Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Expanding my horizons

Just after finishing my Friday blog post I ended up rushing to Basildon to support someone attending Crown Court. Now 27 years ago when I did work experience in the 6th form...(Pause to take in the fact that it is 27 years ago. I feel old. Sigh) ... anyway a while ago I did a fab work experience with the local Voluntary Services group and ended up visiting all sorts of places including the local Magistrates (where some of my brothers friends were up on charges. Interesting) and Crown Court. But I haven't been in one since.

I found it totally overwhelming and I was all at sea and nervous. "Just go in and nod to the Judge and DO NOT talk to him" I was told. The case was delayed and I was the ONLY person in the room who wasn't a barrister or in the dock for 40 minutes. Now I know what it is like going to Church for the very first time... it was an interesting experience. The upshot of the case is that I will also be experiencing prison visiting as well. This is one of the great things about being a Minister - you get to do surprising things. Most of which, sadly I can't write much about in order to protect other people!

On Saturday I went to Alexandra Palace and Sue and I walked and shopped. We live near enough to drive and there is a hidden little car park right by AP which we used again. We said hello to Sue W on the Scrap Revolution stall and then did the work our way to the front system. I think next year we will do the "pick your fave stalls and visit them first" system as it didn't work so well this time. I thought there were more scrapbooking stalls and more people too. I had a teeny meltdown when choosing Nestabilities (just couldn't decide!) but recovered well. Huuuuuuuuge queues at Scrapshed and if I didn't have a 5% discount I would have given up. I came away with stamps; buttons; nesties and a modest amount of papers. We did have fun! It is only something I want to do once, not twice a year though.

Harvest service was lovely on Sunday and I FINALLY did my ironing which is a major achievement! I also had a little crafting time and so made two commission cards. The first uses a square corrugated kraft card; BG Granola; distress stickles and an owl button. The letter stickers are MM.

The other uses a white square card; BG Scarlet's Letter; Fiskars border punch; thicker numbers
and Docrafts ribbon.
I have also been getting on with holiday album. You can see how it works with the photo/journalling pages as well as the traditional 12x12. The only problem with the photo pages is that I haven't worked out how to hide the back of the page.
Papers are BG Lime Rickey; letter stickers are Doodlebug
the shadow on the layout is cos I had put it in the album and couldn't be bothered to get it out and photograph it properly. Norty me! And yes, that is a circle shaped photo. I was a little stuck on this layout until I saw one in Scrapbook Trends july which I lifted. Papers are 3 Bugs with lots of extra sharpie. The BG rub on tree (obviously today BG has to get in somewhere on everything I do) is cos I managed to cut the tiny scrap of blue paper in the wrong place and had to hide the join with something. Stickers are Doodlebug and MM tiny alphas. Again.
Do have a close look at that beach and the number of bins. It was almost scary!

Right, wonder what other new experiences I'll have this week?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Harvest time again

I can't believe that September is just about over and my round of Harvest services begins. At the churches now we give our produce to the local Women's Refuge. It doesn't look as romantic with packets and tins rather than fruit and vegetables but we know that the food is much needed - and used - and I would rather be practical any day. We also spend a lot of time during worship thinking about other parts of the world where harvesting is a real struggle and think about issues of fair trade and what God's harvest for the world really means. All that in an hour!

But I also have a "crop" of cards and things to show you...
Firstly my daring card for the week
Jo set the theme of Tartan this week. I was fortunate to remember that I had some October Afternoon tartan paper. It is one of the other sides of the papers I used on the layout in the post before. As it was Jo setting the theme I decided to see if I could do a card in her style. Which is one of my absolute favourite styles of cardmaking in the whole world. And it is harder to do than you might think! What I love is her use of white space and the eclectic addition of little extras that give the "ooooh" factor
I used a kraft card blank. I'm still on the hunt for these in the UK. These are quite nice but they have ridges in (fussy much?)
The backing paper is a scrap from the Costco kit. The colours in that are a tad muted for my taste but the plainer sides make for great backgrounds. The scallop is from the Chatterbox embellishment bag which was one of the best value items I have ever bought! The twill tape I have had for years, ditto the Papermania metal tag. I added a bazzill bloom, love Elsie sticker, button and twine and a photo turn. It still isn't as good as the Mighty Jo's but I like it!

I have also delivered two classes to Imagine That so I will show you them here now. All of these things look better in the flesh (as it were) becasue they are all glittered to within an inch of their lives. I am trying to use as much Glamour Dust as I can as the world needs a little sparkle.

Firstly 3 cards using Paperartsy Christmas stamps
(Phil tied the bow for me as I can't do bows. Seriously. I have to make two loops which will do for shoes but not cards. Oh the shame)
What do you notice about these cards?
No patterned paper.
Somehow I didn't notice in the shop when we put the kit together. Only when I got home did I go "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek". So I added my own patterns - on two of the cards by clear embossing with some of the stamps provided and on the middle one by drawing with glue pen and glamour dust. That elf is just head and feet you know. I thought about adding a dress but decided to hide her behind the sign instead!

And finally
Gosh I wish I could have photographed this better. It is really sparkly. That grey looking stuff on the right hand side is in fact glimmer mist. Which was also sprayed on the doily paper and the scallop. And the middle of each leaf has a line of Glamour Dust. I was really pealsed with the lettering. Playground Sizzix letters were put through the Cuttlebug Forest Branches embossing folder and then inked with Spiced Marmalade; Vintage PHoto and Something Corduroy distress inks (all at the same time. I plonk a bit of foam into each in turn and am probably ruining them but I don't care). I did the same to the journalling spot (it was white) so you can see the change. They look almost woodgrain now. I think I might try again with less orange!

Right, must get in the mood to Plough the Fields and Scatter
Phil took this photo near our house. And this one
You can tell I live in a London borough can't you!

PS I am going with my DCM buddy Sue to Alexandra Palace tomorrow. Say hello if you recognise me. I am small and my hair is currently a Phil Oakey one side shorter than the other (a bit freaky as I had the same style at 17) - and I look a bit like this

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Still relaxed

My difficult bit of the week ended up a whole heap less stressful than I thought. I'm molto tired anyway so I am v. glad!
I've been tonight to a meeting about Uni and it is hitting me more and more what a big step this all is - and there is a year to go until H leaves home. But the thing I am aware of is, that with the type of course he wants to do - with the promise of summer jobs in some places and it being soooooo far away with others (Dundee. Nice place. Just 8 hours away) that when he leaves, really that might just. be. it.
Remind me of that with a hollow laugh when he is at home at 45...
Plus I would be able to use my computer when I wanted to and not get chucked off at World of Warcraft time.

This week amongst other crafty things I did something truly amazing. I sorted LAST summers photos into the album that I will scrap them in. I bought a LIckety Split album from Imagine That which combines layout pages with heavy photo ones. Having the photos all ready there now means that I have done three layouts for this album already. Incredible. One doubles for a future Docrafts Layout on their site so won't be shown yet, one is not photographed yet - it was a fast one and you will see why! And the first one for the album is this

H at the ferry with his GSCE results. I made him run into school and get them as I was so worried about missing the ferry. The plan had been to go the day after but Palmers College had other plans. He looks so much older than that now ('cos he is I suppose) but he is beginning to look more man and less boy.
The papers are all October Afternoon Route Map. The black scallop is actually a papermania card. OA and Tiny Alphas stickers; Chatterbox cork and a Scenic Route chipboard circle and a Sharpie pen border. One day I will manage to mix my papers but this will do for now!

Close up of the blurb follows
And now this old lady should head bedwards.

I hope H will love Uni as much as I did. And do (though v. part time now) Remember I've already done 7 years and two degrees (OK one is a Post graduate certificate of theology but after I left they made it easier and turned it into a degree and so it counts in my book. Bitter much? Nah). I just hope he occasionally remembers his parents. It only now I realise how much they did for me to get me started on the road to hard work and LOADS of fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And... relax

Had a quite stressful end to the week and will have a few hairy days next week so ended up having a Sunday afternoon snooze today! I would rather have been crafting - or done the ironing like I meant to but the body decided otherwise. The rather busy week end is why I haven't posted up my Daring card here yet so now is the time to rectify that.

Obviously still tired as I suddenly realised I had started typing this post on the DCM blog. Whoops! in its rightful place now.
Anyway this weeks dare was
Shabby Chic
Look through your stash and found all those bits and pieces you can use or even ask your Nana or Grandma for some bits. Old lace, buttons, bling, flowers etc and make a mess and see what you come up with.

I am in awe of people who can really rock the shabby chic look. Even more now I have discovered how hard it is!!!! I could do the making a mess bit easily enough, just the rest that was the problem really. But I am always game
Mine doesn't have anything truly shabby on it. I did get some vintage papers out (OK they were still on my desk after the Salt dare) but in the end I used a Flower stamp with print on it. This was stamped three times in Stazon and roughed up with distress ink. Three of the papers are BG Stella Ruby
(yay, more of those old sheets used! Although in BG defence I haven't grown tired of most of the designs. Except maybe Obscure but even some of those patterns are still cool)

the design cut out with the Nestie Label is a new Papermania Christmas paper. It is a pad of A4 linen papers that are paper not card heavy but really pretty and vintagey. I sewed round it by hand. The velvet ricrac behind is from Paper and String. I put a strip into an embossing folder - the wrong way round (doh) but then got heavy with distress ink again to bring out the debossed pattern

An Imagine That button was tied with bakers twine and I tied some sheer ribbon and added a rosebud paper flower. In the right hand corner I used the same stamp as last week and sprinkled it with Distress Stickles and Liquid Pearls. I've not added a sentiment as then I can choose what occasion to send it for.

Right off for a reviving cup of tea and an ignore of the ironing pile...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things that go bump in the night

I woke with a start in the early hours thinking that someone was crashing around in our back garden. There was nothing there.
Turns out the problem was at the front (we sleep at the back but how H didn't wake I don't know)
The alarm didn't go off this morning as all our leccy went off due to the outside light being smashed so it is amazing we woke up at the right time!

The driver turned up this morning saying he had swerved to avoid a fox, lost control of the car and went through our wall and next doors fence. None of our cards was damaged which was amazing!

Anyway on to more exciting news - new Muse CD this week. I'm glad to say I love it. And boy, can that Matthew Bellamy play classical piano :) Family are fed up of my obsession already!

ANd even more exciting - my Salt challenge layout has actually been done and on time.
Tanis came up with a great theme
Listening to God
It's usually pretty easy to talk. But how good are we at listening?
We're busy. We live in a busy world. We have lots of commitments. We're pressed for time.
But when it comes to listening to God, we have to make time. Quiet time. And that is hard.

I pulled out one of many photos of H on holiday gazing reflectively out to sea while in Weymouth
Look at that fab sea and sky! It was really like that, not touched up at all.
This layout came together in about 30 minutes which is fab. The papers and die cuts are all October Afternoon. The stickers are AMerican Crafts and Doodlebug and the only addition to that is a page from a 1936 prayer book which I got in a bundle of papers from Puss at a Crafts By Carolyn get together many moons ago.
Small peeve - why do so many sets of alphas only have lowercase. It doesn't feel right using a lower case G for God but I ahd to give up in the end or my layout would have taken three hours...
the team have done some great work for this challenge - go and by inspired why don't you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feeling Merry...

I hope I haven't given Anice a complex moaning about having to make Christmas craft things this early :)
September is obviously Christmas craft time as I have three lots of Christmas craft commissions to work through. I think part of my struggle is that for me Christmas is firmly a religious festival and one that I try and simplify as much as possible which is a little bit counter cultural. Also it starts me thinking about work and speeds my life away. However I am jsut going to have to put my sparkly Rudloph pants on and get into the Christmas spirit and then go back to my head in the sand attitude later on.
(You may have gathered this is probably not the place to comment that your Christmas shopping is already done)
(And I do not begrudge you if you have or if you love, love, love Christmas. You enjoy)
(And I do love, love, love Christmas when I get to it. Just not the 3 months before)

Anyway I single out Anice because it is her projects that are done, can be revealed and you can already buy. And they have actually done a lot to turn me into Mrs Claus. They are just fab. There are two new Funky Hand word book downloads. I can't decide which I like the best!

I thought that my fave would definately be 'Tis the Season. I love those traditional colours and when you add a little distress ink there is such a lovely shabby feel. I do think that the spotty paper is one of my favourite ones ever!I couldn't photograph this very well (ok I could have set my mini studio out properly but I was just too lazy) so you miss out some of the lovely sparkle around the letters. If you click on the close up you just might be able to see all the pricking and faux stitching with gel pen. My glitter gold pen went into overdrive on the patterns too.
This card shows off that scrummy paper. I dusted off a Quickutz die and also used a couple of nestabilities and a freebie stamp from a Creatvity mag. Rudoph's nose is a Prima bling.

But actually I think my favourite is Blue Christmas which is wierd as blue is my least fave colour.These patterns go together so beautifully. I used a sizzix die and a nestie AND a Martha punch on this one. Several gallons of glitter dust too. And some fibres that I have had for YEARS

close up to hopefully get more of the sparkle!

I used another frosted card blank as wellI think the frosted ones work better with just two layers while you can have three with the clear cards. The glitter letters are Docrafts.

Right I am now ready to jingle all the way today! I have got one more "here's something I made earlier" as I am trying to do a Salt catch up. The last challenge was Guidance. I used a photo from the Weymouth holiday with a frame round it. I think I need to do a little more work with frames!
The papers are a mix of Basic Grey and Fancy Pants on black bazzil with a bazill loop and doodlebug letters. The tag is Making Memories. The black swirl thing and chipboard heart I have had for years (again! and probably came via a much missed Self Addressed kit). The sticker is Jenni Bowlin. I wanted to convey the idea that the word of God is a reliable and constant form of guidance. If only I would look to see it!
OK lets get busy with the tinsel...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Failed again

I do love blogging. But sometimes fitting it in is a problem. So at the moment it looks like it is just weekly. Trouble with that is that I get bored of uploading photos. But I did promise some of my hols so better show you!

I have been doing work for Docrafts this week and also for Funky Hand. Anice is bringing out a new seasonal download that is absolutely gorgeous. I can almost forgive her for making me do something far before I usually do...

What I can show you is my Daring card for the week. Due to poor Jo's computer problems we came up with a team dare this week.
Down by the Sea
Of course we don't just enjoy being by the sea in the Summer, it doesn't matter what the season is, the seaside is a great place to be, so this week we'd love you to make cards with any sort of seaside theme.

Ages ago I bought some Sheetload clear and frosted acetate cards. I can't rate their customer service and price enough. But I did panic for ages as to how to use them. I am getting to grips now, partly by following some of the designs featured on their blog. So I decided to make my seaside card a frosted one
The whole card uses crafty purchases of days gone by!
I bought the papers in a kit by Funkykits a few years ago and almost threw them out this week! The seashell paper was stuck on the inside cover and the stripy paper torn and layered to be "waves". I opened my neglected box of charms and found three nautical ones (anchor, starfish and um, flip flop). This gold net stuff has been on the floor of the craft area for ages. When I tidy up I put it on a shelf and it falls off again. SO I scrunched it up to be netting. The stamps used are Purple Onion ones from Self Addressed kits. Oh I did use a new brown stazon ink.
to be honest I am not sure about the card, but it will get used! I do love the work of the other team members this week. Rush over to Daring Cardmakers and, er, surf through the seaside cards!!!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Its about time

I blogged again.
I have been away. I did hope to do some of that clever scheduling stuff but didn't manage it :(
Just before going away was extra fraught this year thanks to a rather lovely but extra worky prayer day on the Saturday!
We find it quite hard to find the right holiday as we like to go from Monday not Saturday or Sunday so that we don't go straight back into preaching as soon as we get back. We have done it and it is not fun. So I have actually been back 5 days but washing/work/washing/a mag commission/washing has rather taken up my time since then!

We went to Weymouth in Dorset. My confession is that I had been a little embarrassed saying that before hand as it sounded like an old lady holiday. Well I can now sing loudly (to the tune of Katy Perry's rather annoying song)
"I holidayed in Weymouth and I liked it"
It is gorgeous.
I love Chesil beach (our campsite looked out over it)
I love Portland
I love Lulworth Cove.
The kids loved the 36" flatscreen tv...
and the swimming pool
and vegging
and the Where's Wally book.

Haven experimented this year with a Book Scheme in a few sites. We got a bookbag full of books and also agreed to be interviewed (and paid!) about reading. I enjoyed the Katie Fforde. But the most read book out of the lot was Where's Wally. Go figure.
And I still haven't found him everywhere.

I have loads of photos to share but will do that anon as I really need to get on with sermon prep as I have two services this week. So instead I will catch up with my crafty bits
I did manage to do a card for last weeks Daring cards - inchies. I needed a card for my dad. His birthday was while we were on holiday but he was spending it at our house - oh yes as well as all the extra work before we went away we had to make sure the house was clean and tidy (it isn't always, especially when we are going away. Blush). But it did mean that his card and present got to him in time!

I have these fabulous inchie stamps that I bought last year at Ally Pally. I had nearly bought them the year before and regretted it. They are Impression Obsession I think and fab quality stamps. It is a simply card using the stamps and white embossing powder, square nesties and Costco papers. I have to be honest and say that I can't remember if I came up with the sketch myself or not. It is rather a nice layered one I think! Also used: a Martha border punch and Docrafts stamp

Now onto this weeks Dare. poor Rein had a bit of an accident this week - get well soon Rein! It is lovely to still have Lynda and to welcome Paula as Guest Designers. Rein's dare is

We love their happy, sunny appearance, somehow seeing them never fails to cheer, does it? So we'd like to see lots and lots of glorious, cheerful sunflowers on your cards.

I did have a bit of a panic as my mind was blank and then I had a brainwave. I decided that my sunflower would be a bit abstract rather than real. SO here it is!
I was waiting for Hywel to sign in at college for Upper Sixth and doodled a card sketch for this card. And kept to it! I cut an A6 card black down a little so that the flower could poke over the top and still fit in a normal envelope. The middle of the flower is an Elsie doodle stamp from Fontwerks. The rest of the flower is hand cut. Everything inked, a little bit of outlining, hand written sentiment and some lovely Prima bling that I won in a draw from Sarah's cards (you will be seeing a lot more of these, trust me!)

I managed to once again fail spectacularly to Get Funky when I could. I am also even more behind on Salt which I plan to catch up with next week. Ruth chose the Get Funky challenge this time. It is a great one and don't forget that if you enter you have the chance of winning a £20 Funky Hand voucher. Here is the challenge

Two Little Boys
Both my boys have their Birthdays in September - Jacob will be 4 and Samuel will be 6.
So my challenge is to make a boy themed card, layout, project or what ever you fancy as long as it is aimed at a boy and uses a Funky Hand paper or extra.

and here are my cards
I used Funky Seasons papers for both cards. For Jacob's card I printed out papers 4 to one A4 sheet. There are a lot of foam pads used on this card. The letter/number are Sizzix Playground and the car is a Quickutz die. I love how the car turned out!
As Samuel is now 6 and very grown up (as AA Milne once wrote "But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever, So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.") his card is a bit more grown up looking. For this one, I printed out some of the ATC's to keep the pattern small. The candles are QK
I also used a nesties die and lots of outlining with a sharpie pen.
Pop along to Get Funky and see all the great boy cards you can make with Funky Hand!