Sunday, February 07, 2016

Layout catch up

the trouble with enjoying crochet (see last post for details :) ) is that is is social and I can do it in a room with a gas fire.
Other things I have to waddle up to my craft space in my bedroom and it takes thought to do that. But I am still enjoying it when I get there and have made a few layouts recently. I loved doing the last one about our amazing holiday to Madeira and I am ready to go and make more.

But firstly, finishing off the stories from our last summer holiday
I used all sorts of old stuff - Simple Stories; Crate Paper and some old resist papers that I think are Pink Paislee, that I coloured blue to match the cloudy sky in the photo. The sticker should really say "undocumented" as it is about the quick as a flash dolphin sighting that we didn't get a photo of. I really enjoyed layering it up top and bottom

Then a more simple page about a poem in Welsh and a very special word that has no English equivalent
The papers are all Websters Papers and the journal spots are October Afternoon. The gold accents are mostly Crate Paper.
I wrote out the translation in gold pen. I wondered about adding in the whole poem in Welsh but decided against it. You can read some of it on the wall in the photo. Welsh people who don't live in Wales, like me, often enjoy wallowing in the feeling of hiraeth, but prefer the emotional pang to actually living there! I've noticed that people from Africa who live here have the same sort of emotional responses to "home". (Maybe others but it is those from continental Africa that I have had such conversations with!)

And then... Meet Barry, done in a flash the other day
I was helped by using a sketch from Easy Scrapbook Sketches and again keeping it pretty simple
That photo makes me smile from ear to ear. Its amazing what making a face on something does to us... which is what the journalling is about. And also reminds me that the food was delicious and the vegetables... strange but tasty.

The papers are Dear Lizzy documentary but I think most of the stickers are Crate Paper Maggie Holmes, plus some old Websters and October Afternoon letter stickers

Oh and some Heidi Swapp words - I think from an old Quirky Kit. All the words left are perfect for these holiday memories so expect to see more soon

Friday, February 05, 2016


Goodness, this crochet thing is addictive. There is something very satisfying about the way the wool runs through my fingers and it grows fast too.
Here is the finished rainbow blanket

with cute edging (that is probably a tad too tight!)

and here is the start of the next one
which is a pattern called "Spice of Life"

We have even started a cochet club at church - most are beginners, so we shall see how many come next time but we had 10 there yesterday (so crochet getting its hooks into you does not just apply to me then!)

But I haven't lost my love of paper crafting and I was only 10 minutes late adding my card to the Daring Cardmakers blog this week. It was an elemental inspiration dare and here is the photo we had to take ideas from
and what I did with it...
Can you see?
  • Animal prints (the paper and the three layered stickers are  from an old Crate Paper collection, On Trend. those red looking stickers are MUCH more pink in reality); 
  • love spelled out in tiles (they are shiny gold from an Old Quirky kit);
  • heart with words on: I found some black/white striped paper in my stash (is it Dear Lizzy Documentary) and wrote some of the words on the heart in the picture in what Phil lovingly calls my messy handwriting
  • fuschia elements - pink Prima dots
I wanted the heart to overhang so cut the front of my card. I then backed it with vellum for some added interest.
Must remember to hide the card as it means valentines is now done....

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

the good news is...

the crochet blanket is finished. I haven't photographed it yet, but will do soon. I'm now starting one for my mum. ideally for Mother's Day but I think that is a tad ambitious!

The bad news is - blogging failures yet again. Sigh.
I think the best thing to do is just not apologise and pretend I mean to be this lazy elusive.

Two weeks ago the Daring challenge was Fool's Gold. I aimed to use rose gold but I think it is a bit more peach than that, to be honest
I used some of the My Minds Eye Fancy That paper pad. The dots are my attempt to create a rose gold backing by combining reddish pink and gold acrylics.
The letters are Technique Tuesday Tall Timbers which I haven't used in YEARS. Despite them costing quite a bit at the time. But I still like the font! I made a frame with some dies and added a vellum backing. A bit fiddly but I  am pleased with the effect
The stars are from a new pack of stickers so  it is all a great old and new combo.

I hope my brother felt that it was all suitably manly. To be fair he is always happy to get a card at all...

Last Friday the theme was balloons
I had recently spotted a balloon sticker in a Maggie Holmes set and had idly wondered what to do with it. Problem solved.
I also used the die that my oh so clever son bought me for Christmas (from my Christmas list)
I chose some papers that I thought would tone together with each other and the balloon. The blue one is actually a little more green in real life. I die cut the whole plate from all the colours and felt very clever as I thought I would then make up some more cards with the other colourways.
I should have sorted all of that out at the same time and put them into little bags as something went a bit wrong and in the end the others were all (gasp!) thrown away.

The sentiment is also from Maggie Holmes. I might add "birthday" at some point but was just too tired when I finished the card. I was in a bit of a rush as I was away from Thursday afternoon to Saturday last week catching up with friends from University, some of whom I haven't seen for 15 years. It is one of the downsides of living a calling that takes up most of your Sundays and quite a few Saturdays as well. I wouldn't change it, but keeping up relationships does take a lot of work. It was brilliant to meet up with some lovely, lovely people and I do hope it won't be another 15 years (especially as one of us will be almost 70 by then and the rest not that far off). Because some of them are uber successful, they are talking about retiring in the not to distant future. My retirement date is 30th June 2033....

But I have had a lesson in not being resentful this week. My church is one of 7 in Torquay who are hosting a winter night shelter for the month of February. I "volunteered" to do the overnights (to show a good example, not because I was keen). I took a mat, a sleeping bag and 2 duvets. I moaned about the floor and how I kept getting woken up by people/noises. I felt like a wet lettuce most of the rest of the day and had a nap (quite fancied two)
And today I am appalled with myself....
(and I know this makes a big difference to how cold you get, a former rough sleeper described it to me in detail once)
I was pretty WARM
and last night, I slept in my own comfy bed again. I didn't have to sleep another night on the floor.
Unlike those people that I met on Monday night who, at best, will be in the night shelter again.
I'm wondering whether next week i ought to take less bedding so that I can be more authentic
I'm certainly counting my blessings and seeing all I have to thank God for today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Resolutions, shmezolutions

Yup, posting my Daring Cards on time has already gone out the window!
I did start a new exercise dvd as well and then could not walk properly for two days (not joking). Tried starting again today without being so enthusiastic and so far so legs working.

Jo chose our first monthly inspiration piece for the year - this beautiful photo

 Look at all those delicate colours.
Mine are a little bit stronger...

 I was inspired by the circles of tape, the colours, the star, the sequins, the paper wrappers and that gorgeous sparkly bauble.
So I painted some watercolour washes as near as I could get (not that close obvs) and die cut circles and a star.
I didn't have the right colour glitter card so some white card was also watercoloured and that worked a treat!
I also cut some vellum to echo the cases.

(close up of the sparkly goodness)

Jo was on double duty as she chose this weeks dare - Leaf it alone - making leaves the centrepiece and not the bit on the side!

I decided to try stamping with my Kuretake cleancolour pens and a non outline stamp (this is an old Clearly Besotted one). I used three different greens and stamped onto watercolour paper. Bah, it was all splotchy. But then I filled in the colour with a water brush and oooooh, something very pretty happened.

I then decided to add some gold bubble wrap print (as you do). The patterned paper was also coloured in with some watered down Delicata gold ink which also went around the outside of the die cut panel.

I like the effect so much I did it again
This time I added a Clearly Besotted butterfly. I wondered if the effect would work so well with a stamp with more space. I think it does!. I have some extra thick vellum (sadly no longer made by the company I bought it from) and so was able to heat emboss the sentiment without warping the vellum. I wrapped it round the die cut piece which was mounted with foam tape to the white base card.

I did actually stamp another one and added some of the watered down gold paint over the top which looks very pretty. But I haven't done anything with that yet.

I'm still loving the crochet. This is now big enough to keep me nice and warm in the evenings whilst I make it. I'm following an Attic 24 pattern and kit so I don't really have to think about what I am doing much! (just as well as I am still a novice) I'm making it for my daughter so it needs to be done by half term when we are popping up for a visit.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Best of...

I thought I would do a quick recap of some of my favourite cards and layouts of 2015. Probably more for my benefit than anyone else's! Especially with card making I feel in a bit of a style rut

So here are 5 that caught my eye looking back through my archive. 4 are from Daring Cardmaker Challenges and one was made because I always need thank you cards!

My top favourite (the one with all the circles) was a card-lift but whenever I spot it in the DCM folder it still makes me smile. The next one down is all hand drawn and lettered. If only I could draw more things!
Overall I think my choice says that I like painty bright cards with a little bit of texture.
And usually a white background. I also use a lot less layering than I used to.

Onto Quirky Kits design work... I do like my one photo layouts. Although I try and stick them in different places on the page. And white backgrounds. I have to force myself to use other ones!


And the ones from just my stash (and usually some Quirky Kit leftovers as the kits are ever so generous)

Less white backgrounds. And some of my faves have a lot less writing than normal and two have a lot more writing than normal. And the last one still has the ability to make me cry...

Doing this has been made more difficult by the fact that my computer bust in the summer - it wasn't the hard drive so that has been saved as an archive into my new computer but all the photos are in different places.

Hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. It has kind of inspired me to keep crafting - most of all so I can tell stories and record something of my life.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Layout time

 I managed a few layouts before life got really mad at the end of last year and I have also been using the lovely new Quirky Kit - Firework.  So here is a quick round up
 This one actually features the last lot of Quirky Kits (now sold out). Trying to use up every last little bit of paper. As the layout was about watching someone weaving I did a bit of paper weaving. It was quite fiddly as I didn't necessarily have long pieces of all the papers left and there are some quite complicated shenanigans going on behind that photo mat!
Also the rub ons did not like the texture of the cardstock and so some went on to an acetate background
This layout is about another part of that same day at the woollen mill. I basically went through some of my old collections and pulled out things I thought would tone together. I thought the green grid one was a pretty good match for Phil's shawl.

A lot of the sticker elements are Maggie Holmes and the rub ons are American Crafts Dear Lizzy but I haven't kept track of the papers
Also added a few dabs of gold stickles

And now for something a little more graphic. Again, I was using stuff up. The triangles are from Pink Fresh papers and I think some of the others are Dear Lizzy but mostly just bits and bobs from stash piles. Ah and more of the fab spot acetate that I ended up with two of but have hardly any left now.
I spent a happy hour outlining all the paper patterns with black pen to give them a bit more pop.

And I was so pleased to find that little puffy bird sticker - again Dear Lizzy
but nothing on the page is as cute and lovely as those little birds were in real life.

Almost all of these bits and bobs come from the Bella Blvd illustrated faith whatever is lovely collection. It is full of faith filled words and phrases but I managed to use it for something less sacred!
 I do love the bright colours and patterns and I plan to do some more faith scrapping at some point too.
The big letters are from a previous QK kit and the "lean" is hand cut

Here are two more layouts with just the main photo - you will need to go to the Quirky Kits blog for more details!