Friday, August 31, 2007

Work is hard

when you have been on holiday. And I haven't even started school day timings yet - eek!
It is good though. Although as I have two services this Sunday I have to be disciplined about getting things done. And discipline is one of the spiritual gifts that I need to work on...
I have been hospital visiting amongst other things this morning. We have a lovely bright new hospital with someone playing piano in the atrium. BUT there is no way to get to the wards except by lift unless you are a member of staff. I always take the stairs in the hospital - its the only exercise I get! Still it is nicer than the former workhouse of old. It was lunch time and the person I was visiting had vegetarian. I think I would need food parcels....

I ought to clear up that I didn't do all of the journalling by hand on yesterday's layout! The little words poking out from the waves are printed. The more wobbly writing elsewhere is mine!

Today I set the dare for Daring Card Makers and tried to be clever with a cryptic clue. Lets just say I am not that clever...
A trio of Welsh Barbers means - use 3 die cuts on your card.

IN Wales (apparently) as all the men had the same few first names but also same few last names (thanks to the English imposing last names on us when being known as Tomos ap Rhys, or Tom the son of Rees worked quite well for hundreds of years) - there were lots of men with the same names which could cause mistakes so men were known by the job they did - Jones the milk, Jones the train, Jones the barber etc and Dai is the Welsh shortened version of David OR Davies as in South Wales a lot of boys have nicknames to do with their surnames rather than their first names.
So its... 3 Dai (Die) Cuts.
Ever wish you hadn't started something?

However the results by the team are great! I love seeing all the variety of takes on a dare. I tend to use 3's of things a lot - especially matching ones so I challenged myself to use three different die cuts.
My first card was my normal dare style of white square card though.

I used the August Self Addressed kit. Yummy! Some of the papers have a sheen as well.
The die cuts are all Quickutz - the two cakes and the spoon. I also used a few circle punches, computer printed sentiment and white brads.

So I agave myself an extra challenge of a non white non square card. This one was from the SA kit too and uses the same papers and ribbons.
Apart from the yellow card which I have loads of but don't know where from! The star, candle and photo fastener thingy are QK dies. The photo corner is hand cut and the other corner is a punched square with a scallop edge. The swirls were done using the little doodle template from last months SA kit.

And now... back to service prep! Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Salt Water

Well service sheet and order are done for first service - "sermon" is percolating and will do the powerpoint presentation in a minute.
Blazers and new shoes bought (faint). Wasn't needed at Imagine That but had the torture of seeing the new Basic Grey stuff come into the shop but not ready to be sold yet. I want some 6x6 pads NOW!!! (stamps foot). But I can be strong. I have willpower.
Yeah right.

Last night we had a "lovely" meal at Nando's (not my fave place) followed by a Dr Who double bill. It looks like we are still expected to watch an episode a night until school starts... I also booked next years holiday - Eurocamp were giving 10% discount before August 31st. Only when I asked the site we are going to is not covered so I could have waited! We are back to camping as it is cheaper - but a fixed tent not our own. We are going to Waassenaarrr (not all those letters are correct) in Holland as the site is next to a huge water park which will suit moody teenagers. I have never booked a hol so early before. We are going the day after the GSCE results are out as we were away to hear about Hywel's French and still don't know how he did.

Today was Salt faith challenge launch day. The two weeks seem to fly by! I am thrilled and awed by the work we are doing I have to say. It is a great way to combine faith and creativity. Esther chose the theme of...

Water is such an important element in our lives, we can't live without it, just like our Lord and Saviour!

And here is my layout
It is 12x12 using Scenic Route Metropolis papers. I took the photo last year to prove I was paddling in the sea and for some reason had it printed up at Photobox. Now I know why...
The words are from Isaiah 43 as interpreted in a song apart from the journalling spot which says
I tried to copy the printed "journalling hand" font. It is quite a lot of fun to try and write in different styles. Maybe I have a future career in forgery. Or not...
I urge you to go and visit Salt to see all the wonderful interpretations of the challenge there are there.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In denial?

You know I am 25, right?
Most people think I am about 25 and inside I usually feel about 25.
I now have a son who is 15.
OK, so he too looks younger than his age (but is now taller than me, yippee!)
And truthfully, my body is more like that of a 40 something who has had 3 children all in different and in shape changing ways. (well not out of normal different like out of my nose or anything but as Carys used to tell everyone "H was cut out, E was pulled out and I came out by myself" Yeah, with a little help from your mother, girlie)

15 though, that is like old. That is two years from being able to drive and three from being able to vote old. And if he is old - what does that make me?
But although it is tempting to stay in denial I just love the young man he is growing to be in front of my eyes so if I can accept that he is 15 then I just have to accept that I am 36.
OK, sorry, 42.

Here is Hywel 18 months ago - aw so cwute.
Here Hywel is today in his birthday hat. Everyone needs a birthday hat. We love to buy presents from Poundland. "It's tradition" as the kids would say. And he has worn the hat most of the day! I just love the way he looks so different. He wants to grow his hair again. I have just hacked his brothers but H actually suits long hair I think. Oh and he liked the card but I have forgotten to photograph it. It is cwute too.

And now for the promised layout - the last one in the Scotland 2006 album. I knew what I was going to do for this ages ago but wanted to make it last especially as it meant I had more of these at my disposal...
And yes that is one of the Utee letters that caused me so much pain. But it was (almost) worth it. Utee'd chipboard just looks so lush
Christina Cole paper, a circle punch, "day" is MM kraft stickers and the rest are from my huge pile of alphabets. Do you know I had loads of "z's" to choose from? I think it is a great way of using up those letters that often feel so lonely at the end of the packet!

Tomorrow (well today as it has just hit midnight) I start back to work. Fun work to begin as I am teaching at Imagine That but it is full metal service preparation in the afternoon and evening. But for tonight, I am still in denial about THAT!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

There's nothing like your own loo seat

So says the Revd Dr David Pickering and I happen to agree with him. Hols are great - and this one was terrific - but your own loo and bed - can't beat 'em.
I'm not going to bore you with all the details now. Just will say that if you ever have the chance of a holiday on the coast near Glasgow - then go. When we were driving there through some run down suburbs I was beginning to panic, but it was so, so beautiful. Wemyss Bay is a ferry port and there are lots of other ferries around so most of the photos of the sea have ferrries on them
We did the outdoors thing, we did the cinema thing, we took along two box sets of Dr Who and watched at least one episode a night. Hywel had to tell Phil to stop playing on the Wii at midnight because he couldn't sleep through it (guess who got addicted to Wii tennis?). Ah, happy days. And I know my kids are older now but even so - 10 hours(including stops) travelling there and back without any arguments at all and I am dead proud of them.

I'll just catch up with the darey stuff now in case you were itching to know what I used.
I didn't do last weeks Daring Cardmakers - although as I took some craft stuff with me and used some buttons maybe I'll upload a late entry tomorrow! (Made over 60 cards in the end)But the week before was frills and what a (cough) frill it was to make.
The paper is all 7 Gypsies Hudson Valley. The card was enormously 3d thanks to my failure to work out how to do a flat frill! On top I stuck a scallop punched circle and another circle and a flower and a gorgeous gem brad. I found someone to hand deliver it too!

The second Salt challenge has appeared as well. I love seeing the wide range of ways we express our faith. Casey chose the theme

I have chosen the theme "Life to the Full." This theme comes from the verse John 10:10b where Jesus says that He has come so we may have life and have it to the full (or in abundance)!

So, we would really love to see your take on this challenge of what
"Life to the full- in Christ" means for you.

I have to say that this is one of my most favouritest layouts what I have done. I just love the colours of the piggy tales papers and the way that it all came together. Some of those Doodlebug buttons came with dots on and some didn't - can you spot which?

I did also finish that last layout for the Scotland 2006 album - but I haven't photographed it yet. I wasn't going to do another holiday album but having looked at all the holiday shots I keep coming up with ideas so I might do one after all. Am I brave enough for a 12x12 all to itself?
Right it is now 10:30, it is Hywel's birthday tomorrow and there is the little matter of a card to make...

Saturday, August 11, 2007


tablets are good...
but if I don't make much sense you will know why!
interestingly I first spasmed not long after uteeing some chipboard letters. by the evening (thanks to the happy pills) I felt well enough to think about crafting in front of the telly. Picked up the letters and 5 minutes later - WHAM! spasm number two - do you think the letters don't want to be used?

So what to catch up on?
We have the kids back! Looking grown up (and greasy in terms of the boys)

We met in Wootton Bassett which is almost exactly half way between Swansea and Upminster. mum and Dad were off to Chester to the Eisteddfod - the Welsh annual cultural festival, taking place nearby (in Wales though obviously!)
they are such complete stars - and also were full of praise for the kids too which is always lovely to hear.

SO my Daring Card this week was actually done early - just as well as it turns out
This weeks Dare is set by Tracie (Bondgirl) and is titled Photo Finish.... This week I want you to make a card for any occasion but it must include a photograph somewhere! The photo subject can be people, items, locations, flowers, absolutely anything so get snapping. Dont forget to check copyright if you are using someone elses photographs in your art work
I used a photo I took last summer. I took two of this butterfly in quick succession and thanks to the rather lovely auto function on my camera - both turned out beautifully.
I did wonder what paper to use that wouldn't detract from the photo but once more those Basic Grey 6x6 pads turned up trumps. these papers are Perhaps and I am in awe of the way that the green mat is almost the exact shade of the green in the photo. It's the little things that please me! the sentiment is safmat over some of the photo that I trimmed down. I think this would also make a good sympathy card (different sentiment obviously!) and as it is my image I can use it over and over!

I also made the penultimate page for my Scotland 2006 album.
Now I just bought the perfect papers for this page. I bought a white/black/grey pad. I shared it with Kathy, Susan and Anita. Could I find the paper? No. SO this is Christina Cole papers but they are good too.
Black Bazzill cut 8x8.
The bottom is cut in a scallop.
Some cow print ribbon from an old kit (its stopped now - sob!)
hand cut arrow
punched circles from left over Bazzill
Cow? is American Crafts thickersjournalling written using a sharpie pen
Auntie Sarahs bloomers
small brads are Bazzill I think
large brads are from my scrapbooking castle prize from the Just Bex forum.
I'm going to give the last page a try tonight from the sofa - I won't let the UTEE beat me!
We will be spending some time creating more memories so I will see you in a while

Friday, August 10, 2007


remember bad back from earlier post? went into spasm today. Can now walk but mustn't stay on computer. Hope to be back online before hols.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Phew what a scorcher!

It has been lovely in this part of the world over the last few days. It has even been too hot to be in the conservatory. I have actually spent a few hours outside (mostly in the shade but hey!). The weekend has involved worship, card making club, crafty time and sorting out the boys room. 6 bin bags and a very sore back later and it is still a tip! I think it will be a work in progress for a while. Hywel has lost his DS and I keep hoping I will find it but so far no good. Which is a shame as it is a life saver on holiday.

I have suddenly realised that we go away next week and I haven't finished scrapping last years hols yet! So I did a quick double layout and now there is only room for two more pages and I know what they are going to be. But I also have oodles of other crafty projects to do as well! Never mind working and packing! I don't know that I will do another holiday album - I prefer to stick all my memories together in one book, jumbled up like - but we shall see! When it is done I will have completed two 8x8 albums (both extended) and 1 12x12 (unextendable alas) and be part way through another 12x12 and an 8.5x11. Not bad for a year - and someone who was never going to scrapbook as EVERYONE reminds me (well not the postman but then he doesn't know me very well)

The layout is fairly plain to let the pictures speak. I like to think of this as Ali Edwards style but that does sound a tad pretentious! The papers used are Scrapworks Ethan Kate Casuals which go well with nature photos I think (used them before that way!)
The letter stickers are Crate Paper Cowboy but the match is n'ae bad (just practicing for next week). The little letter stickers are from the QVC card and scrapbook kit in a box from last year - and I covered them with glitter glue. Just add some sticky ribbon - also stickled to death and some buttons with - yup - stickles underneath! finally some teeny, weeny bling.

We went to Mabie forest twice and it was so beautiful there. I have far more photos of it that I can scrap! including photos of some of the poems dotted around the woods too. Off for a bit more crafting before my back seizes up.

And - only one more full day without the children - I can't wait to see them!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Harping about

its hard physical work you know playing the harp. First you have to lug it about (or find at least one person to help you). Then you have to pluck the strings. Now if you are good and practice all the time then you get nice tough finger tips. But if like me, you play as little as possible then you have to grow blisters on your blisters until it goes hard again. And you also have to move the pedals which can make your legs ache - plus it is better in high heels which make my back ache (maybe they could make high heel crocs? they do platform ones). AND you have to add in the fear factor. When I am nervous I seize up, which means when I relax again I get all crampy. And I was nervous yesterday.

Still... not too many wrong notes, people talking over me (which I prefer to listening) and a bit of crafty money to spe.... oh no I already bought a bind it all with the money! And more importantly the bride and groom looked radiant.

On a side note I do wish that Registrars would get a little training in how to deliver their words better. The woman yesterday was lovely, but didn't have much of a sense of phrasing and a rather harsh tone to her voice. Things that can be worked on! I guess I do so much public speaking I am a bit critical. I know, I will put voice trainer and registrar of births, marriages and deaths on my list of jobs I might do if I wasn't a Minister.

I once again just made it under the wire for the Daring Cardmakers this week. Slight irony as the theme is Time...
Hi there, It's me, Kathy, here to dare you this week;
OK, Absolutely anything goes this week as long as it's on the theme of TIME. "It's About Time" So you can use clocks, calendars, quotes, sayings, pictures, nursery rhymes, or altered art-type stuff, whatever takes your fancy - just take some time out to play and have some fun; remember, time flies when you're having fun!

I did manage to make this last night but then it was dark so couldn't photograph it until today.
All the paper is Scenic Route. The clock face is a digital design by Paula Healey
The heart and wings are the same image cut apart from I made this today
the font is Barbara Hand.
All those items were printed out on acetate which adhered beautifully to the paper with Pritt Stick and so far it is still stuck down today! "love" has a layer of stickles underneath. The just lots of inking, outlining and layering. Plus a bloom and my LAST red poundland bling (sob!). I know a couple celebrating their ruby wedding so that is why the gem is red. The rest of the card is on the ruby grapefruit side of ruby - but then they will probably be fed up with red!

Phil has gone to visit his mum today as she has some remedial work to do following the flood so there ain't nobody here but us chickens!

Thanks for all your kind comments about Salt. We have had a few teething problems but at least now we can all see the banner and all the creations. I'm sure it will help us all to explore and deepen our faith. Talking of which I have a sermon slot to prepare!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A new endeavour!


I am part of a new and incredible group of women that I call the Saltinies. We have come together because of our love of Jesus and our love of playing with paper and glue! We are going to produce faith challenges every two weeks - they can be cards or layouts or whatever - if you look at the blog you will see the range is incredible.
We are from the UK, The US, Australia and Canada. Which I think means we are hardly ever awake all at the same time, but also means that our prayer and praise just keeps going over 24 hours!
Whether you are a person of faith or not, please come and see the work that we have done - yup some shameless plugging and begging here.

And the first challenge is...
Express your praise to God in whatever way you choose.
Praise is such a wonderful word. We give praise to people - especially children when they have done something that makes us proud and pleases us. We give praise to God because he has done everything for us and we are proud to be his children.

Here is mine...
It started life as something in my faith art journal - yup the one with 4 pages done... The Psalms are from the Message translation. I love Psalms because they are raw and honest and can moan for Britain (well Israel I suppose) but when they praise God they really do. And the Message brings those words to life
It is kind of 8.5x11 size but when I started cutting the "rays" out I liked the overhang. So if won't fit in a scrapbook now...
Papers are Christina Cole, Prima (shared by the lovely Kathy B) and Basic Grey.
The centre circle is cut on the Craft Robo - although my circles come out as ovals! and is painted with dye paint which is so lovely and vibrant.
The letters are Scenic Route chipboard (a pressie from Gillian H) which I covered in black utee on the final coat. I think they look amazing!
then just added some buttons, primas, that poundland bling, and some sequins, plus 3 kinds of stickles and there you have it

Well I am playing the harp at someones wedding this afternoon. I hate playing the harp in public and am trying to remember why I said yes....