Friday, May 30, 2014

Almost there

I just have one duty left before I am on my 3 month sabbatical. Yippeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
Of course I love my job....
but it is also wonderful to be able to step back for a while.
I don't know whether I will set up a new blog or use this one for reflections as well as crafty stuff. Probably the latter (lazy, moi?) as I like having everything in one place (and starting new blogs is scary).

On a solely crafty note here are some new cards to share.
This week at Daring Cardmakers, the mightily talented and lovely Zuzana has asked us to wish upon a star
I cut a piece of white cardstock to be just a shade smaller than my cardbase and attached some Spellbinder and Dienamic star dies to the back with Washi tape. That meant I could place them and die cut them all at once. I then chose some papers from Fancy Pants Nautical (except for the green star paper which is Crate Paper Party Day) and stuck them down to the cardbase. I then dry embossed the star cut piece and used a black pen to outline it - I was so not going to do this but just had to! The top piece was given the foam pad treatment to give some dimension. The sentiment is from the Imagine That Wish upon a Star set. The star gems are all from a large pack that I bought in a sale in Wilkinsons - 50p!

I met my parents at Dyrham Park, a National Trust property near Bath this week, to celebrate my mother's birthday. I managed to get lost on the (long) walk between the car park and house - a story which will be scrapped in the near future. This is her card
I am still trying out ideas from the watercolour class. For this card I inked up some flower and leaf stamps with Distress Ink and then washed colour over them. The idea is to go over the edges but it is hard to keep going when it feels like more of a hot mess. I was quite pleased in the end - although I did go over the flowers with a black pen and added white dots. It is quite shiny and sparkly in real life, thanks to some Wink of Stella glittery pen action
I also handed over a Father's Day card as I won't be seeing Dad before that special day and wanted to make sure he opened his present before he goes away - which is also before Father's Day.
This card nearly had me tearing my hair out as it kept going wrong! I used a lovely sunshine Simon Says Stamp die that was part of my prize from Lucy Abrams.  Most of the papers are from Fancy Pants Nautical again but also include a few Authentique Seasons Summer as well. The little chipboard piece I have had in a box of man shapes for a long time - but not as long as I have had those little Adornit letter stickers. "You" is a Papertrey Ink die.
The glitter was added to (almost) cover up a green ink mark that went from my fingers to the completed piece. Dad wouldn't have liked the words I was saying at that point. The enamel dots are a similar cover up. Sigh. If only I could be clean and tidy.

The day after mum's birthday is our wedding anniversary - 26 years. Here is the card I made for Phil
The French wooden die cut was bought several years ago from a Scrapbook shop in a village somewhere near Calais. The other papers, stickers and washi tape are all from various Crate Paper sets.
I bought him a bird made of recycled metal from the National Trust shop. When he remembered it was our anniversary...... (!) ("I thought it was tomorrow") he presented me with a lovely gift. And even took it out of the box for me so I didn't have to touch the scary polystyrene
Just remove some of the hair from the bloke, make her hair shorter, darker, add glasses and a slightly more dumpy frame and it is just like us! I love Willow Tree and this is a fab addition to the ones we have.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I may be small but I'm not delicate

as I reminded myself this week.
The amazing Leo gave us quite a challenge on Daring Cardmakers this week - to make cards featuring Origami.
Now origami was originally done by small and delicate Japanese people using small and delicate paper.
I am small - but definately not delicate. Imagine Miranda having been washed on a too high setting - that is me.
I did give it my best shot. I started noting the instructions for a flower but after fold 25 I gave myself a talking too and Googled "origami for children and cack handed adults". Actually it only said "for children" but Google knew what I meant really.

I found a simple fish and then looked for papers. Deep in my file of papers I kept because I loved them so much and now don't really love them at all, I found some "Love, Elsie" and actually - these are still quite cool. I went off them a bit because the paper is thin - which was perfect for folding.
 And even with thin paper and easy origami it didn't all go swimmingly....

So ignore the less than crisp edges and the inky finger splodge and the fact that it really says "Best birthday Fishes" and then I decided that birthday was too much but had already stuck it down and knew that if I attempted to remove it the paper would go with it. But it is cheery!
(Oh and I possibly dry embossed the wrong side of the cardstock but lets pretend I meant it like that)

Here are some more cards I have made recently and not got round to blogging.
This one uses the Avery Elle Laurel stamps and dies. I have loved everyone else's cards using these and then struggled myself until I did this card which is mostly a copy from the Avery Elle blog.

I think the secret for me was using Memento Luxe ink pads which are nice and vivid
this card also features a Crate Paper embossing folder and some Cosmo Cricket paper. White gel pen dots help as well.

I have also been playing with more inset dies. I made 6 similar cards as I had that many rainbow pieces cut out:) (Dies are Paper Smooches)

and finally for now
Pink Paislee stamps and paper, Clearly Besotted and Lawn Fawn (I think) dies.

I have some layouts to share (this is the trouble with mssing blogging for so long) but will be back soon. Tomorrow I am going to be singing with a choir at Evensong at Exeter Cathedral - I am joining for the first time and am nervously excited. If you are in Exeter at 4pm then come for a listen. Sunday is my last preaching engagement (well apart from a wedding) until the beginning of September as my three month Sabbatical begins on 1st June. 

PS Blogger appears to be playing up and I can no longer see the pictures. I hope you can - if not I shall restore them asap


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Water load of fun

I have recently enjoyed the Online Card Class Watercolour for Card Makers. It came at a time when I couldn't do much crafting due to lots of work plus 7 stitches in my crafting arm. However I did manage to produce some cards and I love all the things that I have learned - and have loads left to try as well.

Firstly some watercolour backgrounds
 (Dienamics die and Clearly Besotted stamp)
 (Studio Calico chevron stencil, Clearly Besotted stamp, some seqins and a pearl mist which you can't really see on the photo)
 (More Clearly Besotted stamps and MME enamel dots)
(Dienamics die, Clearly Besotted and Kaisercraft stamps)

(unknown stamp set; Maggie Holmes Crate Paper; Martha Stewart punches; Clearly Besotted Die and stamp)

then some watercolouring stamped images - my card is a total copy of the one in the class (not as good obvs) as I have the same stamp set - yes - by Clearly Besotted! (sentiment is by Avery Elle)
and one using an embossed background. I coloured it with Inktense pencils. Sentiment is Avery Elle
and finally faux hand painting using Gelatos. I adore how this came out (this was a first stamping that was actually better than the second in my opinion) Flower stamp is from Waltzing Mouse, sentiment is Simon Says Stamp. The background is versamark/white embossing powder through a Tim Holtz stencil
I have some more part made cards to finish and want to try other techniques that I have learnt as well. You can still do the class even though it has finished live and I highly recommend it

Friday, May 16, 2014

Oooh missed it

Well I've missed lots of things really

I've been missing from the blog for 5 weeks or so. Loads of reasons, mostly tedious and once you stop it is hard to start again
Which means I missed my blogaversary - I haven't got a date on my first post but it is something like the 8th May 2006. So 8 years I've been slightly squiffy now. I will put together a little giveaway soon (I'll admit it is mostly things I have accidentally bought twice. Its my age). Perhaps when I am on Sabbatical. I am going to be missing from my job for 3 months. As a Minister we get paid leave every 10 years (mine is every 11 at the moment though!) and I will be gadding about in the summer as Pilgrimage is part of my theme. But I am also going to put some craftyness in as well and may well use this blog as a record for that - or set up another with a link. Probably the former as the latter sounds complicated.

I'm missing a bit of skin as well. Two smallish moles were taken away and then it was decided they needed to take more skin. I'm longing for the stitches to come out as I am feeling like Frankenstein's monster at the moment.

I will try and catch up with myself but for today will just recap on those Daring Cards I did and haven't blogged. I'll go backwards though  - from feathers to football to flags
Feathers is this week's theme from super Sharon.
I made what was going to be a quick card last night which turned out to be not so fast
I knew that I would use my lovely Clearly Besotted feathers. I have some extra thick vellum from Craft Creations which takes embossing like a dream so I inked the feathers using various dye inks and added clear embossing powder. I cut round the feathers and they were all transluscent and lovely.
Then I decided to do a background as I am currently enjoying the Online Card Classes Watercolour class. I started by adding some white stencil paste to a dotted stencil.
And then I was impatient and didn't wait long enough for it to dry. So when I put ink on top the dots turned to splodges
So I started adding things to try and cover up the mess
And spilt a Tattered Angels Mist over it (the lid was off so I could flick some dots)
I decided some gold would help (I almost added yellow instead but THAT was actually averted). Then thought there ought to be gold on the vellum.
Which of course then crinkled up - as it has done every time I have tried this....
So I die cut the feathers from white cardstock using the matching dies and stuck the vellum down.

I reckoned that although the whole panel looked one hot mess I could maybe just use a sliver of it - which is what I did. The sentiment was stamped over the top (from the same CB stamp set).
I placed the enamel dot down, decided I didn't like it there - but it took the paper up with it so it went back down again...
and we wont mention the fact that I didn't notice the odd shape of the gold sequin.
Considering the catalogue of disasters it isn't as bad as it could have been...

Last weeks dare was from the amazing Jo - she wanted us to be inspired by football.
It was good timing for me as I need to make a card for Phil's 50th birthday - which is today. He is a big Bolton Wanderers fan and had mentioned that the elephant logo is coming back to the kit - much better than the rather boring dark blue and white of the strip. You can see the logo here.
I used little Memory Box dies to make the castle. The elephant is a PTI stamp. I have these fab Lawn Fawn Milo alpha stamps where you can stamp the whole word at once. Bolton's motto is "Supera Moras" - overcome delays but I canged it to "Supera Saeculum" - overcome old age. Some black glitter letters approximated the Bolton Wanderers main logo.
He had spotted me printing up a photo of the elephant so it wasn't a huge surprise today but I think he liked it!

and finally to catch up (I was missing from DCM for 3 weeks as well!) - flags 
This one was my choice as I thought flags could be inspirational in all sorts of ways. I went for the look of Japan
I made a stencil that I could stamp and emboss a large backround stamp through using white embossing powder. I then added various red Distress Inks and buffed it up. Some strips of Kaisercraft paper, my favourite birthday sentiment (Paper Smooches) and some black Stickles and it was done
Ooh nearly forgot a little strip of washi tape just for interest!

That'll do for today. Hope to be back again sooner than I was this time :)