Friday, June 27, 2008

Just under 6 months to go

until Christmas!
I always think this is the best time of year for a birthday as it means you have equal time between presents (not that I am biased!)
But we have already had the longest day of the year - before summer has really started - and now nights are getting shorter. It always seems weird that to me! Surely the longest days should be in late July and August?
Another question to go on my long list of ones to ask when I get to heaven. It will have to be one of the last, in the trivial section - a bit like the light one they always have at the end of Any Questions on Radio 4. Just have to hope that God will come up with better answers than the panelists do. Being God, I guess that is a given really!

Why think about Christmas? BECAUSE I WAS FORCED TO!! (Regular readers will know that the build up to Christmas does not always see me in the best and most saintly of moods). The gorgeously talented Ms Jo Kill set this weeks Daring Cardmakers Dare to be ....
Christmas in June...
I would love this week for you all to make a Christmas card... (yes I know it is only June tee hee) With a nice Christmassy scene just to get us all in the festive spirit and to pave the way for all the cards that we have yet to make....
Although if I am really, really honest.
Just don't tell anyone...
I enjoyed making this cardMaybe it is because I try to have a religious significance to my cards in some way and this was an excuse to be more frivolous! The elephant is one of my fave stamps from StarvingArtist
His name is Percy (not my choice, all the characters are already named but Percy is cool!). Perce is painted and layered and I made him a little hat and gave him a dangly bauble to play with - not a glass one as he is rather clumsy! The bauble has a tiny bling gem on it. He has a nestie base and the papers are all from my BG Christmas paper pack. The template for the card is from the Papermaze blog. As is this one...

This was going to be a not Christmas card, but actually I don't think I can get away with it. I think I shall have to add a Christmas greeting - waddya think?
Red card base, same paper pack, green distress ink, button from stash mountain, paper flowers and a red punched one.

And here is a layout I have recently done using the photo I took to use on my last Salt laout and didn't (keep up, it does make sense!)

This was based on one of the Page Maps cards. I still love the book!
MOD papers (v. thin, don't buy), SU pink card, chipboard flowers covered in acrylic paint and glitter glaze, prima and other flowers, doodlebug and other buttons, Heidi Swapp little label thing (can you spot it?), stickles (LOADS of it but you probably need to click on the layout to see it close up) and some letters that came in a Costco kit. Now the letters were fairly dull so I went over the design in white pen and they are my fave bit of the LO now!

BTW I know I have three children and only seem to scrap one of them. It is part accident and part who is willing to pose. But I am imposing a ban on Miss C pages until her bro's have featured a bit more - promise!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday already?

How did that happen?
Life is going so fast at the moment.
So what have I been up to since Friday?
1: Church BBQ - we ate inside but it went well. Good day.
2: Sunday - bit fraught but ok in the end!
3: Monday - interviews for a top post in the church. Hard going. Mostly because we spent hours in a windowless room in the basement
4: Tuesday - 2 sessions off. Preparing for my mum to stay overnight (now left and ironing basket empty, thanks mum!) LOooooooooooooooong evening meeting.

So I have had some crafty time in the midst of all of that. I'll share a little of it today!
I managed a DCM Little Extra (we are running behind this week. Not just me finding time fly!)
6th Anniversary this week - Candy, Iron or Wood :)
I used a Papermaze blog template. You must see the templates and tutorials. The cards are so fab! And the templates are open enough for your imagination to fly.
OK "fly" is maybe a slight exaggeration for what I did! Here is the sketch

I used a cream A5 base and Infuse papers from the 6x6 pad by Basic Grey. I'm trying to get them used! Hand drawn heart, grosgrain ribbon and a lovely wooden house button. I coloured in the hearts with a Sakura glaze white pen. Adorn it letters finished it off. Loads of inking as well natch! How funny is it that the two DCM cards turned out to be new home ones!

I also did a 2Sketches4You template card this week. The sketches are soooooo cute. I'm not sure if I am allowed to copy the template here so go and have a look. Its worth it anyway as the cards are wow too!
I used another BG pad - this time the Figgy Pudding one. I love the way this card does not look Christmassy. I also used some lovely velvet ribbon, prima and Auntie Sarah's flowers and the brown one maybe Making Memroies - from a kit anyway, Bazzill buttons and Hobbycraft bling!

And finally for today - the card diva challenge on Scrapitude at the moment is for a frame card. I used me ol' Sizzix jelly fame; Cosmo Cricket Cogsmo papers, my trusty white pen and a dear little printable robot from Doodlydo
And finally
I've been tagged by the very lovely SueH so here goes

Ten Years Ago:

We were getting ready for Carys' second birthday (joint birthday , 4 days to go!). It was bittersweet as Phil's dad died on that day the year before - Phil was at his father's bedside on her first birthday which was tough in all sorts of ways. So although the children were looking forward to fun celebrations, for the adults it was tinged with remembering. It still is every year but not as pointed as that first one.

Generally speaking I was running round like a mad thing with a half time church and a 2, 4 and 6 year old to take care of. Life was busy but fun!

Five things in today's 'to do list':

1. Minister's letter

2. Phone to arrange meetings

3. Soup and cheese lunch at church

4. Put washing away

5. Filing!

Snacks I enjoy:
Ice cream
Rice sensations salt and vinegar pringles (has to be specific)

Things I would do if I was a millionaire:
It would solve the impending university crisis that looms in our house (not rich enough to pay it all for the kids, not poor enough to get that much financial help)
I would tithe it (give 10% away)
and probably do my job but not get paid for it. That is actually more difficult than it sounds with my job as there is a different category of Minister called "non stipendiary" and I don't want to be one of those so I might have to take the wages and then give it back.
This is what I always do with these sorts of questions, take it too seriously and work out all the problems.
I'm never going to be a millionaire!

Places I have lived:

Port Talbot, South Wales
Stoneleigh, Surrey,
Lancaster (for university)
Yardley Hastings (Northampton)

Who will I tag? Hmmm as I am one of the last to do this, if you haven't and you would like to - go for it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quick.... and crafty!

that was the challenge set by Tracie for the Daring Cardmakers this week. What a lot of fun it was!I set myself a triple dare for this.
1: Use Tracie's idea
I want you to make a QUICK CARD! a card that takes you no more than hmm say 30 minutes max to do - start to finish.
2: Use the stamp set that I won as Canne's blog candy (she has used the same stamps for a totally different effect - so cool!)
3: Make three different cards of increasing difficulty. Yes I've been reading Papercrafts latest issue

I actually made the middle level one first and then simplified it. The simple card took about 10 minutes to do!

The card stock is Kraft. Love Kraft card, still wish it was easier to find than just using 12x12 Bazzill. Kraft and white look so good together in my opinion! The card base is actually one of the Scenic Route papers that come in a pack with images on one side. I find it hard to work with flat images already on the paper so I'm happy to use them as card stock (and probably cover over the inside!)
The pp is SR Laurel.

SO for this card you need to
1: stamp your bird and colour in with white pen
2: punch out using purple square punch
3: stick to white card and trim
4: cut out pp
5: wrap ribbon round and knot.
6: Stamp "happy birthday" on white card. Cut out and stick on to Kraft scrap.
7: Stick pp to cardstock with foam squares
8: Stick bird image onto pp with foam squares.
9: Sit back and admire with a nice cup of tea (optional)

I was trying to do it fast and I don't think I could keep it up all day - but it was fun!

Card 2:
More Laurel paper. I love the the birds place on it way that inbetween the bight pinks and greens of this line comes red and black.
This time I stamped the birds on 2 different patterned papers as well as Kraft and added the wings. Love this look! they were mounted on dotty paper. Red paper was outlined and ribbon added with a faux knot. Birds put on top with foam squares. Happy birthday (bravely) stamped direct on the card. Should have used the stampamajig... I coloured in the little "i" with red.

And finally card 3
back to one bird but more complex layering.
I put the card through the swiss dots cuttlebug embossing folder. Red pp was given white centres to the flowers. This was stuck down and some black and white dotty ribbon added.
The stars on the other paper were given extra doodles. Same treatment for the home made photo corner and the stamped image square.
The bird was stamped twice on Kraft and raised with foam squares, with wings from the red pp, coloured with white pen. 3 gems finished it off.
I really must challenge myself like this again - it is a great idea for quick (ish) cards.
And the other bird images are just as cute!

Well Number 1 Son finished his GCSE's today.
How can that be?!!!!

Old woman signing off here!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


"its a beautiful day, the sun is shining, think I'll go and see my friend Big Ears"

ah looking at the sun outside reminded me of one of my favourite jokes of old. It is NOT one I can tell at Alpha this evening though. I think I'll use this one instead.

What did the inflatable head teacher of the inflatable school say to the naughty inflatable pupil holding a pin?

Answer later on.

Anyway I am rejoicing this morning. Not because I have a headache and a desk mountain that simply must be sorted (it is embarrassing really) but because through it all I know that God is good. Even on mundane headachy days there is something to rejoice about - like the sunshine and the wonder of headache tablets...
And rejoicing is the theme of the Salt challenge launched today
The Bible says to Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS.
This is a verse that I keep meditating on as its one of those that pops into your head, but is very hard for your heart to grasp sometimes.
When we go through trials, or we can see others suffering, getting to the truth of this verse is vital.
It doesn't say Rejoice for the sake of it, it says Rejoice in the LORD, the one who has saved us from the punishment we deserve, the ALMIGHTY one, who LOVES us so much.

Here is mine

Looking through my Salt album - a lovely American Crafts D ring so I can use different sizes, I notice that I use rather a lot of Scenic Route papers to do my Salt pages. And this is no exception!
I've used Grafton for this one. Love the fresh colours and they go well with my t-shirt. I was waiting for Carys to come out and pose for me and started mucking about. And I managed to take a few flattering photos. I think the combination of looking up (banishing chins), greenery and time of day (early evening) all helped. But I'm not complaining! Its my avatar pic now as well as I haven't had long hair for over a year!

I used a Becky Fleck Page Maps sketch. I just bought three new books. Ali Edwards LIfe Artist (don't bother unless you like being told what to do by your mum. Love her stuff but she makes the obvious just sound so important and worthy.) A card sketch book - lots of good things but of course the cards are all in American sizes. We need something like this for British size cards. And then there's Page Maps. OOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooo it is so, so, so fab. Just what you want from a scrap inspiration book.

So Bazzill white cardstock, SR paper and some buttons, orange ribbon, AC thickers, dovecraft (I think) flower brads, and lots of little green brads in a circle. Never tried that before but it is a cool trick (needs perfecting though!)

Have a good day and find ways to rejoice if you can.

Answer: You let yourself down, you let me down, you let the school down

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good times

make up for sad times (like attending a funeral to make sure there would be at least one mourner aside from the Minister. There were three of us in the end.)

Had some good times over the last few days.
The play we went to see on Saturday was great. Absolutely Frank was a two hander by Tim Firth who also wrote Calendar Girls - and more significantly for me - the Rottentrolls. (We still shout "cattlegriiiiiiiiiiiiid" in Nab twins stylee every time we go over a cattle grid. I say "we" but actually the children now demur and instead look at us adults with a mixture of scorn, embarrassment and deep, deep sympathy).
Dr WHo was sooooooo good that Carys had to spend the night in bed with us. Who would have thought that just repeating something would be so scary? Who would have thought that just repeating something would be so scary?

Phil enjoyed being Father on Father's Day. (Slap up meal at Macdonalds as usual. Here's a local tip - the one on the A127 is much better than the Hornchurch one. Yes, I'm a McDonalds connoisseur, me.)

Yesterday was mostly spent crafting. Yippee!
I made my samples for Imagine That. It is always v. nerve wracking - will I make mistakes? Will they like them? There were moments of despair but it all worked out all right. It was a doodling class so I was able to use some tips from my Daring tutorial plus using a fab little book that Emma lent me that might well end up living at my house. Not that copy I hasten to add.
Here is a peak at what we will do in the class.
all using the We R Memory Keepers Urban Window Diner collection (great papers, stupidly long name). I love the colours!

I finished off a little card using a cute download from here
The black bit just above the wing is a shadow. I tried taking photos outside today and didn't notice that.
The papers are KI memories Celebration with a bit of extra doodling. Its a Self Addressed card blank and a Purple Onion stamp. I am reorganising my unmounted stamps and it all reminds me just how great the value of the Self Addressed kits was as I now have loads of fabby PO stamps like this one. And now they are no more. Sob!

And finally my Little Extra card for today. The anniversary choice of gift did make me smile!
Gift for 10 years.... Tin/Aluminum or Diamond Jewellery.
"Darling, I bought you a gift especially for our anniversary year?"
"A diamond necklace?"
"No, a tin opener".

I went for the bling.
I bought this Prima bling at Imagine That. It is not cheap but goes so, so far and I still I have a little left over. I used a KandCo mat pad and sanded the edges, some red grosgrain ribbon and Adorn it letters. Grass is an optional extra. Mind you I keep looking at this photo and sneezing so I think I had better take pics indoors next time!

I have also been playing with my gourgeous blog candy from Canne but you will ahve to wait until later in the week to see the results :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Wheels on fire....

rolling down the road"
Every time I start to think about Kathy's dare, that song comes into my head. And I'm stuck with it all day. Thanks Mrs B!
I was never that keen on AbFab - which is where I know the song from. Terrible I know. How can I call myself British. And even worse... can I bear to admit it? Promise we can still be friends?
I don't like Fawlty Towers either.

I've had an interestingly varied week this week doing stuff like short-listing for a new moderator (bit like a Bishop but with less pointy hats and sticks); pre wedding interviews; meeting about the Havering Compact; parents evening (how nice that every teacher smiles when you approach with your daughter. I will boast no more than that); meeting about setting up a bereavement course (really want to do that); another meeting that didn't really happen but we set the world to rights; craft club - may be the last one at that church as it just hasn't taken off; alpha course - which is small but amazing in how lives are being changed; today - coffee morning at church soon (not my favourite thing to do if I am honest, especially on sermon friday) and working lunch before cracking on with it afternoon. And tomorrow there is a theatre trip with one of my churches. Can't say life is routine!

"Best notify my next of kin This wheel shall explode!"
still singing it. Actually until I just looked the words up, I've always gone "blah, blah duh, duh, duh" etc. for line three as I didn't know what it was. They should enunciate properly on records like they did in my day.

SO back to the wheely good Dare from Kathy this week.
I'd like you to feature wheels ON your cards, or as part of them. So you could have cars, bikes etc on your card, or maybe you could actually make a card that moves along on some wheels..... or how about a card that has one of those "wheels" inside it (fixed with a brad) and little apertures in the actual card front so that when you move the wheel the message appears in the aperture? (I hope that makes sense)
Love those cards with moving bits - is the posh term kinetic cards? Haven't even attempted it meself mind as you can see.
I folded an 8x8 piece of Bazzill in half. The papers are from an old Self Addressed kit (possibly KI memories?) The round sentiment is a Scrapdragon download and the cement mixer is a Kate Hadfield doodle.
Everything was layered up and doodled down
And here is another quick card I made with a cute butterfly stamp

Paper is Kand CO, other stamp is Banana Frog. Oval nesties and lots of distress ink.

must go and eat cake....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I am going mad(der)

Emrys was up FAR too late last night. "why aren't you wearing the watch you got for your birthday?"
Baffled look. "I didn't get a watch for my birthday"
Well I did BUY a watch for his birthday. So, which safe place did I put it in?
this is the SECOND time I have done this.
Feeling old anyway as we are changing our life assurance today and the policy ends in 21 years when I will be 64. Eeeek! Only 21 years and I will be nearly retired.

I've had a very busy weekend with church stuff and quite a packed day today but yesterday was a nice rest and loads of fun teaching at Imagine That. I am so glad I went as it meant I could copy the card myself for our neighbours who are having a joint party on Saturday.
The "0" is made with two nestabilities dies!
Papers are Basic Grey Infuse with a hint of mellow. Loads of stickles and glossy accents.
Thanks for the inspiration Emma!

Today's Little Extra over at Daring Cardmakers is another anniversary theme card.
we are looking at the 13th Anniversary gifts of Lace or Textiles/furs!
Well I didn't have any fur but I did have some paisley material...
It was a bigger piece to start with but I kept trying to get the frayed edges straight so I cut and frayed until you can barely see the paisley. It is actually a bright pink! I painted a chipboard paisley with dabbers and added Gold Krylon and white gel pen accents. The white card was put through a paisley cuttlebug embossing folder and the greeting is a Purple Onion one cut using a nestability.

And finally... Dad's Father's Day card
Bazzill kraft card. BG Mellow paper as frame with KI memories lace behind. Maya Road chipboard tree coloured in with dabbers. The sentiment is printed and nestabilitied. The only problem with nestabilities is that the word is so long. I'm going to call it nestied from now on!

Off to cook tea. Wonder if i will find that watch in the freezer?

Friday, June 06, 2008


Got up early this morning - 5:15 as Carys had to be in school for 5:45 in order to go to France to have a school dinner. She has been practicing "je ne mange pas de viande" so hopefully will get a vegetarian meal. She became a veggie about 6 months ago - which means the boys rarely get any meat either now! I stayed up and played with my new Stampin Up goodies that I ordered from my lovely friend RachelB. Maybe it was cos it was too early in the morning but so far I have
  • failed to get the stampamajig thing to work
  • failed to stamp the little flower centres into the little flower stamps of the rather lovely 3 for you punch set
  • used a WHOLE sheet of whisper white to make one lousy card.
However the whisper white cardstock is just fantastic compared to the cheapy stuff I have been using, now if only I could stamp better I night be getting somewhere!

Soooooo onto cards that I have made - and using stamps and everything. It is Daring Cardmaker day - woo hoo! And this challenge was set by our honourable leader and founder - Jane in NZ.
Jane this week has dared us all to include a quote on our card. Stamped, Computer Generated or Rub Ons it doesn't matter and choose your own style or occassion.
My card looks a lot like this
You would not believe how long this simple card took to make. Lets just say that geometry is not my forte. The papers are from an old Self Addressed kit. Although I stopped buying them a few months ago in order to cut down on my craft spending (hah!) I'm sorry to see them go as they were always brilliant kits. I've got plenty left to use up mind!
The image is a StampingBella, mostly coloured in with the Works watercolours. The computer journalling is done with Journalling Hand (again) one of my faves. The cute little buttons are from, um, a shop. (Just as well I don't submit to card making mags!). The flowers are prima and the brads from Crafts by Carolyn, which now I come to think about it may be where the buttons came from too!

Here is a close up of the dimensional aspect of the card

I've been making cards with my "scary" Tildas again. (Most of the family scream in horror whnen I proudly show them off) And made cards not just with the ones I have already coloured in (as my first efforts were not so good yet I can't bring myself to throw them away...) but stamped and coloured new ones. Oh yes.
Here is an example of old colouring - using some Basic Grey Gypsy paper
Hmmm I used a sketch for this but can't remember where from right now (I'm tired see)
This is another pattern on the inside card using MM Noteworthy paper and prima flowers. I'm sure you are all delighted to know that I have now got the knack of using scalloped scissors - it is harder when you are left handed you know... the lovely ribbon thready thing (technical term there) was a gift from my mate Glynis

Now I really must get on with loads and loads of work and try not to fall asleep whil I............zzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Salty Psalms

Being on the Salt team is such fun but also complex because of the time differences between us. At the moment it is Thursday afternoon for me but for Gill and Casey it is early Friday morning while for the two Kim's it is Thursday mid morning! So we don't necessarily get to share each others work before the challenge launch. My layout was actually done and dusted on Monday (for once) but until launch time I hadn't seen anyone else's. So it was a joy and delight to notice how all our work tones together and that we all interpreted a broad theme in quite a specific way.
I chose the theme this time
the Psalms.
From frustration and anger to joy and support. there is so much in the book of Psalms. I'd like you to reflect on a favourite verse - or whole psalm and interpret it as you feel led.

I knew which Psalm I wanted to use - Psalm 8. I had grand ideas about posed photos but in the end went for one I took of a mighty oak in Epping Forest with my tiny family in front of it.
I had seen a layout by Anne Perry in Scrapbook Inspirations that extended the photo by using chalks and decided to go for the same look. I am pretty pleased with the results.

The papers are more of my original Crate Papers that I feel like i have had forever- these are Taylor, inked and curled a bit. It was a bit of a shock to discover that the papers were no longer 12x12 as they had looked (I must have something stripy somewhere with the strips on it!) so had to improvise. The journalling strips are done using journalling hand font, also chalked.

And here is the other layout I said I would show using old paper. I love this Basic Grey Phoebe paper, love it! But have hardly used it. So I am trying hard now!

The lettering was cut using the robo and I bought the beads at the stitch show last October.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A little bit jaded

OK so what colour is Jade exactly? Sort of a greeny bluey green I think. Rather harder to make a card out of than I first imagined. And why all this stress? It is Little Extra day for the Daring Cardmakers!
And the latest anniversary challenge is this...
This week it's the 35th Anniversary
so we're taking our inspiration from and making cards featuring
Coral or Jade.
I have gone back down memory lane with this set of papers... Aren't they lovely? I obviously thought so because I bought a second set of Crate Paper Birdie! (as yet unopened) I still love them but love so many other new papers too. Yes I am a bit of a paper lover (put in slightly ruder word there if desired)
The card is made out of the brown flowery pattern paper's plain side. I am growing to like cards with a patterned interior - and it helps use up stash mountain! Two other strips were added after being distressed with green and blue distress inks. The letters were all from the Birdie kit but looked rather different before I tried my new favourite technique of stamping and embossing over them using Technique Tuesday petal stamps. And then they got distressed a bit more... Sentiment, buttons, job done.

I first tried that technique out on this layout.
Used some more old paper. Tick!
This time Basic Grey Lily Kate.
I just love these pictures of my mum having fun on her birthday. She usually freezes for the camera so these are just great. I may use the last one again sometime!I randomly cut several papers with my nestability circles and stuck them down. The BG letters got the embossed treatment with my Paperartsy Squiggly Ink background stamp. It looked a tad bare so I got out the liquid pearls. Must do that more often!

I'll be back (some time) on Thursday with my Salt challenge - its my turn to set it this week

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Changed my mind!

I'm not showing you the two layouts I promised. Instead some challenge layouts and cards are coming your way.
I don't do that many challenges. I usually only have time to do the Daring ones (and then not all the little extras) and Salt once a fortnight. But today with a little extra crafty time I was inspired to have a go at two blog candy challenges and a sketch from a new forum/blog.
The forum is the brainchild of TanyaLeigh, one of the DCM team from NZ (I'm sorry about the abbreviations, I don't let people use them in meetings but my ickle fingers is tired) and is called StampnScrap.
Of course seeing as it is based in NZ all the chat has happened the day before I arrive to anything. But it looks quite cool! And allied to it is TL's new littleshopofsketches. I have used sketch 2.I mostly used Love Elsie Zoe papers. The ones I wish I had looked through before ordering...So I used the pink rainbow embossed paper (why?) and the speech bubble embossed white (ditto) and gave the spotty and striped papers (now these I like) the Lythan black pen treatment. Sharpies also changed the colour of one of the little circles, which you have to liek the palcing of first time as the (swear word) things won't come off again. And American Crafts thickers, natch. I do wish the Craft Robo would cut fun foam....

JO King set a blog candy challenge for a pink and pretty card. I'm not sure if this counts. It is a bit pink but ended up a bit more white and green than I expected. And as for pretty - well my sons go "aaargh" whenever they see these stamps...

I used a Taylored Expressions Cupcake Challenge sketch - number 7 to be precise. I like these sketches for their open-ness. I'm a bit scared of the detailed ones! I used a KandCo mat pad for the papers and Moomin girl was layered to within an inch of her life.
If nothing else, I'm pleased with her boots!

The second blog candy challenge is for Canne aka Seedlings Mum. FOr this you had to use a bird. Now I had one of Marieke's lovely birds to use but it had a little accident so I made another one myself.The tree and frame are her free downloads though. I added the spots to the green paper and the orange circles are from MM noteworth paper. The red card is Stampin Up and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEk - just seen the out of focus printed greeting (fine in real life) which says "birthday Tweet" on it.

Now I just need to link to all those sites. Phew! Had fun though