Monday, November 30, 2009

OK its Advent, you can officially start talking about

Christmas now!

And I have even started making my Christmas cards. That was helped by me making a card for a Daring Cardmakers Dare last year and saying "hmmm, that'll mass produce" and with a few tweaks it is indeed the card for '09. You can't see it yet as I haven't photographed it and today is too grey and miserable to bother. I am almost half way there though - I'm only doing 60 this year as I overdid last year and am still reusing the cards! But I can show you a few other Christmascards and bits and bobs from this last week.

This Autumn has been particularly busy work wise. That is all good but does mean I seem to be playing catch up or am just plain absent for my crafting responsibilities. Not good. So I am trying to catch them up in a fair way. So, I ahve finally made some cards with the new Funky Hand Festive Fun digital stamps.

They come on an A4 sheet but if you insert it into a Word document you can crop and resize to your hearts content. These are pretty simple but turned out really cute if I may say so!
I coloured in the image using Copic glitter pens in colours to match the papers which are from the Blue Christmas Word book. I added even more bling to the papers. Sadly the camera hasn't picked up all the sparkle. The label shape is a Nesties Label 8 cut in half so you can see more of it!

For the second one, if I had been clever I would have printed the tree directly onto the patterned paper which is from the other Christmas word book collection- 'Tis the season.
but I wasn't. So I pasted the image to the back of the paper and cut it out and then redrew the image on the front. You may think it was a lot of work. And in fact, it was... I was pleased that I managed to stamp directly onto the paper without a problem (using some free stamps from a mag) hurray! but then realised it was a little too high up. boo. Oh well. A few Prima "ornaments" and I'm done.

I didn't think I'd manage the Salt dare this week. But then a meeting finished early and it came together really fast!
It was a great challenge set by Mona
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."
On November 11, Remembrance Day in Canada, this verse was in my devotions and it really spoke to me. Having grandparents who were in the war and having lost a cousin in Afghanistan it really spoke to me - especially as a Mennonite woman who believes in pacifism. Then I thought about it and realized that NO MATTER where we are in our lives nothing is more important than what we do FOR OUR FATHER; nothing else matters. There is nothing more important in my life than knowing that everything I say and do needs to be for the praise and honor of my Lord. I am thankful to my Father every day for the life he has given me and I want everyone to know that all I do is to HIS glory. That is what my life is for - Thank You Father!

I decided to use this photo - one of my favourites from our summer holiday. Carys and I are going up a not very scary rollercoaster at the Weymouth Sea Life Centre (yes, it was Hywel's birthday). I think I will scrap it again when it comes to doing this summers album (still only part way through summer 08)
I bought some glimmer mists at the Imagine That birthday bash and so had great fun sptritzing away. The flowers were all white and cream. Emma at the shop had made some beautiful ones overlaying them with script stamps. In order to slavishly copy I will need a proper script stamp and had to improvise with script flower stamps. Some of my tries had to be turned over and are now blank!

I die cut two sizes of star and laid them on the white cardstock and sprayed. Then added black men and journalling and two teeny strips of patterned paper. the alaphabet stamps are from Purple Onion. One of the amazing sets I got with a Self Addressed kit. I like the uneveness of them and even the way I smudged the "g". Just as well really as I couldn't have disguised it.

RIght better get back to those cards....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy birthday Anice!

Our glorious Funky Hand leader is 41 today!
And because she is the nicest, sweetest most generous person
she is offering a special discount of 41% off everything in the Funky Hand store just for today,
using the code 41TODAY
So go on, enjoy her birthday :)

I also helped Imagine That celebrate its 3rd birthday of bringing crafting heaven to Upminster this week. Emma is also one of the nicest, sweetest and most generous people I know too. And has just scored a world beating score of 440,000 on bejewelled blitz - which is also worth celebrating. SO buy your wonderful Funky Hand CD's at this amazing price and then go here for all the bits to finish off your cards and layouts!

BTW my life has collapsed into World of Meetings again so there will be little craft from this corner of the world until the weekend. Sob!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Now I am a-Muse-d

Earlier in the year I had notice that Muse were playing the O2. Tickets went on sale at 9am. I remembered at 9:30 and I just couldn't get tickets. Now I think I gave up too easily. Yesterday I had a note to say they are playing Wembley next September. Tickets went on sale this morning at 9. "Ah I won't forget this time" I said to myself and wrote a note and put it on my desk. I looked at it at 9:30 and then said some words that a Minister shouldn't know and decided to give it a go and got tickets! Naturally it is going to be a bit more of a trek as the 02 is easy from here and Wembley isn't but I hope it will be worth it. Nope, I know it is. My poor hubby is coming with me and says I am not allowed to sing along. It is on a Saturday so there may be a tired and hoarse Minister at Church the next morning!

I think the meeting on Wednesday went well. It certainly generated a lot of food for thought. I know what I would like to do next but it needs to be collaborative so I must present a range of options as to how to take it further. Very exciting though (not as exciting as going to see Muse but then what is?)

It is Daring day today and Rein came up with one to get us thinking!

and mydare this week is:
"The First Letter"
I'd like you to put things on your card which begin with the first letter of your name. You can use other things too, but see if you can use at least 3 things that share their initial letter with your own name.
You must go and read the struggles that the "K" and "V" girls had. I was a bit stumped until I found a kids picture dictionary with lots of simple "L" words in it.
And so brought to you by the letter "L" is
it has
Layers (just thought of that)
Lemon ink and papers and gem
Lollipop flower
a Label
a Loo roll (which is what the heart shape is made from)

actually that may come off to be replaced by an ordinary cardstock heart before I send it!

the papers and stickers are all October Afternoon; the gem is Prima and the leaf punch is Martha Stewart. The lace is from a bag beside the table. Before that, I have no idea. The bag beside the table contains cards other people have sent me and this lace. I don't know why I haven't put it with the ribbon or in my other accessories box but it did mean I knew where it was. I seem to be able to remember where things are better when I am untidy than when I tidy. Weird.

Here is the page I amde for the class on Monday. The idea was that people broughtphotos of themselves so that is why there is another "about me" page. They mostly didn't so I could have done something else but there you areLovely K and Co papers, my Sizzix letters and embossing title and doodling and punching and it is done. Phil took the photo of me on Monday in the conservatory (why does that sentence always end "with the lead piping" in my head?) where the light and reflection are flattering... Last night I looked in the mirror and realised I can't have looked properly all day as my hair was all over the place. Ah well!

It is Church Fair tomorrow and I will be "helping" kids make cards. They better put the lids straight on the glue sticks - that's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm a bit nervous

I'm off out soon to do the first part of my MA coursework for this year. We have to do a Church Consultancy. The place I asked nearly bit my hand off and wanted to start NOW!!! We discuss how to do the first part next week at college... It is the sort of thing I know how to do really so I shouldn't be getting in a state. But that has never stopped me before. And then I have to run off to the second half of my church meeting.

I was going to put some washing away but decided that the blog was quiet and needed an update instead :)
I ran a class at a local Church on Monday. As ever, things were not quite how I had planned but they all had a whale of a time which was the most important thing. I had prepped a lot earlier and my Dreamkutz was so invaluable in cutting down sheets with ease. Tomorrow night I begin a Journal Your Advent 5 week course at Church. To complicate it I won't be there for week 2 so they will decorate the covers that week I think! I haven't got photos of either project yet as
1: isn't photographed
2: isn't started - that is tomorrow afternoon's job

but can show you some cards made for the church fair on Saturday. Except one has already been given as a birthday card. They mostly feature Kraft. And Cosmo Cricket Early Bird. Mmmmm I love it so.

Oooh I have obviously pressed a wrong button as the photos aren't where I expected! This card also features Papermania foam letters, a Martha Stewart butterfly, a Fiskars border and Woodware circle punch and I scrunched up the paper "ribbon"
This is my fave! Paper roses and a Martha Stewart leaf punch and lots of Kraft space. I did add Happy Birthday at the bottom (and hand delivered it as it was so bulky)
MOre of the same, and a WRMK rubon. Oh, and a peel off (yes I know!)
This is BG papers - Lemonade I think, a Craftwork cards sentiment and Candy dot thingy
This one uses the embossing/inking technique, Christmas papers, that same punch and my best bow EVAH.
And another peeloff.

I have to make a few more cards for Saturday then I have a list of crafty must makes as long as my arm (that's even before the hand was nearly bitten off) and not a lot of time to do it in. As ever. Monday (my crafting day) I am teaching in Imagine That in the morning and going for lunch and sofa shopping at Ikea in the afternoon (we had hoped our sofas would last a few more years but just won't so we will be replacing them with something else that teenagers and dogs can wreck slightly. They have reached embarrassing proportions now though) followed by movie night in the evening.

And I must say thanks to Tesco Film as when I complained about a bonus disc being sent out as one of our choices (Still haven't quite worked out how to delete that as an option without deleting the film choice), they replied promptly and are sending another film too. That's the second time recently there have been issues (first one the film was rent in twain) and they have been impressive in dealing with them.
I would have moaned here so I will praise here.

And sadly, I've still got time to put that washing away...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Be Still

I have had more of a chance to be still this week. Such a relief!
But there is a long way to go...
When I started out in Ministry (17 years ago on the 28th November) I thought that I just had to get through December and then could relax. Now I know better. Minister's diaries are full of stuff from September until June/July and if you think there is any down time you are sadly wrong!
It is not so much the going out and being at things, it is the the thought needed and prioritising that I struggle with. Still, it is an amazing and varied job and God continues to teach me so much through it.

It was my turn to choose the Salt challenge this time. If I am honest I was going to duck out of this one due to all the stuff I have been whinging about recently! But I am so glad that I didn't because it was something I needed to do. Phil looked at my journalling and said "hhmph, so are you going to live it out then?". That is where I am and what I needed to remember this week.

I chose the theme of Psalm 46 as there are so many helpful words of comfort and strength there. And this is what I came up with
The papers are Scenic Route Belleville with a tiny piece of WRMK (the leaf). There was supposed to be a bigger piece of WRMK but I forgot to stick it down and it would have been the bottom layer. Ah well! The black strip is glitter paper and the letters are black glitter stickers by Doodlebug. There is a WRMK journalling spot and rubons too and that is that really.

The photo is me at half term at the top of British Camp in Malvern. Phil photoshopped the bag of doggy doings I was holding out of the photo. (No bins on British Camp) Thanks hun! We came down to extra special ice cream - I had Damson and Sloe Gin. Mmmmmmmm.

And here is the layout I posted for the previous challengeOooh look, more Scenic Route! This is a mix of Liberty and Salem. SR - I will miss you.
The photo is of the kids at the eco centre in Machynlleth in the summer. (Go on, try and say it! I can't even begin to explain it in writing). I liked the fact that there were signposts pointing in all directions that life might take them in serving God in the future.

And finally...
this layout is in the latest Docrafts mag. I spent half term searching for the mag to show Phil's aunt as I did a layout about her husband - only it hasn't been published (may appear online though). But this one was - it is the story of my Dad's cousins and how the one who died was the one kept at home in a reserved occupation. I love that turquoise and brown Papermania paper. It has built in gradient colour. And look at all the brads I used! Can you tell I didn't pay for them as I would never be so extravagant otherwise. Although maybe I should be as I love the look. The brads, ribbon and letter stickers are all Doodlebug

Here is the journalling - you may still need to click on it to read it

I'm listening to songs that might form part of our Christmas kids service as I blog. Multi tasking at its finest!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Getting There

thanks to those who commented last week. I really appreciated it. Life is easing a little but not much and I can't afford to relax too much or I will drop some of the balls in the air. It has meant that I have had some decisions to make about a few things to give up or change. Most of that won't affect my blog (unless you are interested in Compact for Havering!) but one or two things will.

One small change that is coming already is about commenting on challenge posts. I am really bad at remembering the Get Funky posts which is a shame as the Funky Hand posts and challenges are awesome. I am usually better at Daring Cardmakers - although i missed last weeks altogether. However I have decided that unless Daring Cards is one of three or less challenges a card is being submitted to, I am not going to comment. I'll still have a look see! Maybe no-one minds or cares, I'm not a big cheese or anything but just so you know why my commenting doesn't seem totally equal.
It is a little thing but somehow it lifts a tad of the weight off my shoulders!!!!!

I'm just going to catch up on three things I've made recently today and it shows how I am a Kraftaholic.
First - the Get Funky November challenge - Autumn Woodland.
It is so much fun browsing through the Funky Hand CD's. I keep finding lots of fabulous patterned papers tha ti hadn't yet seen - or forgotten. Ance is so talented as a designer!
The selection I chose was American Fall from Funky Seasons
Yes, its a Kraft card base! This kraft card was as cheap as chips... until I factored in postage from the US. So basically it is as frugal as fries but not so good for us in Blighty. I doodled the edge of the card base, then punched circles from two of the designs and stuck them on the edge of a rectangular mat of leaf paper. More doodling ensued. More layers were added (one has a Fiskars punch border). This whole think was adhered using foam pads.
Then I cut the swirly branch from another of the papers, doodled on it and added some Craftwork Cards card candy. I think the white pen detail makes them look shiny! More foam pads were used to stick the branch on. (Mmm, may have to hand deliver this one) Final touch was a hand written sentiment. Oh how I wish I could write like Kristina Werner!

Next is the last October dare for DCM -Getting Punchy With It
This is an offcut of 12x12 Kraft Bazzill. The paper is really old and I had fallen out of love for it. (so old I even forget the company. Horrors!)
But two things make it zing again - one is the Kraft background and the other is the old Sharpie outlining technique. I do this a lot rather than just inking and it gives a sharp edge. Warning though - at times your hand will slip and you have to improvise how to hide the skid! Loads of foam pads yet again and three punches were used
Fiskars Border punch
Woodware scallop circle
and my newest punch (at that point) Martha Stewart butterfly

and finally the card that was supposed to be Krafty - this week's challenge on DCM...
I used a letter sized sheet of Kraft (from that US company with the not cheap shipping)
All the papers - believe it or not - are Basic Grey Gypsy. It was a happy accident this card. I knew that it would have "70" on as it is for my mother in laws special birthday. So out came the Urban Lily numbers again. I ahd decided to do a lot of inking and started with the scalloped piece and my favourite mixture of green and blue distress inks (I layer them on). I was a bit heavy handed but realised that it subdued the pattern but still let the colours through. SO then I went a bit mad, adding embossing to the mix then inking and trying to leave the middle much clearer. I LOVE the result and will be doing this again - especially with papers I don't like much now!

Here's a close up

as you can see I layered the numbers onto more kraft to give definition.

The stamps are from Imagine That, which is also where I purchased the Making Memories gem templates I used to create the swirls in the corner. I did these with stick on pearls
Incidentally if you click on the Imagine That link you can see where I teach every now and then - behind the square shelving. It is a lovely bright and comfy corner!

Eventually I might get round to sharing our half term fun - but this is enough for now :)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I'm almost here

I've been away - hence the silence. Had a lovely mini half term break with my wonderful mother in law. Came back, did a class at Imagine That and then discovered that someone at the centre of church had died suddenly (that'll teach me to leave the answerphone messages until 12 hours after I get home). It has been mad since then.
I have so much to show and tell from the various challenges I am part of, but I just don't have the spare capacity and energy right now.
I'll try and catch up soon!