the old stick it in some Versamark and heat emboss powder on the top for the balloons and the birthday words. I am always loosing the little dot on the i so find that using a sticky gem saves me trying to find it!
The papers are a whole mix of things from different pads that seemed to fit the colour scheme. I added the yellow as it was in the photo even though it was not in the colour bar. 

I did make another glittery card this month - well I made two but only photographed one before sending it away
I managed to make this slightly more fiddly than necessary (I did a better job of the second card) and really must remember to adhere thin sticky stuff before die cutting as I am sure it makes life easier! I have some extra fine glitters that I added to sticky backed material (numbers from PTI; circles are Spellbinders; words Clearly Besotted). I also added extra glitter to the Fancy Pants papers with a glue pen and Glamour Dust. The numbers are more pink than red in real life.

I'm hoping to have a little crafty time this weekend. I will be starting to put some projects on the Quirky Kits blog too so do have a look if you can

Friday, September 26, 2014


How did that happen? Practically a month has gone by since my last post.
Well there is a four letter answer - WORK
September is always busy for Ministers. And if you have been away from post for 3 months, even busier.
But there was also getting 2 kids ready for and off to Uni which took up a suprising amount of time (my kids have all chosen to be at least 6 hours away from home) (Mind you Torquay is pretty much miles away from most places. It takes 2 hours just to get to Bristol and that is still the South West)
Actually thinking back over the last few weeks, it has been mostly work.
I have done no scrapping at all in that time (sob)
I also had a poorly computer for 2 weeks and had to use the slowest machine in the world which did nothing for my patience. (I apologise to Phil for all the deep sighs, drumming of fingers and occasional rude word from my side of the study).

I have managed to make cards for 3 out of the last 4 dares on Daring Cardmakers. Not necessarily on time I grant you, but they are there now!
Firstly the colour combo for September. Sharon chose this lovely inspiration photo
which I decided to take fairly literally for my card
I have quite a few blue/beige paper pads and used a variety on here. I used a Clearly Besotted Vase die and a Dienamics twig die. And yes, I did die cut and stick lots of leaves on to a base branch which was as time consuming as it looks!
The card is based on a Case This Sketch idea. I do like the offset panel. The CB sentiment was stamped onto a Dienamics tag.
A lot of fiddly foam pad cutting went on to give dimension
And there is also some lovely Wink of Stella shine - so hard to photograph
I had to skip the next Dare due to time constraints but had a great deal of fun with last week's Stencil Revolution
This is the card I put on the DCM blog
I used a die and the die cut space to create a stencil. First I cut a panel a little smaller than the card base. Then I die cut a Spellbinder's cross from the centre. I placed the panel with the cross shaped hole in the middle onto the card base and used Tumbled Glass Distress Ink around the edge and in the middle of the card. Then I put the cross die cut back in and inked the centre again using Peacock Feathers. Finally I took the cross die cut out again and covered the whole cross with diamond glitter paste and left it to dry. When it was fully dry the sentiment was inked and embossed with silver powder. A sparkly gem was a little finishing touch.

Here is what the die cut cross looks like on its own
For this card I covered it in Versamark and then sprinkled silver embossing powder on the top.

The first stencil card is a more sophisticated version of this - my first go
 I also mixed some gold glitter paste with white texture paste which gives more dimension, to create another two stencil cards

Finally for this humungous catch up post, this weeks Daring Cardmaker theme is Miri's choice - Autumnal Forest
The sentiment comes in a set with lots of flowers and leaves but I used some Clearly Besotted stamp and die cut leaves and a mix of inks, plus berries and pine stamps from a Wplus9 set I have. I stuck it all onto a tag and was looking for some cardstock to mat the tag onto when I found this card base in the most perfect shade of green. Because it is from an old Self Addressed card kit it is an American sized card which means it is a better fit into an embossing folder - this is a Tim Holtz one. I scattered a few gems for a bit of extra bling.

Right that will do for now - its time to get back to work :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

And now the end is near....

2 more days until the end of my Sabbatical and it is back to work with a vengeance. (What does that phrase mean and have I spelled it right). September is always a bit mad in church life - because we do like to do less in August I suppose - so it will be a challenge to get back in the saddle again. I hope I will still find time for my creative crafting outlet. After all I have gazillions of photos to scrap and stories to tell - far more than just the usual summer holiday album. (My faith scrapping one of the journey to Holy Island and Shetland already has 18 layouts in it and I have only got to day one on Shetland!)

I'll come back to the layouts in a minute but first need to do some Daring catch up.
Last week I was away (again) at my parents house celebrating my Dad's birthday. His card was a slightly amended previous dare card - my Fantastic Elastic one. But I have already used the August 22nd parties and festivals card as it went to my brother in law who lives near enough to my folks to get a hand delivered card (as it was waaaaaaaay too bulky to post). The DCM team were all privileged to receive a goody bag from Docrafts with various dies and embellishments. I had some gorgeous Christmas goodies. But there is NO WAY I am making a card for that season in August. Which meant my take on the theme had to be a bit of a sideways one
All the buttons, the kraft tag, the twine and the brilliant chalk board peg are from the latest Christmas collection by Docraft. I saw on someone's blog recently (should have pinned it but always forget about Pinterest so sorry inspirational person!) loads of buttons used all at once and so decided to have a go. I also added in Studio Calico papers and made a little party hat! I did some black pen work - my mornally outlining but also going round the circles on one of the papers. I decided to also add some white pen lines to mimic the edge of the chalkboard speech bubble. "Celebrate" is a Paper Smooches stamp and "party on" is handwritten (as you can see better in close up)

Today is my eldest son's 22nd birthday. (I know, how can that be when I am only 30?) (One of those ages is not true in real life, only in someone's head)
We were out celebrating the A level results and started joking about the things bingo callers say like " 2 fat ladies - 88" which gave me the inspiration for my Daring card this week.

Sharon challenged us to be "Clean and Simple".
I think my cards are on that end of the spectrum anyway but I tried to be extra clean this week (I am always simple)
 I was a bit panicked last night (last minute? Me?) when I couldn't remember if I had anything duck related - I have plenty of chicks/hens in various forms. But just in time I remembered my Papertrey Ink baby stamp set with this cute bird. I have just spoiled myself with a set of Peerless Watercolour Paper (the bonus set). It is a strange concept where paint comes on paper but I adore the vibrancy - rather like those dye paints I have. I heat embossed the stamp and used my baby stamppress which does mean I am better at lining images up. Then I had fun being painty. I am still learning as you can see! When it was dry I stamped a Clearly Besotted sentiment on the bottom

I did my Sharpie outlining thang, matted the image on some yellow Bazzill cardstock and added a small strip of Simple Stories paper behind it. The whole kit and caboodle is raised on foam pads. £ little stick on pearls were the perfect finishing touch cover for a tiny mark on the white. (Yes I can do simple - it is the clean I struggle with).

As I was enjoying the CAS approach and my new paints I decided to make a couple more cards
A Clearly Besotted butterfly was embossed with silver and coloured with the Peerless paints. I then added some little white dots. I used the same watercolours to create a turquoise background which I then dry embossed with my Maggie Holmes doily folder. I dragged the edges of the painted pieces through versamark ink and added more silver embossing powder. I used the same silver to emboss the Avery Elle sentiment. The gems may once more have been strategically placed to cover a dirty finger mark. I couldn't possibly comment.

And this one
Another Clearly Besotted stamp, this time I used white embossing powder for the outlines. I added a touch of gold pen to the stamens so that I could use my Delicta gold pad with clear embossing powder on the Clearly Besotted sentiment. The stamped image was matted on some Pink Paislee Colour wash paper and mounted on foam pads. I managed to go extra CAS by only adding ONE gem (shock!) which I coloured gold using a posca paint pen.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The smile says it all

 Some of the results were better than expected, some were not but all in all it was enough to gain her the much wanted place at Bradford. And it all starts in 4 weeks time.... It takes 5 1/2 hours form here to Bradford, 6 1/2 from here to Teesside. And the dates don't match so there will be a fair few car journeys in our future. (Although the plan is that Carys will have a lap top and travel by train most of the time) (We hope)

And the pangs start all over again. You would think that it would be easier third time round. Well it isn't. Even though I hope and pray that Bradford will be the making of her - she really wants a multi cultural, multi everything experience and I reckon Bradford will give her that. (I am already looking forward to the Film Museum and the curries...)

In other news I am catching up a little with Daring Cardmakers. The other night I had a yen to do some watercolouring and so decided that surely beach huts (to go with Kathy's dare) couldn't be so hard could they?
Well, they are.
There were actually some of the practice ones that looked terrible on the tiny scrap of watercolour paper but then I decided to cut them out and they looked much better then. I added some peeling white paint with a white gel pen and gave them glittery door with a Wink of Stella pen because after all, beach huts have sparkly doors don't they?
(I know the truth as I live in beach hut country...)

I made a little scene with yellow and blue papers and some die cut (sparkly) clouds
plus some random lanterns to give a festive air (tiny flags seemed too much like hard word) along with a rather lovely Clearly Besotted sentiment stamp.

This week I actually made it to the blog on time for some Fantastic Elastic. It was a tough one for me because having no small children anymore (and not quite being at grandmother stage), loom bands have rather passed me by. I knew that I had some bead elastic somewhere and after emptying out my whole craft room I found it. My elastic use isn't that exciting but it is there and I have used up some beads as well!

I put my card base through a large embossing folder. The Crate Paper patterned paper was matted with Craft Creations silver glitter (its awesome - no shedding) and some black cardstock. I didn't mat the white on top until I had wound round and stuck down the bead covered elastic. Which took a few goes and a few rude words. As you can see it is still a bit droopy! The sentiment is a Maya Road Art Journalling stamp and a Clearly Besotted die cut combined. I felt it needed a little extra bling so added three gems in the right hand corner.

The new Quirky Kits have arrived and my first layout is on the blog (have some more to photograph and write up). Here is a quick peek but you will need to go to the Ideas Blog for more details

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blow me down!

I knew it was a while since I had posted - but 28th July! And so much has happened since then.
That post was a schedhuled one as it came up as I was on my way to Amsterdam.
We only got as far as Exeter Airport....
First the plane was delayed for 5 hours, then it was cancelled all together due to torrential rain in Amsterdam (where the plane should have been flying in from). The next possible flight was Thursday - the day we were due to come home.
I will not lie, I had a bit of a wibble.
But: we had booked our trip with Travel Counsellors who were awesome. We know Claire Bottone personally (she is rather lovely!) so went through her but she was actually on holiday when disaster struck. No worries though as by the time we arrived back home our WHOLE holiday had been refunded thanks to the work of her colleague. We could have rebooked Amsterdam or gone somewhere else abroad with their help but it just seemed like too much for my head to deal with. Getting home was interesting as Phil had gone on to see his mum in Hampshire after dropping us off so we had to get taxis and trains. Not so bad except I didn't have much British cash and the only credit/debit card I had with me thought I was abroad and I didn't want to use it and get it swallowed. I had 50p left by the time I got in the house!

By that evening (partly buoyed up with the refund and not having to use travel insurance and at Phil's insistance) I had booked up for us to travel to London by train next day for three nights in a hotel right in the heart of South Kensington. We had a fabulous time - we tried to do all the same things we would have done in Amsterdam, like a canal trip, museums and looking at Van Gogh painting but we were able to throw in shopping at Camden Market and going to see two shows (The Commitments and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time - both awesome) which was a bonus.
Fortunately I had only pre-booked one trip in Amsterdam (I was going to do more but then decided to get an I Amsterdam card when we were there) - a tour of Anne Frank's House. I thought I would email to let them know we wouldn't be there for the English tour so they would not be waiting for us and they offered a full refund as well! (One more dress for me from Camden then)
We had a great time and the weather was gorgeous

I've also been away on a kind of retreat to the Society of Mary and Martha in Sheldon. They love to look after bruised and battered Ministers - and I am always happy to be looked after :)

This week I am at home catching up and waiting for A level results (Carys has a place at Bradford her first choice), but have two more trips before I go back to work.

Here is some of the scrapping that I have been doing. I am only just finishing layouts about Holy Island so have ooooooodles more to do this year!
I bought these fabulous Maya Road Art Journalling stamps which have lots of words that are great for faith scrappers! The papers and embellishments are all Simple Stories apart from the black/clear stickers which are American Crafts from about 8 years ago.

This layout was made using Studio Calico papers in the main (and a few scraps from the pile). I wrote on the photo using Picasa before printing it. The letter stickers are ancient American Crafts. The green things are Pink Paislee calico type embellisments that you can ink or spray. I painted them using various mists which I also sprayed onto the doily.
Finally for today
I'm trying hard to use some of my really old stuff along with the new. This has Jenni Bowlin papers from 5-6 years ago. Very pretty but very thin, mixed in with some newish Crate Paper Maggie Holmes embellishments/rub ons and some paper flowers given a new look with gold spray (as was the doily). The gold writing is much easier to read in real life
I'll be back soon with some Daring Cards!