Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Some musical interludes

Once more I have been dismally failing to keep my blog up to speed.
That is due to either being very busy, health issues or having fun!

Health - between having another mole removed; blood tests to check if my thyroid medication is the right strength and issues with my teeth - I'm fine!

Work - just always busy in different ways

Having fun - much nicer to talk about.
A week last Saturday I went to two concerts! one was in my church in aid of Save the Children and there was a good mix of different instruments and styles. It was also the day of the first (and maybe last?) Yellowfest music festival held at Torquay United football ground - which is 10 minutes walk from my house. The main acts were Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford from Squeeze and 10CC. Squeeze were a favourite when I was young and 10CC when I was even younger so a group of us went along. We bumped into a bunch of old guys on our way in - they were going one way and we were going another and did the sidestep dance. Turns out that was 10CC (v. embarrassing). Squeeze were good - although it was just the two of them on guitars, and they played some newer solo stuff too. 10CC were just awesome. In both cases they were all well into their late 50's and 60's and it was inspiring to see the love of making music hasn't left them.

This Saturday was Phil's birthday - we arranged to go out for lunch as there was another concert booked at church for the evening and I was doing the raffle (a first for me!). We walked down to the Cary Arms, a local pub/hotel right by the sea.
Birthday boy enjoying his birthday pint :)
A bit more of the view from the terrace. We live a street back from the white houses to the left of the rock fall.
After a delicious meal we walked along to the other cove (the one you can see in the picture) That is Oddicombe beach and so where we live should be called Oddicombe. Obviously people  preferred Babbacombe for some reason. It was quite warm anyway but Oddicombe is sheltered so we sat and had an icecream. I had just bought a new £7 sunhat to go with my £4 sunglasses...
We then had the extra treat of the Cliff Railway back to the top. It is a very steep walk otherwise (and we were full of food)
The evening concert had been cancelled so we biked over to Dartmouth for the music festival, to listen to a group called Wildwood Kin. Who are very good. (I say "biked over" so casually. It was sensible to go on the motorbike but I absolutely hate it. I was screaming "nooooooo" in my head most of the way there....)

Enough of your wittering, show us the cards I hear you say.
Or not.
Two weeks ago the theme for Daring Cardmakers was Doors, with the idea of having an opening door on our cards.
I made a card for a family who will be moving away to an exciting new adventure quite soon
On the front I used some Cricut gold self adhesive glitter card with a Paper Smooches die and an alphabet die. The middle of one of the "o"s became the door knob. I also stamped the rest of the sentiment using the Milo alphabet and white embossing powder. The papers are very old My Minds Eye
Here is the inside of the door. This sentiment was stamped with Delicta gold ink and clear embossing powder. The Christian fish symbol started life as a breast cancer hope one but they are very similar!
Then on the inside of the card
I wrote this with an embossing pen and added tinsel gold embossing powder but that didn't work too well so I went over the outline with gold krylon as well.

This week we made monochromatic cards based on the colours of the rainbow. I have to say that the blog looks so pretty :)

I bought some new shaker dies from Clearly Besotted and made this cheerful card for my lovely husband
Although I made a bit of a dogs dinner of it all...
I pulled out lots of different yellow papers and also inked up the white card in yellow distress inks.
What I should have done is die cut the "star" bit out of a large piece of paper. Instead I cut it from a smaller one and used another star die cut around it (from Spellbinders), using the larger star to cut acetate from as well. All of that was straightforward, it was the fiddly little bits of foam tape that was difficult. I thought I had just about got it all around, but then I filled the star with big beads and also some micro beads. Which all fell out again. You can just about see some of them left here
(right on the very edges of the star) but every time I moved it more came out. Ah well - I share my mistakes so you don't have to do them :)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Bank Holiday washout

I was hoping to have a crafting bonanza this weekend seeing as it was (Inter) national scrapbooking day.
But no.
Friday was filled with the sorts of things a day gets filled with right before a building project and then a little bit more. If you are a Church related blog reader rather than a crafty one (or both!) then my tip is - get a Project Manager - worth every penny. I think I would have exploded with stress without one :)

All of which meant that most of Saturday was taken up with work and by the time I had finished I had no hywl left at all. If you don't know what that means, allow me to quote from The Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (the big dictionary of Welsh recently published by the University of Wales) 
Hywl: A healthy physical or mental condition, good form, one’s right senses, wits; tune (of a musical instrument); temper, mood, frame of mind; nature, disposition; degree of success achieved in the execution of a particular task &c; fervour (esp religious), ecstasy, unction, gusto, zest; characteristic musical intonation or sing-song cadence formerly much in vogue in the perorations of the Welsh pulpit.

Yea, I had none of that.
Sunday afternoon's just a bit of planning for the youth group and then crafting actually turned into mostly planning and a little crafting. I've had a little time today although it has mostly involved a misty walk around Shaldon and Teignmouth. Lovely, lovely, lovely even in the mist although when we walked over the Shaldon bridge the estuary tide was out. We walked for aaaaaaages, right from the top of the car park in Shaldon, did the whole of the Ness beach through the Smugglers Tunnel and back; through Shaldon, across the bridge, on a little path that winds round the sea/traintrack right almost through until the train tunnel stops play at the other end of Teignmouth. And almost back again except we cheated and got the little ferry across the channel. We now have a very tired old dog. And two almost as tired old owners :)
That is the ferry across with the bridge we walked over to the far right. What a lovely boat eh?
The cliff on the far left is one side of The Ness cove (tunnel is through that I think!)
Proof that we were really there (you see this from the train. In the picture above this one, you see the walkway on the right and then a cliff? In between is the train track. It is an awesome run up country along the coast just here)
Tired dog availing herself of water in the "O"
The old codgers. I like this photo so expect to see it on a layout soon.

What we discovered was that the really nice places to eat are in Shaldon so we shall do this backwards another time. All of this is 15 minutes drive from our house. Just fab.

All of which is a long introduction to my Daring Card this week. May already! And it was my turn to choose a pictoral inspiration which turned out to be sadly in keeping with the weather just now.
I was inspired by the colours, the little handdrawn houses, the large amount of green and the kite on the string.
I used an Echo Park paper pad (Here and Now) which had almost the exact shades of papers all together.  Result! I added an embossing folder background to a white panel (which i had already drawn the black lines onto) and hand cut all the elements from different papers. I also used some new Lawn Fawn alphabet dies and some bakers twine for the string. Pretty basic lift really - some of the team have gone for more sophisticated take than me but I'm still happy with what I have done.
Here is hoping I have more craft time/better weather soon :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

If at first you don't succeed...

go and have a glass of wine or cry in a darkened room.
those are my two preferred options but sometimes I put my big girl pants on and just deal with it.
Case in point is my card for this weeks Daring Cardmakers where the theme is Under the Weather and we were to make weather themed get well cards
 I made this card - it had clouds and sunshine and a rainbow and it was a shaker card (the most successful I had ever made)
It is ok, not bad even but I was left feeling well, meh.
So I decided to suck it up and make another card
sooo much better. I used lots of lovely patterns from a Pink Paislee 6x6 pad (the same one my teamie Nat used) and a set of Sending Sunshine dies. The remake has a lot of Papermania coloured cardstock and a Paper Smooches larger rainbow and it just works much better.
here's a little close up of the vellum clouds which I love (show off)

I've made a couple of layouts recently.
The last for my Sabbatical album

This one uses some old Cosmo Cricket papers and die cuts along with some chipboard clouds and a few leftovers from old Quirky Kits (the butterfly sticker and the ampersand badge)
 I now own some greaseproof type paper that makes using this doily die a breeze!
I love these clouds so much. Cathrine ought to be impressed that I used three on a layout about her. Or not...

And this one uses the so awesome DIY Boutique by Simple Stories, some Lawn Fawn sparklies and some vellum...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Since last we met...

  • I have celebrated Easter
  • Driven for 13 hours on one day (it did include a bonus 3 hour round trip because my luggage had been deposited at my sons house in Middlesbrough when I needed it in Bradford)
  • Drove from Bradford to Swansea (another fun filled 6 hour) to spend some lovely days with my parents and catch up with my school friends. It is a bonus that they are all in the same place :)
  • Had a Sunday off and went to worship in a Church in Plymouth where a previous Minister has etched all the windows. Puts my crafting endeavours into a cocked hat (whatever that means). Phil was asked to take photos of them and I went along for the ride. Apparently they are not easy to photograph but he did a great job.
We then had another Prezzo meal to use up our Tesco vouchers (its a hard life), during which the mild toothache I had been experiencing over a few weeks developed into something nasty....
  • Spent the next few days were either drug or pain fuelled due to a nasty abcess. Much better now!
And that is my fortnight...
I am only behind one Daring Card so quite a result really.
Last week the nice as pie Jo chose the theme "I like pie"  and we had to take our inspiration from all those Maths diagrams we used at school and use a pie chart or other mathematical diagram (venn diagrams, bar charts, graph etc ) on our cards.
The problem with coming late to the party is that all the pies were taken so I decided to be brave and attempt a graph. This will do for our wedding anniversary in May...
 I had saved the words on the left from a cut apart sheet from the last Quirky Kit as I love the phrase. I cut it down a bit and went over the words with white pen as it was rather more cream initially and they STILL don't make cream pens (wish they would). Using some black paper and a white chalkboard pen (again from a Quirky Kit) I made a simple graph. I decided to add some sparkly hearts (cut two sizes from cream glitter card and brushed the edges with Distress Ink). I layered some Prima Papers, all inked with Vintage Photo; a Studio Calico arrow and some Freckled Fawn sequins.
This week Nat shared her love obsession with Arrow. It is a good show I have to say with humour; twists; a mighty fine lead and enough campness to keep me happy. Its a bit like original Batman really (which I love), although Oliver Queen has a better physique... (I watch it for the art, honest)
So we were challenged to come up with Arrow themed cards - do look on the blog for some cool links and inspiration.

I kept it quite simple. The Studio Calico arrows are a perfect colour match to my beloved 8x8 October Afternoon Midway 8x8 pad. I cut some of the papers and gave some Black Soot inking. That also featured on the Simple Stories letters but I kept my Clearly Besotted birthday die cut clean and clear. It was done in a Flash (oops wrong show)

I made a few more cards this week using Simple Stories papers and stickers from the DIY collection.

This one makes me smile most

I think because this
reminds me of this

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Lent is over, the tomb is empty, angels are singing and Jesus is being recognised/not recognised all at the same time.
I just made a few cards this year - it is a rather busy time for me :) They are both copies/interpretations of cards I saw on the internet but I can't find where they came from. They are not quite the same but the inspiration is clear so sorry to those whose ideas I have "cased"
 This one uses a sunray die cut and a spellbinders cross (with glamour dust accents). The sentiment is from Paper Smooches Easter Blessings
 The original of this card was more artsy and beautiful but I still like the simple distress ink background. Again all the stamps are from Paper Smooches. I added a small sparkly punched heart and backed the piece with card embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

This Friday, as well as being Good Friday was the first of the month so it was time for an Elemental Inspiration over at Daring Cardmakers. We have the fabulous Enfys Cashmore as a Guest Designer this month, so do visit the blog to see her beautiful card alongside the Design Team.
Here is the picture we were to take at least 3 elements from
and here is my card
a bit more vibrant than the original, but i just had to use my brand new Mermaid Lagoon distress ink pad. Oh what a lovely colour. (I'm not sure about this month's Grubby Yellow or whatever it is really called. I have a feeling I will end up buying it anyway as I am weak). A dotty stencil and white texture paste were used to add the polka dots from the paper cup
I used a WPlus9 flower stamp set and Antique Linen distress ink on watercolour paper, colouring the images with my Gabai watercolour set. I am very heavy handed with watercolours so lost all the details, so I put some back with a gold pen. I hand cut the elements as I wanted them to have a narrow outline around them.
I added a scrap of white crochet lace and layered the flowers on top, using foam pads to give dimension. A Clearly Besotted sentiment was embossed with Tinselled Gold powder and anchored with a Prima gold dot.

Happy Easter :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Oh my days

I am a terrible Daring Cardmaker.
It was my week to set the dare and I haven't been around the blogs or commented let alone put anything here. So sorry everyone. And it was a challenge that everyone fulfilled perfectly. I should have thought that with last Friday being super busy  this week would only be more so. Not helped by the fact that I was distracted by having all my babies home, just for a week. They are all a bit under the weather though so the parents are trying to steer clear apart from feeding and washing and Game of Thrones.

I asked everyone to be inspired by Nat.
I have a wonderful bunch of talented team mates and I am in awe of their creativity. But I was a devoted fan of Nat even before she joined the team. We both used to subscribe to Self Addressed kits and I always loved to see what she created. As with everyone, her style has evolved over the years but has always had that elusive (to me!) stylish something. Here is my interpretation

It does feel a little "Single White Female" as I have used a paper pad that Nat herself has been using recently. In fairness, I bought it because I can FINALLY scrap some of my wedding photos. It seems to have taken 27 years for peach to come back into fashion (27 years married next month - ulp! that makes me sound seriously old). This time with GOLD!!!! (I'm loving gold so much it deserves the ott treatment)
I used the MME Fancy That papers and vellum die cut, which I backed with white card to make it show up better. I also used a paper pad with some pale cream patterns on - can't remember who by though. One of these was cut using a doily die and I also added some gold foil stripes to one of the others (gold foil plus extra sticky DST is becoming a bit of a habit). I thought it needed some gold Beadazzles but they went a bit wrong on the big flower. They could almost be lily stamen type things I guess. A Paper Smooches die provided the sentiment. This die cuts into 4 parts and is really fiddly btw...

I managed one whole card for the March UKS card challenge.
 which used a sketch
Yes I didn't even vary the element in it. Although my strip of paper was bigger...
The butterfly was engoldened (new word) by using a Stamp n bond powder and gold foil. I found I had mixed success and needed to reheat the glue quite a lot. Still it is kinda pretty.
I added more gold to the patterned paper behind it using a glue stick and gold Glamour Dust. The bottom corner swirl was already there but I tried doodling the one in the top corner.

Here is my Lent work book. I may have a bit of catching up to do in it... Easter Saturday is going to have to count as Lent for me
 I gessoed the cover and sprayed a variety of inks. I cut two Sizzix die panels in black and stamped Kaisercraft background stamps around the edge. A Docrafts deep embossing folder was used with vellum and I die cut the letters with two different alphas.

I am trying to do more fancy lettering. The backgrounds are done with Distress Ink

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Well at least the envelope arrived

because my mothers day card wasn't in it :(
Dad says it wasn't sealed at all. I am pretty sure I wouldn't make such a school boy error but who knows. Still because I had made it for a Dare at elast I could email her a photo of what it had looked like.

this is the card i sent to my Mother in Law
Vellum and sparkles and trying out my new embossing pen. Don't really like my handwriting embossed though. Will need to work on that I think. The butterflies are on watercolour paper and I now have the outside and inside butterfly dies which makes putting them together so much easier. This one arrived without a problem...

I am behind again with my Daring Cards so here is what I have been up to
Two weeks ago we had the Great Daring Cardmakers Bake Off.
I used some old QK dies and a newer candle one to make a cupcake. Everything was cut from watercolour paper so I could add paint including that rather awesome gold. (I am gold crazy at the moment I cannot lie). A Lawn Fawn (I think) die cut circle got the same treatment. And as everything looks better with a black outline I gave everything a black outline. I also made a watercolour background and then was very brave and tried out my fancy writing skills using black, white and (here is the important one) grey pens. The shadow of the light grey promarker just brings it to life, even if your "k"s are not very good!

Then this week it was all swings and roundabouts asking for cards with a bit of swing and a circle if poss. Well every time I started thinking about the card the song "would you like to swing on a star" popped into my head. And so here is my swinging star
Heidi Swapp papers; gold foil card die cut star; gold liquid pearls; gold foil on red tape; Imagine That stamps; a whole load of different circle dies; krylon pen
and just a bit of frustration when it wouldn't go right!

Busy week as ever but wanted to dash in a blog post before I had 3 weeks worth of cards to show. Laters :)