Saturday, July 05, 2014

In and out

This Summer I am a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel and learning to live out of suitcases! Its quite fun although I am really a homebird so make sure I have a few days back at the ranch before the next foray into the big wild world. This week I have spent time with Carys and my mother in law at her lovely home in Milford on Sea. Milford is by the sea (obvs) but also only about 30 minutes from the New Forest. We have to drive through it to get there and I never tire of seeing all the horses roaming around. They particularly like bus stops! Or standing in the road in a crowd, daring you to try and make them move...

All of which means I will be either absent or tardy with Daring Cards for a bit. I had managed to make my card in good time for this Friday but failed in first attempts to photograph it. I am being a big brave girl and moving off "auto" on the DSLR. Only I have discovered that I will need to stick to it for photographing layouts and cards as I shake too much so have loads of blurry photos. One layout I have taken out of the album twice now and both sets of photos are so rubbish I will need to go again. At least it isn't film wasted I suppose...

It being the beginning of a new month, we have a colour combo to play with...
 Now I already had this card on my desk which had been a fun play with my new Winnie and Walter stamps, when Carys mentioned she could do with 5 thank you cards to give to the Stagecoach staff as she finishes today (too old!)
I thought that with a bit of tweaking it would make a card fit for the dare
although my colours are perhaps a leetle too bright - I still like it! I used a dotty stencil and several different colour distress inks. Then some Winnie and Walter stamps (NB I now have a mini stamp press which I love!) and a trio of different enamel dots and the card was done
Here are all 5 (but out of focus)
.... and it turned out that Carys only needed 4 cards after all!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hopping with Quirky Kits and the Scrap 365 gang

Boy oh boy am I excited!
today I am part of a blog hop which combines the awesomeness of Quirky Kits with the amazing inspiration of Scrap 365magazine and its fabulous design team.

What I love about Scrap 365 is that there is something there that will engage everyone - from the beginner to the more advanced scrapbooker. I have subscribed since the beginning and look forward to my bi-monthly treat for eyes as there are so many projects and tutorials to get my craft mojo going. For more info on the mag, click on the photo
http://gb.trapletshop.com/scrap-365
And of course I am a huge fan of Quirky Kits - there is so much bundled together in a kit and Leo always makes sure there are a few little somethings that are a bit different (or quirky!) but she always has the knack of making sure everything goes together, making the kits stylish, user friendly and economical. Again, click on the photo for more details
http://www.craftytemplates.co.uk/itsmypartyquirkykit.html

We were all given a sketch and the rather gorgeous "Its my party" kit to play with.
I can't wait to see what all the uber talented peeps have come up with - here is mine
I liked the idea of an 81/2 x 11" page but decided to kind of stretch it out onto a 12x12 canvas. The Basic Grey highline "Sweetness" paper was cut to 81/2 x 11" but then I decided I wanted a bit more teal so added the Echo Park Capture Life ‘Bokeh Teal’ to the left hand side. A lot of the elements of the sketch are there but not exactly in the same place. (Cue those of us of a certain age hearing Eric Morecambe saying "I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.")

I did sneak in a bit of the gold vellum from the Shiny Happy People Lite kit (which I backed with white cardstock so it stood out better) and also utilised some of the fab Basic Grey Highline die cuts, the My Minds Eye enamel dots and the gold Studio Calico letter stickers from the You've got the love embellishment kit.

Here are a few of the details

Did you notice the alphabet doctoring? I had run out of "D"s!
There is a main kit up for grabs as part of this blog hop and all you have to do is to comment on all the blogs in the hop, like the Scrap 365 FB page and follow the QK blog

Here are all the places you should be visiting on your inspirational travels

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mea Culpa

Once, when I was in Junior School (so could be 40 years ago) (faints at the thought of how decrepid she is) we were given a test paper to do. It involved all sorts of strange tasks like "underline everytime 'the' is used" or "cross out the third question from the top". The last task was "ignore everything else you have been asked to do on this test". i.e. Don't just leap to answer everything, read the whole paper first.
Have I remembered this?
Clearly not (it is my age) because I failed to read the Daring Cardmakers Challenge all the way through this week. Miri gave us a great dare "No Scissors Please" and I immediately got to work creating a card without using scissors.
Which is fine except that if I had read all of what we had to do I would have noticed the other part of the challenge "Decorate a card blank without using scissors or a paper cutter/guillotine."
so I went merrily on my way and used my paper trimmer anyway.
Sigh.
So while I am confessing
1: the background technique I saw on someone's blog this week and she linked to a youtube vid that someone else had done and I didn't save either name. (Basically you smoosh a bit of distress ink onto a craft mat and then add a tiny bit of embossing paste, mix it together et voila, coloured paste
2: I did use my scissors to trim round a backing piece of card for my butterfly then realised what I had done and thought "you eejit" and threw it away.
Apart from that....
I also smothered everythink in glitter using a Wink of Stella pen
subtle but nice.

In other news - I have been to the end of the UK and back

 Here I am at the very edge of Hermaness wildlife reserve which is the most northerly tip of Unst, the most northerly island of Shetland which is the most north that the UK gets
the next latitude up is the Arctic Circle.
(Just behind me in the first photo are lots of puffins and guillemots apparently but you could only see a few metres in front of your nose that day)
I have been on my epic journey from Torquay to Holy Island onto Shetland and back. I have been welcomed by good friends and chatted to strangers. I have travelled by train (really want to do the Tay Bridge by train again - that was awesome), ferry (12 hour crossing to Shetland plus 2 ferries to get to Unst!), taxi, plane and coach. I am still trying to get my head round it all and really rather wishing I could do it all over again. But I have more adventures on my Sabbatical to come!

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Card a doodle doo!

This week on Daring Cardmakers the wonderful Leo asked us to get all doodly
Here is my card
 This card came about kind of backwards. I decided to paint in some tulips and just used paint, without outlining first. There were only going to be three to start with but then I got carried away. I had fun experimenting with my dye watercolour paints. I have the set here although mine don't look quite so childish in terms of packaging! I only used two colours for the tulips - and mostly just one really, simply varying the amount of water I added each time.I did use watercolour card to paint on.
Then I painted in some stems.
When they were dry I used a thin water brush pen to add the sentiment, using the black dye ink from the same set.
A wash of blue round the edge and I was done.
Only it didn't seem that doodly so I added the swirls and stripes and outlined with black pen after all!
A backing paper in green and a tiny strip of black white stripe paper and job done.
Well apart from the must use at the moment black gems to fill in some of the space!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Bon Voyage

Well I hope that by the time you read this I will be somewhere that is not home and hopefully where I shoud be at that stage in the proceedings.
I am taking some watercolour pencils and dye paint in a small palette with me but that is all the crafting stuff I will have available. I am supposed to be focussing on the outer journey of travelling to new places and the inner journey of travelling nearer to God. Lets hope it all works ok....
When days are like today I do question why I am going anywhere

(less than 5 minutes walk from our house)

Still it is all about learning and growing and being challenged.
Funnily enough I was on the Downs there reading a spiritual book and trying an exercise called "Palms down, palms up". You first pray silently, with palms down, asking God to take away pressures, anxieties etc. I shared my nervousness about my journey and into my head came the realisation that I had not downloaded the details for my overnight stay in Aberdeen. I quickly wrote a note on my palm up and said a big thank you. (Especially as I would have been looking for a Travelodge and not a Premier Inn...)

This being Friday it is a Daring Cardmakers day. The lovely Beckie gave us quite a challenge: Man oh man -
'Make a shaped card with a male theme ...
there must be a 2 and a 1 on it'
"Man oh man" I said. Having already made - and delivered my Father's Day card for this year I went for a male birthday card. I had a feeling that I still had an Echo Park Times and Seasons sticker sheet somewhere that would go with the Authentique paper pad I had already begun to cut up. Amazingly there was a sticker with a 2 and a 1 on it. So that went onto the card
I made a shaped card using nestability Label dies, simply folding and sticking the back panel to the front. I die cut the papers to match the shapes. The red panel is lifted up with foam dots, as is the cute moustache. "Celebrate" is from the Little B Block Out set that I bought at a craft show in Taunton last week. I cut it from cream and green card and then stuck the cream letters into the green panel which also had its corners rounded.

I've been busy playing with the latest Quirky Kits. 
I think this is my most favouritest one ever. Although I have a feeling I say that every time!
Here are the three layouts that are up on the blog so far - go and have a look there for the details

 I'm still deciding if I will take my Netbook - if not I will see you in just under 2 weeks :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The sound of fingers drumming, teeth clenching, knees knocking....

for tomorrow we ride.....

Well, tomorrow I get on a train and begin my "pilgrimage". I'm only going as far as Lindisfarne tomorrow and it isn't that big a deal - get a train at Newton Abbot. Get off train in Berwick upon Tweed. Meet lovely friend who will drive me over to the Island. But even that raises my anxiety levels. And when I realised that Phil could not simply drop me off at the station in good time - well I went into complete panic mode (as that is what travelling does to me). It is ok. He will drop me at his church (which is 5 minutes walk from the station)  3 hours early and it will be fine.
I expect I will be at the station 40 minutes early anyway. Just in case.
I hate feeling like this which is why I put myself through it in a "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" kind of way. And having to put  my trust and faith in God. And myself. And know that it will be ok and if I just relax I will enjoy myself.

Plus I will be visiting some of the most beautiful places in the world with some of the loveliest people. And I am practicing mindfulness and everything....

But I still probably won't sleep tonight.

Instead let me share some of the scrapping I have done recently
Well maybe just a bit as I have discovered that I haven't blogged much of it at all!
Just in time this is the last layout for our holiday 2013 album.
I was insprired by Glitter Girl's video about filling up frames.
I bought the Fancy Pants "Collecting Moments" kit last year as well as lots of embellishments to match. I have to say that most of the colours in it are fab - blues, greens, orangey gold - all good, but there is a salmony pink that I really dislike. So haven't bought the whole caboodle I haven't used it much.
Hence, I think everything on this page is from that line! (Apart from the wooden arrows)
I trimmed lots of different strips to layer and also used a new frame die.
I have a feeling that I have used this title before but as there was a little card in the embellishmet set with "walk" written on it, I just had to use it again. The journalling is kind of hidden but you could lift up the flowers to read it if you really want to




In looking through the layouts to share I have discovered that for some reason I seem to equate my dog with yellow paint....
 
 This was one of those layouts where I just had fun splashing things about! 
The papers are a combination of Fancy Pants Wonderful Day and American Crafts Amy Tan Plus One.

The background was made using embossing paste, distress ink and stencils by Balzer Designs. 
Lots of black pen and layering and little details


 

And this one
 This uses some gorgeous Koh i Noor watercolour dyes. They are extremely vivid as you can tell. I added some stamping in white just to give extra dimension. The papers are Fancy Pants Nautical but there are a few other bits and bobs from stash as well - including a Love Elsie swirly thing

I tried the scripty writing again. Phil still hates it!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Unwinding?

says I, almost a week into my Sabbatical.
(One of the things I am doing is trying to express myself in an arty way when I am not really an artist, just giving it a bash and hoping to learn via mistakes. This is done with Inktense pencils) (And a brush pen. Phil hates it when I use a brush pen "looks like you held the pen with your foot" he says. I like the wobbly writing aesthetic myself).

For someone for whom this is oh so true
I have done a remarkable amount of washing and ironing and putting away and sorting this week. I have the chance to be still and am fidgeting about like anything.

But more on that later...
first it is Friday and that means Daring Cardmakers Day! And it is the first Friday of the month which means there is a colour challenge
I knew exactly what I wanted to do and also had the perfect 6x6 paper pad to go with it - Basic Grey Wisteria.
Except
1) I don't anymore. It was either all used up (I did like it) or went in the great purge of 2012 when we moved
AND
2) the colours that you see above are not the colours I saw on my screen or printed out. I saw a lot more brown and cream and a darker purple

So this is what I came up with after searching through every single piece of paper that I own - because I don't have much purple
Some purple and lilac cardstock; a brown paper from Costco, die cut into a feather shape, stamped with PTI ink dots, emboseed and then covered in glue and mica flakes; some Pink Paislee embossed card stock inked with Distress Ink and die cut; some cream cardstock embossed with a Maggie Holmes folder; some lace and a love die cut covered in mica flakes. (Dies are all Clearly Besotted)
Oh and some pearls
And some very old letter stickers. No-one can tell that the last letter is actually an "n" because of my two sets of these stickers I have used all 24 "h"'s but still have many vowels left so don't want to discard them, can they?
Good.

So what have I done this week apart from nesting? Well I have started thinking about pilgrimage - I read a murder mystery which included the Pilgrim's Prayer from those travelling to Santiago de Compostela which I thought I ought to have in the beginning of my watercolour journal
(that is supposed to be the Pilgrim's shell - a sign that you are a pilgrim).

Then in my diary journal I have prepared some pages and written reflections of my day

I suspect I will end up adding black pen to all of them as I prefer that. Might be something to do on the long ferry ride I have coming up




And I have also begun reading a book on mindfulness and trying out the exercises in my other journal

Why have one journal when you can have three on the go - that is what I say.



And then there is the layout hinted at earlier
Here is one of those lovely subconscious things. I had decided that I wanted to use Basic Grey lollipop shoppe papers with this photo because they are fun and colourful and I still had a lot left despite them being just about the first set of scrapbooking papers I ever bought. And it took until I was sticking everything down to realise just what a perfect match the colours are. Wierd eh?

The backround paper is Heidi Swapp resist which I gave a wash of pink distress ink to and added lots of splodges of black ink and distressed everything to the hilt, adding some Kaisercraft stamps in as well.
I die cut some leaves using some Clearly Besotted dies and glitter paper. Some of the leaves were colour green using a Chalk mist.
Random different letters/words for the title (including some Tim Holtz word fetti stuff) and some October Afternoon stickers, some gems and enamel hearts and I was done.
And so is this epic post!