Friday, December 21, 2012

Its a Christmas miracle!

Normally I don't make a card for the last Daring Friday before Christmas.
But as it happens I had just made a card that would fit the dare before I saw what the dare was. I am still late in terms of loading it onto the blog but there you go.
And it isn't necessarily the one I would have chosen as I do love doing this kind of card. But it fits and that is that.

The challenge set the Daring Cardmakers by Sharon this week is paper piecing.
We are all a little sad at the Daring Cardmakers Clubhouse as Rein is leaving us. She has been such a great contributor who always brings a different and fun dimension to her craft. We will miss you Rein!

Here is my v. simple card
Terrible photo but too much to do to rearrange life to take a better one! The flower stamp is Clearly Besotted, and the papers are Echo Park and MME. The greeting is Marian Emberson. I've been making cards to give as presents and sadly, most people need sympathy cards to send. I've been trying to make more clean and simple cards and here are two more - still in their wrappers as too little time etc (Suddenly realised 15 minutes before Women's Fellowship Carol service it was now or never to take the relevant photos)
More Clearly Besotted stamps plus a scoring detail and Memento Inks
Imagine That and Clearly Besotted stamps - lifted straight from a Clean and Simple Sketch. But I really like this one. I have two more sets of cards to make (won't be giving them until after Christmas which gives a bit more time) so I will make some more like this I reckon

I have a funeral to conduct this afternoon. It is never easy to say goodbye to someone but at this time of year it can be especially tough. If you are facing a loss this year - whether now or having to face Christmas without a loved one for the first time - you are in my prayers. I pray that you will feel God's comfort and peace.
And may the blessings of the Christ Child - the miracle of Christmas for us all to share - be with you

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hey, hey

we're the monkeys, people say we monkey around.

There have been a few monkeys around our house. The teenagers were asked to decorate the trees last night while we were out singing carols in a pub (its a hard life). I had been feeling a bit down because we used to have a mahoosive sitting room and so could have a ginormous Christmas tree (one of our regular splurges). But now we have a maybe slightly smaller than most sitting room and I was moaning that we couldn't haaaaaaaaave a real treeeeeee (not that I get over dramatic or anything). Then, at the same time, (yes, we have been married that long that we have synchronised ideas) Phil and I both thought that although we have a smaller sitting room we now have an extra downstairs room so maybe we could have two real trees. So we bought two smaller trees from our local nursery which was cheaper for two than one was in Upminster. Yay!

Anyway, there were still too many decorations so every knob and handle and vaguely hook shaped thing also has a decoration on it. Exhibits A, B and C

and perhaps the thing that made me laugh the most
Exhibit D

As it 'Tis The Season, my life has been pretty full on and finding time to make AND photograph AND blog a Daring Card has been in short supply. But finally all three are ticked off
Samm came up with a fab dare -   Monkeying Around

aaaand there is also a prize from the Ribbon Reel on offer (see the blog for details).

Here is my card

a linen effect card base from Craft Creations; Bazzill card stock; MME Lime Twist papers; Imagine That stamp; Cuttlebug dies.
Oh how I love the little monkey! He is cut from funky foam with cardstock layered on top for the branch.
initially I did his eyes with Ranger enamel accents as per his belly button but it all went horribly wrong and he looked like he was a masked monkey. Fortunately it peeled off and I was able to add two flat backed pearls instead!

And here are some more journal pages...

Now all filled in. Although it turns out that what I planned and wrote for Day 15 should actually have been saved for Day 19. There was more of the story of the birth of John the Baptist than I thought. Ah well. Shame as it is one of my fave pages (the wing is a Tim Holtz embossing folder, covered with gold ink and cut out)

I'm really enjoying it but now is crunch time as I don't really have capacity for the art side of it. Maybe less time reading blogs would help?

In all your busyness and last minute panics I do hope you find moments of peace and joy - and allow yourself a little time for just monkeying around!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Advent calls

This is often the tough bit of Advent for us clerical shirt wearers.
We try to hold on to the "not yet" time of waiting for the Christ child to arrive
in between it being obvious that there are carol services and mince pies and cards to write aplenty.
And the rest of our work doesn't stop - because it isn't Christmas yet.
I don't know about in my new job but in my last pastorate, life actually eased up in terms of commitments for the last couple of days before Christmas Eve. (Won't work as such this year because SOMEONE made the 23rd a Sunday this year....)
but right now its always a bit hard going

It makes it even harder to carve out crafting time which for me is a spiritual necessity. All of us have something that we need to do to sustain us - it might be fishing or dancing or chatting to friends or yoga or painting - and these "hobbies" are things that often get pushed out of the way in order to add "more important" things to the diary. But I do think that we do this at our peril. That finding time for those things that nourish and feed us is important as otherwise we will run dry. The phrase I often use about being blessed to live as close to the sea as I now do is that it "restores my soul" - looking at the water brings me closer to God and calms me down when I am stressed. And crafting restores my soul too.

But I have only managed two things this week - an Advent Journal (see below if interested!) and a card for the Daring Cardmakers challenge this week.

Gez found this delicious colour combination for us
and here is my take on it

 Green and orange are spot on but the yellow isn't quite right and I didn't really have anything that rather lovely blue - although Kathy got the blue right using distress ink and I thought I had all the blue distress inks. Ah well!

There are some new goodies on display here. I was helping Phil with his "Soup and Scripture" Advent Bible Study on Tuesday morning (by attending and making Parsnip and Apple soup!). we didn't have any paper napkins so I bravely volunteered to go and buy some. And discovered that not only does Newton Abbot have a Hobbycraft and another large craft shop nearish the station, in the town centre, along with a wool shop and a sugarcrafts shop there is a local crafting shop called "The Craft Room". well it would be rude not to go in. "Veni, Vidi, Visa" (I Came, I Saw, I Shopped)as the saying goes.

I only bought two things - the MFT Fishtail Stax and a new A5 size embossing folder which has a blank middle portion. I covered the middle up with the yellow paper but it is v. nice. The papers are MME - most are Lime Twist but I'm not sure about the yellow and the woodgrainesque one - they are the scraps left over from the Quirky Kit I had last month! The design is sort of based on a CAS(E) this sketch

So to the Advent Journal. I had decided on a certain shape and printed out my bits accordingly and then opened a drawer and found an A5 sketch book so used that instead!
I had the idea that if I was going to do anything it would need to be simple and so graphic would work best. I downloaded some Carta Bella digital numbers and papers but seem to be doing my best to make it less graphic as I go on.
Here is the front. There was only a flimsy cover so I added a piece of A5 cardstock which I gessoed and inked and sprayed and added the title. This comes from a poem by Sally Coleman - a Methodist Minister and I have included the poem as the introduction
Then each page has part of the lectionary reading for the day and a bit of craftiness upon it. The idea is to focus more on the Word and my reflections on it than doing lots of crafty fun bits...
Sundays get extra big numbers! The title for each page is stamped using an American Crafts alphabet for consitency.
Here is today's page ready for some writing.
My aim is to do all the crafting on a Monday so that I have time for the writing every day. It is kind of happening... I am not very good at keeping this kind of thing up so lets see how I do!