Saturday, February 26, 2011


Well a few days away did the trick! We've been back 'oop north to see our Hywel. As Middlesborough is not really our holiday destination of choice we found a cottage about 45 mins away close to Saltburn and Staithes to stay in.
We picked Hywel up on Wednesday after exploring his room, his kitchen/sitting area with the "lovely" art work (male students plus Budweiser bottles and masking tape. I'll say no more) and watched True Grit (fab) before returning to the cottage. Can you believe that after 11 years of having the same mobile tariff it was the first time we have used Orange Wednesday? Maybe because I almost always have meetings on a Wednesday. We'll do it again though! Anyway as H doesn't have lectures between Wed afternoon and Friday lunch time he came and stayed with us and we climbed Roseberry Topping on Thursday.
It's not that big a hill but it is straight up and it was very, very muddy. We ended up having a competition to see whose shoes were the most impractical. I won (fur lined crocs) and slipped twice on the way down. Fun though.

It was very hard leaving H behind on friday. Harder than its been not having him around this term. Still he comes home for two weeks in a month's time and then I will find he is under my feet! Although today we have cleared the boys room of huge amounts of old tut so he can spend his time up there in comfort now!

This week on Daring Cardmakers the lovely Samm chose the dare and what a cool one it was - "POUND SHOP PRETTIES" - use some items from a Pound Shop
I'm afraid I wasn't very inventive though
I used foam pads and gems from Poundland. Some of the other things were pretty cheap though - especially the felt from Hobbycraft which I cut to rough circles with sharp scissors and the Banana Frog letter stamps bought on sale. I made this card at the last minute beofre going on the break so didn't notice the smudge of Ranger enamel accents (they are so lovely and white though!). "Bother". is a version of what I said when I noticed it.
Also used: Echo Park papers and Nestability Label 1 dies
Do have a look at all the wonderful cards my team mates have made!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Apparently that is not really a word. "Punk'd" is what Google took me to. So I am claiming Punked for my own. Punked is when several pieces of news or events that although sad/demanding in their own way are really copable with, come together at the same time and leave you feeling like you have been dropped from a great height. So that's me - some rubbish news for a friend, some meetings that left me wanting to bang my head on a desk, some uncertainty over the future, some failure to do my Dissertation study that makes me feel like I am running behind (maybe because I am?) and I am punked. Still I have some days of rest and recharge coming up and I can't wait! And I know through it all that I am not alone - that God is with me and will take care of me - and all those I am worried about. It got me thinking about a wonderful song that brings me comfort - He will raise you up on eagle's wings
And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn,
make you to shine like the sun,
and hold you in the palm of His hand.

Actually listening to it (even though it sound much better when sung by Phil - but he isn't on Youtube) makes me feel better. I'm going to do my best to shine...

Of course, my new edition to the Oxford English Dictionary (or should it go in the Uxbridge one) came about while thinking on the Daring Cardmakers Challenge for this week. Rein asked us to make Steampunk inspired cards. Phew that was hard! My thanks have to go to the Graphics Fairy who has a collection of Steampunk free digital images which helped a lot. And here is my take on the dare

Apart from the images almost everything has been in my stash for years. The papers I had in a
Self Adressed kit in 2006. I used a lot of it up on cards and 8x8 layouts at the time but knew I had some left. Here is one of my first layouts (first blogged in July 2006) using the same collection!
5 years makes a difference! As I did a little bit of a stash tidy recently I panicked that I had thrown the papers away saying "I'll never use them" glad I didn't. Which is all a VERY long way round of saying I know not who made the papers.
The penny farthing was printed directly onto the paper. Fortunately I had two sheets of it as I didn't think to check which way up it needed to go the first time. I jsut couldn't bear putting the words upside down on the card! The face was printed directly onto the green paper (wich may be WRMK but was in the same kit). The cogs and washers and beads are from my creative embroidery bead box and stuck on with Glossy Accents which i also used to highlight the binoculars.
Other items used: Cosmo Cricket letters; Black soot and brushed corduroy distress ink; Nestability dies and Martha Stewart punch.

The "I see" has a follow on inside
If you are feeling Punked today I hope you feel held by the hand of God too.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Not such a good idea

Yes, I had fun on Monday crafting without a cause but - now I am wondering if I will make my deadlines this week. Ah well such is life! I am running (along with my colleague) (which is what I now get to call Phil as we are in a team) Eldership Training on Saturday. I do enjoy running such courses but it does squeeze time slightly! We are just hoping that the acorns arrive in time... Taken along with a rather meeting heavy week - some of which have needed an emergency (small) sherry afterwards - I am rather pooped.

Anyhoo, here is my Salt layout for this time around. The lovely Ruth asked us to think about truth. Which turned out to be quite hard to do, forsooth. (!) I spent some time mulling it all over and there were a few Biblical phrases that stuck in my mind. One was "What is truth?" which is what Pilate askes Jesus at his trial. Pilate is trying to work out who Jesus is and asks “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” "What is truth?" (John 18:36-38)

Because knowing the truth is hard. I'm reading a lot more about politics at the moment and what is truth is a question that I keep asking. In the end, being a bear of little brain, I looked to see what else Jesus said to help me make sense of truth and I found this phrase from earlier in John's gospel "“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31;32). Which freed me to say - follow Jesus teachings and that is where truth lies.

Of course it is not always that simple. the current Sunday readings are the Sermon on the Mount which is really tough teaching by Jesus. Following Jesus teaching is demanding. Maybe that is what is true. Being a Christian is hard. Sigh. As I have noticed this week...
Anyway all that reflection is in this layout which again doesn't spell it out but hopefully will still have meaning for me when I look at it again in 20 years time...

the papers are My Mind's Eye Fine and Dandy collection. I thought the numbers would remind me that I have to be true to my calling 24/7. I printed a huge chunk of the Sermon on the mount using Times and Times Again font.
The pic is one I took when trying to do a self portrait with the Nikon D60 which doesn't let me see what is in the lens but I kind of like the way I am looming at you demanding what is truth? (Thanks to my colleague for cleaning it up. And I suppose it was true to leave all the wrinkles on it)

Details: Cardstock: Bazzill; Papers: MME; Letters: Doodlebug; little gems from Imagine That; Ribbon: Seam Binding from the Ribbon Girl; Tools: Black Soot Distress Ink; Sharpie and Wilkinsons thin black pens

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just because

I got to do some scrapping for fun today. I do have two crafting deadlines this week and not loads of spare time but sometimes you've just got to say blow it and go for it! (thoughts on the others are churning away Design Team mates!)

One of the pages I can't show you as it is an entry for another design team which I have not really the slightest chance of getting on to but decided that the sketch suited the photo anyway. I also can't show it because despite using two different cameras and various spots I couldn't get a decent photo. Dusk is a pants time to try really...

But I will show you part of the photo I scrapped because it is a treasure. It is a photo of Phil and I with the Ginger Group (a Christian youth team we spent a year on, visiting churches around the country and helping them with various projects).This is what we looked like when we met and fell in love. Eeep! I have never been so chubster. (What made me lose weight? Love I reckon!) Look at all Phil's hair.
Here he is now
I love this self portrait he took. He is the king of photoshop and he has given it a lovely brown hue. I faffed about with the other layout and this one took about 30 minutes! It is all about today. Sadly, I goofed up and we have not had 25 Valentines - it is only 24. Boo hoo. I think I might just leave the mistake there as I can't see how to cover it up!

Details: Paper: Bazzill Basics Kraft; Cosmo Cricket Circa 1934; Banner : Bazzill; Dies: Nestability and Sizzix; Doily: Poundshop (!); pin and ribbon: Ribbon Reel; Distress ink: Black Soot; tools: Close to My Heart line guide.

Here's a close up of the words
and here is what I look like now...
more lines and moles and a hint of grey is coming - but there we go. (Oh if only my arms were longer I could do better self portraits. Or maybe I should just learn to use the timer like Phil can). While I have spent the day making a mess, (and doing a few loads of washing) Phil has also cleaned the kitchen including the cooker and is now about to go out to lead a bereavement course. I am heading out for another Youth Praise and then we will meet up again for family film night. It's the all time romantic Girl With a Dragon Tattoo. In Swedish.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Say it isn't so

that a whole week has gone by again...
Most of my crafting time has been taken up with making wedding invites (which I am not going to show until they have arrived with people so that could be months) or more of the canvasses as Christmas presents (this time in more neutral colours). I had to give up on one because it was a plain disaster but as I buy packs of 4 I now have three unpainted canvasses staring at me. I'm wondering if I can bear making some more as mother's day presents...

Legally Blonde was fabulous. Better than I expected. Very funny. Catchy songs and clever choreography. Denise Van Outen was not on (a friday night too!) and the lead has just changed but it was no matter - the cast were all great and I have a soft spot for Emmett. And HOW can they sing and skip flawlessly at the same time for ages? I am in awe. Sigh. I do love being able to go to the theatre with my best girl. Oh and we had pretty good seats too. I thought they were at the side but they were right in the middle of the aisle so the view was great.

Onto Daring Cardmakers for this week
OK so that's not it. But I am giving my DCM card to Phil for Valentines and my blog posts to Facebook and uses the first photo so I'm using a card I made for someone else. At Card Club on Saturday Helen had brought along this fab Sizzix die and I wanted a go. But I forgot to take my Distress Inks and Sizzix dies always look better with some definition so I couldn't make him up til I got home. This must be the most layered kids card ever!

Details: Card from Anitas; Papers: Daisy D; Dies: Sizzix and Nestabilities; Distress Ink : Brushed Corduroy; Tools: White pen; pinking wheel; brown pen

Now Phil, stop reading here...
This week on Daring Cardmakers we had a fabulous treat - a sponsor!
The Ribbon Reel sent each of us a mouthwatering array of ribbons, trims, pins, buttons and twines. And there is a gorgeous prize on offer for someone to win too if you play along with us. Nat set the challenge of
Two items of ribbon/trim/twine
One or more buttons
At least one heart element

Here is my take on it
Details: Papers: Jenni Bowlin; doily: Imagine That; Buttons: chipboard Jenni Bowlin; real Paper and String; Glimmer mist (on doily) gold and toffee apple; Dies: Sizzix and Nestability; embossing folder Cuttlebug; letters:Cosmo Cricket; foil and double sided sticky sheets - Stix 2; Distress ink: Brushed Corduroy

Why not have a go? The rules are simple
1. Make your card using the recipe above and add it to your blog
2. Add links to both The Ribbon Reel and The Daring Cardmakers
3. Enter your card for no more than FIVE challenges (including this one)

I'm hoping to have a proper crafty day off this Monday - well until Guides Youth Praise and Movie Night. We have lively praise services on the nights that our uniformed organisations meet and they are popular with the kids and their families - we have three in 7 days this time as we try and fit the girls around Thinking Day. But if I can get motivated hopefully there will be more than one blog post this coming week.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Tonight I'm going to be legally blonde

Ok actually tonightI am going to see Legally Blonde and remain officially brown with some grey bits coming in. (I've decided to see how going grey goes. if I like it I'm going to leave it. If I just see an old lady well, maybe I'll end up blonde after all!) Carys and I are taking advantage of Get Into London Theatre and having a girly night out. Which I hope will be as succesful as our girly shopping day last week. (We had a lot of fun. She tried on dresses and I drooled over Fenn Wright and Manson which is absolutely out of my price league but I am sure I would look adorable in all of their stuff. We bought... six pairs of tights for school between us).

So today will be mostly taken up with Service preparation time. This week the Bible reading is about being Salt and Light. Which means I can use my most favourite passage from the Message
"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. 16 Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - shine!

Isn't that a lovely image?
And for more lovely images of a different kind, pop over to Daring Cardmakers this week. As it is the first Friday in February (eeeep! where does the time go), it is the time for a flower of the month. There is a choice of Feb - voilets or primroses. I decided to go with violets - but not to take it too literally.
The papers are from Kaisercraft. I bought them to use in my Doniford Bay scrap album because I noticed how many of us had purple clothes. And then I didn't use them. They are double sided with plainish on one side and patterned on the other. Nice! The flowers are made with a Sizzix die - the lazy persons way of making the flowers. Using felt means that this has to be a hand delivered card as the flowers turn out BIG!

Materials: Cardstock: Craft Creations; Papers: Kaisercraft; Embossing Folder: Cuttlebug; Felt: Hobbycraft; Dies: Sizzix, Tim Holtz and Nestabilities; Trim: Ribbon Girl; Stamps: Imagine That;
Inks: Memento; Glitter: Stickles

My crafting plans for the weekend are to finish off my Christmas present canvases that have been sulking in the corner and also take a chunk out of making my sister in law's Wedding Invitations. Scary - but exciting! I also have worship; Elders meeting; Bereavement course advertisments; Craft club and various other bits and bobs to do before I can play so better get on...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Love your enemies

A quick post today as I am running about like a mad thing!
Today is Salt day and Pauline came up with a fabulous challenge for us, reflecting on Jesus' words in Luke 6 where we are called to love our enemies.
My first problem was - who is my enemy? There was no-one, no category that I wanted to have as my enemy as I know life is more complicated than that! I wondered about making myself the enemy but that isn't really it either. So I went to my fall back of photos of me when I was little and found one of Lythan "the nurse" aged about 3.
Now if I was prepared to nurse my enemies then that would show great devotion as. although i love watching Casualty and Holby City on TV, I would rather eat my crafting supplies than do actual nursing.
The only writing on the layout is the quote from the Message version of Luke 6
as the idea of me going the extra mile to care in a practical way plus these words really says it all to me and the layout demanded lots of white space.

Here is the rather spooky/wonderful bit.
The day before I had been sorting through scrap papers and came to my pile of Basic Grey"Offbeat" bits. Right, i said to myself. They are such a jumble of colours you can use them on the next layout no matter what the photo is like. Without referring back, I chose the photo. I couldn't quite get the coluor balance right on my photograph of the finished layout but the blue of my cardigan, the blue of the door and the blue of the papers? Exact match. The reds are pretty close too.
OK so not life changing - not really enough positiveness and difference to the world to be a miracle but it still felt sort of profound (but maybe in a way only scrabookers can understand?)

Do have a look at everyone's wonderful contributions on the Salt website

Materials: Papermania Cardstock; Papers: Basic Grey; Stickers: Basic Grey (hearts coloured with red Sharpie pen); Jenni Bowlin and Papermania; Rub-ons - Basic Grey; Stamps (can't remember the name!); Black ink; Punch: EK Success; Brad - Nikki Sivils