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!