Friday, May 19, 2017

11 years later...

Friday 11th May is the date that I started this blog.
I can't remember why now, probably to have a place to note my crafty challenges.
I'm certainly not as prolific as I was but I'm still happy to have a place to note what I am up to and when it happened. Especially as I have a bad habit of not backing up photos so this is needed!
This is what I looked like then

 and now
 (is that a flattering angle where you can't see all the wrinkles? Possibly...)
 So much has changed - we have moved twice, all three kids have gone through University, (the oldest was a wee teen of 13 and is now almost 25!) Phil has a motorbike and loves cycling, I've started and stopped and started running (I say running, it is more like a small but heavy wilderbeest thundering throught the tundra very slowly). I now crochet as well as papercrafting - it makes evenings more sociable as I sit and crochet in front of the tv while Phil snores.

Here is the first card I put on the blog
I still rather like it. It was Phil's birthday card.
My latest is Phil's birthday card as well.
Last week's Daring Cardmaker Dare was All that glitters is not gold
where you had to make a card with lots of glitter but no gold. I went for something simple
 Lots of thick glitter paper circles punched out and raised up and stuck on a piece of cardstock which was given a glittery edge with a glue pen and more glitter. V. simple
(Paper Smooches stamp badly embossed with black powder)

This week the dare is Two's Company where you could only use 2 colours including the colour of the base card. I went for simple again with black and white
I painted the white paint onto a black card ready for another challenge but liked it and so decided to use it for this one. I found some old textured papers and cut and trimmed them into different shapes. I knew I had a set of paper trims somewhere but only found them days after making the card!
Little bit of glitter, little bit of die layering, a vellum heart to allow the eye to see the words and job done. It looks better in real life than it does here :)

I also made my first ever layout 11 years ago in July
and here is one of the latest

made for the latest Quirky Kit. That style has evolved a bit more than cardmaking!

I must make a blog post of all the pages I have done recently - I had a lovely time at the beginning of May when it was Scrapbooking Day putting lots of memories onto cardstock. Don't get time to do so much now but its still good.

Last weekend I made more memories and also remembered a host more. I met up with friends from Lancaster University - some of whom I have hardly seen since we left in 1986. We stayed in some luxury lodges just outside Windermere and I had a an awesome time. We are all quite different now (e.g. old) but in many ways very much the same. It was a delight and I hope I can do it again. I'm aware that I have chosen a road less travelled in that being in Church Ministry means spare weekends are rare. I wouldn't be without my job and perhaps that makes these times even more of a joy. Poor Phil was also away from home but for a work conference....
 I thought I had taken lots of photos but no, so I am hoping some of the others have some I can use as these are stories worth telling as well!

And here is to the next year blogging....

Friday, May 05, 2017

April in a nutshell

It seems I am now totally incapable of blogging more than once a month :(
Anyway, lets not feel guilty, just be glad I'm doing so. 

So this month I have been
  •  doing Easter things (although that all seems like a long time ago now! I went to hear the St John Passion by Bach at Exeter Cathedral. It was heavenly. I did nearly blot my copy book at the beginning. There were five of us there and in front of us were kneelers with names of birds on. One of my friends had one which was rather dull (can't remember what now) so I thought I would treat her to a different one. I pulled one out from near me without seeing the name. It said "Thrush". Carys and I got the giggles. Fortunately we calmed down before the music. Its become one of our catchphrases though
  •  Good Friday we held a Good Friday experiences for a few hours where you could try things out. Here are two of mine 

  • The dark tomb was the last one where we talked about Jesus body going after he died. It was made to look different for Easter Sunday
    we also got up for a dawn service. that will be featuring in a layout soon
  • went to visit number 1 son in his new flat which meant buying/making furniture and an Easter Monday trip to Ikea. 

    Everyone is a dab hand at the old flat pack now. It does seem strange not knowing when we will all be together again.
  • lots of work - mostly really creative and challenging. I've started a new venture which means sitting in a cafe for an hour. Its a hard life.
  • Eating an amazing meal at Fatbelly Freds in Barnstable which is a fish speciality restaurant. 
    that is about an hour from us but we ate there as we were singing in an Easter concert at a church not far away. We declined dessert as they were not sure we would be able to leave by 7. Just as well as it turned out it started at 7 not 7:30 as Phil thought. I've almost forgiven him. He also hadn't mentioned the refreshments after the concert. The tables were heaving. I had my first "tatty" cake which looks like a Welsh cake but tastes different as it is made of potato. Rather lovely though
  • Got up to Week 6 of Couch 2 5k. I'll be running the 25 minute run when this posts hopefully. Then going out to the new pub which is opening in our town (our first and everyone is very excited) they are offering free trials of the menu provided you pay for drinks. I'm also thinking of starting another new venture called "wine Wednesday" at the pub. Also work....
  • And in crafty news.... Daring Cardmakers first. Spring Garden was Kathy's choice and I went all floaty and flowery
    I do love colouring flowers, I've just bought some more because its my favourite cardmaking thing at the moment. I never tire of this set of doodle blooms. I stamped them with white embossing ink and coloured them with Zig Cleancolor markers. I decided to go with the colours of spring flowers, not necessarily actual flowers as I had used tulips the week before. I fussy cut round them (though I think I have the dies!). I used a backing plate die and backed it with vellum, leaving the vellum poking out the side. I then tucked in the flowers and leaves. Lastly I die cut the words and stuck them together. Everything got the Wink of Stella treatment. I should have done what I wanted to keep white first OR kept the brush clean as I had to turn all the letters yellow thanks to my boo boo
  • That card was reasonably in the pastel zone for me, not my usual habitat but I stayed there for the 5 papers challenge where we had to use 5 patterned papers.
    I have some new pastel colour markers so I washed colour onto my background card and added water to make it come together in an ombre effect, matching the papers from an old collection - Pink Paislee Color Wash. I found various butterfly punches and dies in my stash and cut out 5 different patterned ones (the top left one looks single coloured but it is patterned, promise!). I added die cut words, carefully managing not to colour them with my wink of Stella pen. The butterflies were getting lost on the ombre background so I dry embossed some vellum and attached it with brads (brads! I've mssed you). I stuck everything together and decided the perfect finishing touch would be some Nuvo drops in buttercream. Except some of my dots became a line so they all had to. 
  • Last week's theme was Superhero .  I was slightly miffed that Dawn nicked my fave one (at least graphically, Captain America is the best!) until I read about why she had made the card as she did - which is a wonderful reason for cardmaking.  Then I wondered if I could find any logos on the internet and a card idea was born. This is for Phil for our wedding anniversary (29 years at the end of May!)
    I printed the logos on good quality cardstock and punched them out. You can see my old punch doesn't like the cardstock but none of my many circle dies were quite the right size! They demanded outlining and some black cardstock to give that comic vibe. The words are made using Lawn Fawn tiny letters. Finally an old Studio Calico arrow finished it off (arrow had to get in there somewhere !) Everything was built up on pop dots
  • Bringing us up to date with the first May dare.... Here is the inspiration photo and isn't it beautiful?
    I could just put "hello beautiful" on that and call it done. (the words would be over the cat of course, the cat spoils it!!!!) (sorry cat lovers, come baaaaack). Anyway that would be cheating so I did this
    I used a peacock stencil, embossing paste and various glitters to make the feathers. I then die cut them, realised the paste was still wet, threw that away, die cut another piece and then stenciled it..... while I was waiting FOR IT TO DRY PROPERLY, I dry embossed a die cut rectangle and covered it with Distress Ink in peacock colours (one is helpfully called peacock feathers). I then went round the circles with silver pen to mimic the circles in the photo in the middle of the left column. I die cut "hope" once from blue glitter cardstock and twice from white card and stuck them together. When the feather piece was dry I added silver pen to the lines, stuck that to the background layer and added some lovely vellum butterflies from the recent Quirky Kit. I have some very old, very lovely stick on gems from Prima in my stash and I thought they were perfect on this card

    I was going to mention my scrap pages and crochet activity but I think this is long enough for now!