Sunday, July 31, 2016

Turn around where possible

the phrase I least like to hear from Ken - the Aussie Satnav. Especially when I am on a narrow country lane and had just done a 3 (well 8) point turn because he had already suggested I was wrong.
Its all a bit discombobulating when you have a deadline - leading worship - but no real idea of where you are in the scheme of things and whether just heading for a place you have heard of would help. Praise the Lord that Carys was with me and had googlemaps on her phone which got us to the right place and almost at the right time. But Ken, what were you thinking?

There is a lot of turning around in my new job - but in a good way. On Thursday I was supposed to meet someone who had got the date mixed up. Instead I met everyone at the Volunteer Bureau, went to the cafe for a drink as I had another meeting set up for a short time later and bumped into someone else I have been emailing but hadn't met yet. Who told me about the Sidmouth folk festival being on, just after I had agreed to step in to cover a double booking, so then I asked Carys if she wanted to come along - which got me to the church on time (ish)

Meeting loads of new people and being at the start of new developments is amazing. It always comes with a weather eye to the fact that what works for a town of 3,000 houses won't always translate to 8,000. It does mean that I still have less creative time and energy - I wonder if it is because my day job is now so creative in a different way? I'm determined to get into the groove and think I might have to use my diary to sort myself out!

So here are the cards I have made for the dares - and I have made a whole other one in the last 2 weeks :(
A week ago the Dare was called Doodle, Doodle Do which was right up my street as I do like to doodle flowers. Purvi, who is behind the dare, almost always adds hand drawn features to her cards.
Here is mine
I drew some flowers on watercolour paper, coloured them in with my Kuretake watercolour pens. Then I cut them out before added black pen, white dots and a whole load of sparkle with a Wink of Stella pen. Its so sad that you can't see it. I matted some white cardstock onto black and added it to a white card. I die cut a Paper Smooches "love" three times from more black card and added them together. I think the "sending you my" is Wplus 9? Then I played around with the composition of the flowers and leaves til I was happy.
It is enjoyable - but quite time consuming.

this week it was my turn and I thought I would feature the thing that alongside work, has sucked up a lot of my creative time - crochet. The good thing about this craft is that I can do it with other people around and strangely, my family do like me to spend time with them. Having originally promised myself I would only ever do one project at a time, I now have three on the go. That is very much due to going on holiday whilst the crochet-a-long I have started was happening. This is it
not my version as I am still behind - I have two more navy blue squares and the 4 bottle green ones to do before sewing it together. It is to go in our bedroom and matches really well - better than with the other bedroom we had when I started it and had no idea we would be moving! I didn't know any of these stitches before so it has been fun learning. The project is dedicated to Marinke Slump - a really talented crochet designer known for her colourful patterns and love of teaching new stitches, who lost her battle with depression last year. She started this off and many of her friends got together to choose a square to design in her memory - you can read a little more here.
I'm not sure my blanket will look as good as this one pictured but I will show it when it is done in a few weeks time (I hope). I'm also making a corner to corner wrap for winter and a multi coloured blanket for the sitting room that is supposed to use up scraps but I ordered more wool to do it :)

Back to cardmaking - I asked the Daring Cardmakers to be inspired by crochet - maybe by the square patterns, or to use some wool or even a bit of crochet. I went for quite a simple design in the end, based on the squares
I'm not that happy - I think because I found this really, really old perspex button to use and felt it wouldn't look right on white cardstock but I don't like the cream. I may just have to make it again with white cos I am sure that would be much, much better!
Anyway I chose 4 colours of cardstock and ran each colour through a different embossing folder. Little bit of pen, a die cut banner and a really old dome sticker later and done.
The other designers did a much better job - go and have a look :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Climbing slowly back into the saddle

Well, what have I been up to since last I put fingers to keyboard?
I have....
  • said goodbye to Torquay and moved to Cranbrook
  • settled into the new house, although there are hardly any pictures up yet and one room needs storage stuff putting up
  • met loads of my new neighbours and discovered what a community friendly place this is
  • finally had my DBS (safeguarding clearance through the police) which took from 9th March-  24th June and meant I could not start work straight away
  • said goodbye to our dog Lucky who managed the move successfully, clearly loved her new pad (especially the carpets, much more comfy) and cleverly waited for Phil to come back from a 5 day barge trip so that he could be part of her last hours
  • seen our chickens happy in their new homes at St Martins school. I bought some eggs from the school farm shop yesterday and we are pretty sure we have one of Chantelle's.
  • Gone on a wonderful family holiday spending a whole week on Holy Island which remains as special a place in my heart as it was before. Then spending another week 5 minutes from the end of the causeway which meant I could enjoy mainland Northumbria without worrying about tides
  • travelled to General Assembly of the URC in Southport and had a great time getting to grips with Consensus Voting which can be painful at times but seems to bring more positive results than a straight vote. I did have great angst over being asked to be a teller as counting is not my strongest point but I was only needed for one vote - that URC congregations are allowed to register to hold same sex marriages. I am glad that should my son and partner wish to, they can now be married in Church.
  • Been welcomed in a joyful and creative service as Minister for Cranbrook. I contributed some scones. My baking skills are not hugely better than my counting ones but I used lashings of clotted cream from a farm that is 10 minutes drive away so no-one would notice. I was given some wonderful symbolic items including this
    - a hard hat filled with flowers that all have a special meaning. They are in a hat because this town is still being built (I also now have my own high viz vest) and flowers because our first church building won't be one as such but instead will be a community garden and meeting space on the plot where a church will be (hopefully one of at least two in the town)
and probably more stuff as well. Cranbrook is an exhilirating and challenging place to be with lots of opportunities to share God's love.
All of which means I haven't had much of a chance to craft but I have a neat little space on the landing outside our bedroom, thanks to Phil.
So far though, all I have managed is a simple thank you card and two Daring cards! I think as life settles into a pattern (or even less of one over the summer) there will be more creative time

Last week I took the Summer Party theme and went for a simple option
party banner. I mixed up new and old for this card. New was the my Favourite Things wonky rectangle die and the Neat and Tangled skinny letter dies. Old was the Nestabilities flag dies and the Echo Park I love sunshine papers. And the black pen.

This week the dare was about Strawberries and Cream
I was inspired by the colours and also decided to try and draw some strawberries myself

The background stamp is by Winnie and Walter and called "Do you see what I see" It was embossed with white powder onto watercolour card and painted with Clean Colour markers. I drew some strawberries and coloured them in. You can't really see the little dots and shading on the fruit, nor the sparkle from a Wink of Stella brush, even in close up
but they are there. In order for the strawberries not to melt into the background I used a trick from Debbie of Limedoodle and punched a circle of vellum for the fruit to rest on
I do wish that I had started stamping the sentiment further to the left but tis done now! 
Do have a look at the blog. Bet it makes you hungry!