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!


Friday, May 20, 2016

See you on the other side?

I'm not sure when I will post again. Although we are having packers come, I will need to at least tidy away my craft stuff (sob) and life is going to be mad for the next 10 days. Then it will all be a bit weird whilst I sort out the new job/house and i might have loads of time to craft - or none at all. The usual answer to questions about the new post is "I don't know" and that is both exhilarating and totally scary.

So here is a little catch up with what I have done
Last week's Dare was about Luck as it was Friday 13th
I dragged out some old Cosmo Cricket papers and die cuts. I kind of see it as a good luck in your new home sort of card. I layered up papers and even got out an embossing folder...
That hedgehog is so cute.

This week I went all rainbow.  This time last year we had a dare where we were monochromatic rainbow colours but I wanted all of the colours together this year - or at least some in rainbow order. the blog looks delightfully cheery.
My first card
I found some Paperchase postcards when I was tidying up that were perfect so I cut them into strips (there was a purple one too but it didn't make the cut) I die cut balloons three times out of card and layered some glitter sticky film over the top layer of the balloons.
I decided some enamel accents would be a good extra to break up the white but I forget that although the white is lovely, the delivery (at least in my hands) can be erratic - which explains the gems!

I wasn't going to make a second card but while my box of stickles and pearls was open I was inspired to try and make a glittery rainbow. So I picked out rainbow colours and smeared them on some card with my fingers. 
It took a long time to dry - almost 24 hours but it is so pretty.
 I wanted to keep the rest of the card light so die cut some Clearly Besotted leaves from vellum and a sentiment from white cardstock (think that is CB as well).

IN other crafting news I did join in with the Quirky Kits craft challenges for Scrapbooking Day. I haven't written them up on the blog yet. All of the pages use the current kit with a few oldie kit bits added in


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Endings and beginnings

Its a hard time for me at the moment as I go through lots of lasts over the next month, whilst trying to organise some firsts. This includes spending a lot of time off painting walls in the new house. And discovering what pans will work on our posh new hob which refuses to put the heat on under any inferior vessels. (Le Creuset, yes please; Pyrex, no. Pans bought three years ago to replace our wedding set - not on your nelly, it demands special pans)
There are lots of goodbyes to be said and working out what needs to be handed over as well as starting to think about the what ifs and maybe's of what God is calling me and the church to do in my new post.
I've also enjoyed Minister's Spring School. It has always been a bit of a joke that Phil and I go to stay with everyone else...4 minutes drive from our home. Next year, we will be proper tourists like everyone else. 
All of which has meant that crafting has rather taken a back burner and blogging, once again is the most neglected corner.
 I finished my Dad's Father's Day present. As he came to stay for a few days he already has it. It is an Attic 24 ripple pattern using colours that should match the sitting room, with a bit of extra blue thrown in as green and pink might have looked a tad too feminine. I worked out the random stripes myself and was quite pleased with that!

Daring Cardswise I have three weeks worth to share. Eek! The eagle eyed will also note that I hadn't tidied my desk inbetween cards 1 and 3 which meant I could use the same embellishments on both. Work it baby.

 3 weeks ago the theme was Coffee Shop. Now I loathe coffee. It is an abomination. But I do like a Chai latte extra hot from Starbucks (sorry) so wanted to use green and white on the card. And I had a fabulous Quirky Kit delivered with the chai latte cup die cut inside (not a coffee cup, not at all) and lots of lovely green and white papers and I felt very happy. Everything paper related is Pinkfresh. The green hearts are from an old QK and the sequins I have had forever, along with the white glitter ribbon. The little words are Tim Holtz.

2 weeks ago love was in the air with the royal wedding anniversary at the front of our minds. My wedding anniversary (28!) will be a few days before we move (have I mentioned I am moving?) and so it is good to get the card out of the way before life gets even more hectic. Yes I am that romantic.
 This mostly uses the My Minds Eye Fancy That collection which is great as it is the nearest to peaches and cream that I have ever seen in the scrap world and so is perfect for scrapping our wedding. Hey, those colours were bang on trend in the late 80's you know. OK I have had those papers and embellishments for about a year and not made a wedding page yet but still....
I also used gold mirri card - oh I am so retro. And a more up to date see through gold accent from a recent quirky kit. "you" is a Papertrey Ink die. The phrase fits so well as "you are my world" is the music at the end of our wedding video. The one we can't watch because we no longer have a video recorder!

And finally - THIS week's card is for the May elemental inspiration, what with it already being the beginning of May and all.
This was the inspiration piece.
Here is my card
I used brickwork (Tim Holtz embossing folder); the door (I swooshed brown distress ink onto some thin wood and pierced holes in it like the door on the photo); the bike (Clearly Besotted stamp) and some leaves - various dies cut out and coloured with Zig pens.
the layout was influenced by Kathy's sketch 
I added a sentiment from the same Clearly Besotted stamp set, some more green die cut hearts and some sprinkles that came in the same packet.
Just after I had finished the card the postie arrived with a prize sent by the lovely Sue (Miniowner) who had sent me a prize for her sketch challenge. Inside was.... a die cut bicycle which would have been perfect for the card!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Laying out the layouts

My scrapping often gets overlooked - what with me being a rubbish blogger and all, so here is a quick catch up
Crikey - it turns out I have loads!
I won't go into detail then, if you are curious about anything then just drop me a comment.
These are all personal layouts i.e. not for Design team work, although a lot of the embellishments are from Quirky Kits because Leo is so generous with them
This first one comes from a sketch by Susan aka Miniowner who has a great blog here. This is the sketch 

And this is what I did with it
Warning - its bright
 Even all those bright colours don't detract (in my humble opinion) from the riot of colours of the market. All the papers are from Illustrated Faith, as are almost all the embellishments

 And here is the layout that is all about the fruit we paid a king's ransom for in said market. The title sums it up
 That gold mat stuff? I have had that and never used it since I began scrapping 10 years ago.

 Whilst I am in confessional mood, this story needed to be told but I am still cringing...

 The big flower carefully hides a woman who spoiled the view :)
Two more...

No, three!

 I will try and keep up with myself better in future.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Don't panic, don't panic

I am very good at panicking.
Some things don't help.
Like the letter yesterday about the fact that my pension will be frozen as I am changing employer. Seeing that written down made it seem more real.
Then I realised that I only have 4 more services left in each of my current churches.
And my DBS clearance hasn't come through yet and I can't move without it, but I have had to give notice and
Lets just put our trust in God. (But please, police, do my application next)

And perhaps focussing on  crafting would be better.
I still haven't blogged last weeks card and it was my turn and everything.
I chose "Buddha's birthday" as a theme, suggesting that people could go all oriental. I did it in the simplest fashion

I punched out oodles of flowers using a Stampin' Up punch that does three at a time (yay!) I cut them from watercolour paper so that I could paint the middles using Clean Colour watercolour pens. I did cut the branch using a Dienamics die and again used pens to colour it in.
The background is also diecut - a stitched rectangle and as this was watercolour paper I was able to use some different blue and purple paint colours (the Gambai set) that were blended together and spritzed with a perfect pearls wash.
The sentiment was cut out three times and stuck together. 
By this time the background was dry so I was able to put everything together. Some of my cherry blossoms were raised on foam pads and all of them had a little dot of Daffodil stickles in the middle
I've been trying to clear out some of my stash before the move. I'm not being too ruthless yet as I will be working with at least one school who might be grateful for cast offs. I threw out a lot of random die cuts that I had been sent with purchases and never used but I did find a massive word which I decided to hang onto. Lo and behold it turned out to be just the thing I needed for this week's dare which is all about using primary colours.
Yes, I did use watercolour paper, thanks for asking
but no, it isn't pen or palette - this time the colour comes from a rather lovely watercolour dye ink set I have had for about 8 years. Oh I have just found it online here. The colours are really vibrant and I still adore it
 On this card I just used the yellow, red and blue, allowing them to run a little bit. I then die cut the stiched square and attached the sentiment on top with foam squares. I decided the little red gem would be a nice finishing touch  but probably means the card will have to be hand delivered!

I was on a roll so I made another card, this time allowing the background colours to blend and create others. I also used a brand new WPlus9 rose die set on the top.
 the blue ink came up a lot brighter than it was when I stamped the sentiment - but I think it works better than black would have. (I know, I'm surprised I said that too)

I've made a few other cards this week in what Phil likes to call "old lady style". I couldn't resist buying some more WPlus9 flower stamps and they are a joy to colour combined with those Kuretake Clean Colour pens
 You can't really see the Wink of Stella but it is there
all shimmery and lovely

I've coloured the flowers using a few different mediums - but haven't finished off any of the others yet. It is amazing how different all the cards look


Friday, April 01, 2016

Some you win, some you lose...

Well Easter is over, Jesus is risen - hurray!
I've been having a lovely week's holiday - hurray!
but the dog just ate the last of my mini eggs - boo!
(I know dogs aren't supposed to eat chocolate. She doesn't pinch any other food and it isn't the first time she has devoured chocolate. We will just have to watch and wait)

Phil and I visited 3 National Trust properties in 3 days - one which will be close to our new house (we were there measuring and looking at what painting needs to be done) and 2 close to here that we always meant to visit and now don't have much time for - Greenway (fabulous) and Compton Castle (very old, doesn't take long to go round). It also means that our NT tickets are already half "paid for" for the year! We hope to revisit Coleton Fishacre before we move as that is absolutely my cup of tea and I would move in if I could!

I've also done a little crafting as well. Its been good to recharge the batteries. I love my card for last weeks Daring dare. This weeks? not so much...
Last week the challenge was to celebrate Spring with spring themed cards that also featured a spring if possible 
 I watercoloured a background using peerless watercolours and then added in some Doodle stamp flowers that have been coloured and on my desk for, well probably a year! So this card also has a spring-cleaning element! I added some doodle stems and then middle flower is on a paper spring so it wobles
I just don't get tired of those flowers and the bright Kuretake clean colour pens.
This week it is an elemental inspiration week as today is April 1st (eek). 
Its a lovely photo butI really struggled with this and don't like the card I have made at all
I like the extra stripes I put onto the pink paper and quite like the rabbit (and the extra arm that comes from one of the other sets) but I'm not happy with the whole thing. Having a splodge from the black ink that needed covering up with a yellow flower didn't help....) The others have made a much better fist of it than I have so do go and have a look.