Saturday, January 21, 2017

Best laid plans

I had all sorts of creative ideas for stitching for this weeks cardmaking Dare 
but ended up with something that looks fairly simple.
 I die cut a stitched heart from watercolour paper I had previously painted to create an ombre effect. Naturally I hadn't checked how big the heart was before painting so the effect is quite subtle as I had to choose light or dark as it wasn't big enough for both.
I cut from within the heart the words which I also cut from white cardstock. I stuck some Stick It paper behind the heart to make putting the white words in but replacing the painted middles easier. I think I put it the wrong way round as it wasn't easier at all. And I had to recut some of the tiny pieces as I kept losing them...

Once that was done and my blood pressure was back down to near normal, I peirced the heart and added some cross stitches. Finally I die cut a wavy stitched square, stuck the heart on. Realised it would have been better to cross stitch through both heart and cardstock.
 Knew it would be disastrous to reverse engineer it, stuck it all down and onto a card with foampad strips.
Which you can't see normally but you can in the sunlight that was pouring in when I took the photos (slightly better here than on the DCM blog) 

I've also done a few layouts for Quirky Kits (details up now or soon on the QK blog) I've used recent Stuck?! sketches for both


 apart from my own dies and glitter glue everything comes from the lovely current Lagom main kit

Our best laid plans did work yesterday (mostly). Phil and I have managed to get back to having the same day off - although Friday still feels wrong after 6 months! I ironed in the morning (I know how to live) but then we decided to go to Evensong at the Cathedral, a meal out in one of the 6 billion restaurants in Exeter and then to see a film. We got our timings off which mean a cuppa before Evensong (better early than late though). I impressed myself listening to the rehearsal just before the service in noting there seemed to be a lot of female voices coming from the hidden at that point choir. Turns out all the children that evening were female! I can't tell you what is different, it just is.

Our choice of eaterie and film venue were down to Phil's taste card which saved us about £15 for the food (Ottoman Grill is a Turkish place which was great. phil tried the fermented turnip juice which was intriguing but may not be ordered again). We also save money by going to the Exeter Picturehouse which is a great place to see a film anyway. We went to see LaLaLand which was good but not as good as the hype and not as good a musical as either of the recent Muppet ones.... (however much, much better than the film of Les Mis) (I have strange tastes i know) 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 so far

what have I been up to?
I've been to a wedding (ok that was on New Year's Eve but it went on until after midnight. Although we were home by then to see the New year in with the family)
I've been twice to the same restaurant in Exeter - Comptoir Libanais which is lovely (actually been 3 times in a month but the other time was earlier in December)
I've been wassailing - dancing round apple trees and hanging up toast for the robins. As you do.
I've been to Zizzis for a farewell meal for Carys before going back to Uni. We met friends there who didn't know about the 25% discount code and that made it even better!
I've been to a classical concert which rather won me over. I like classical music but I prefer to either play/sing it myself or be doing something else at the same time. I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I could have taken my crochet but I don't think that is the done thing...
Seen Ross Noble. His show, as far as we can tell was not scripted at all, just talking to a few people and taking it all from there. Totally brilliant. Well most people thought so, some walked out. And then became a major theme for the whole of the second half.

When I look at photos of my kids or reminisce over old times I do miss the cute toddlers and small children. But I also love spending time with the young adults they are now AND having time to do things that don't revolve around them so much.

Which means I am also trying to get back to... making cards.
To that end I have managed the last two Daring Cardmaker weeks - and (spoiler) next week's one is already made as well. I dropped out for a while because life and work were a bit overwhelming as you may have noticed and i hadn't worked out a good rhythm. I think that if I can make a card on a Sunday that is the best time to do it.

Having said that I nearly fell at the first hurdle as I struggled with my card for the first week of January. It was an inspiration one and this is the picture
White woodgrain, a silver wreath, pine leaves and lots of sparkle, what's not to love? It started well, I found some woodgrain paper and added white paint to lighten it. I cut some leaves from pine coloured card. I decided to cut up an old Spellbinders thing that you were supposed to be able to emboss or use in pieces and the embossing had never worked... and then it all went dangerously wrong. Well maybe a slight exaggeration.
 There just wasn't room for the leaves so I decided to mat the woodgrain on green cardstock instead. I could only have a narrow border and it kept going - slightly squiffy. There is a good reason why the blog is called that as I have a real problem with keeping things straight. I only had a tiny bit of green and in the end I decided this would do. 
I did something I have done before and cut a Sizzix heart out using some sticky shiny material I have. I've also got some new WPLus9 alpha dies (with stamps to match but haven't used them yet!) that I used with old silver glitter cardstock. Then came snipping off the silver flowers and turning them into a vague wreath shape. That was more or less successful. Wierdly it is ever so hard to photograph as it is silver metal that looks copper in some photos. See that bottom right hand flower? that is the correct colour
nothing like this! 
Although as it is reflective metal that is probably my skin colour in that photo :)
So all in all, not great but at least I tried.

The next week Kathy dared us to try something new. I decided to go easy on myself and found a Jennifer McGuire  technique that involves stamping lightly and tracing over it with gel pen. Inspired by her colour choice I found a Papermania 4x6 mat that was a lovely teal colour and went to work with some of my favourite stamps and a white gel pen. I'm much happier with this one!
 The greetings are heat embossed and I went round the die cut panel which has the stitched lines with more white pen. Then added a few gems that have been on my desk for months and were starting to annoy me. They please me much better on the card!
My teamies have been kind enough to welcome me back and they have done some amazing cards so do go and show them some love!