Monday, April 30, 2012

Its the final countdown

do de doo doo dee dobe dobe do

I apologise to all those (including myself) who will now be singing that song all day!

On the 1st July I will be leading my last service in the Heath and Havering Group of Churches and during the next week (hopefully by the Wednesday) will be ensconsed in the new abode.
That is only just about 8 weeks away. Which doesn't seem like much really.
Considering all the things left to do. We have just left a wodge of our life savings in Ikea this afternoon (as we will be a gajillion miles from one in Torquay) and quite a few brain cells as well as we try and work out how to fit wardrobes into tiny spaces. Bottom line is that my clothes are going to have to become a capsule collection I think! As well as being too big for the rooms some of our furniture just won't make another move as there is only so many times that MDF can be rebuilt...

Last week we were in Torquay for a flying visit of pre work meetings and measuring up for carpets and curtains and alcoves. Here is hoping we did it all well (considering I am a tad number dyslexic). I'd forgotten just how stressful moving house can be. I'll just have to keep remembering Mother Julian's mantra "all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well" aka "its just stuff so don't sweat it"

In other exciting craft based news....


I won the Scrap 365 sketch challenge with my layout of beardy Phil. I'm slightly stunned because some of those other entries just blew me away with their fabulousness. SO thanks for picking me judges - most appreciated.

I'm late for Daring Cards again this week. having been working away meant that a lot of work at home had to be squeezed into a few days. Kathy chose the theme of Sportsman and I hope that Motor Racing counts - even though it consists of a bloke sitting in a car and going round in circles.
I used a 6x6 Lime Twist pad, a new circle border punch by EK success and some Papermania chipboard. The sentiment is by Paula Pascual. I also punched out some white circles to hide behind the holes as it got too busy even for me without some more white to ground it! The Daring Team have been most inventive with their cards so do take a look.

I had a little time to card make yesterday so decided to use up scraps of a different Lime Twist pad. Here are the results

The top card uses Ranger enamel accents and the bottom one opal liquid pearls. You can see that the enamel is a much sharper white. The sentiments come from an awesome new Imagine That set. It is perfect for classy masculine cards without sports stuff on. OK so mine are bright and not classy but you can probably see the potential!

And one more MME card - this time also using a hexagon template and some Biscuit liquid pearls
I think I can squeeze one more card out and then that pad is done. Huzzah!

Its my first, last Church Meeting on Sunday so I need to be getting my thinking cap on - and an interesting week of other church work too so lets see what God has planned for me....

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm all of a frazzle

I am really.
I've had a 3 evening meeting in a row plus a couple of other tough ones in the day kind of a week (cue chorus of Lancastrian voiced Ministers "only three? you were lucky? I've 'ad 8 evening meetings; 6 funerals; two midweek services;  a lecture to prepare and I've done 132 home visits. And its only Friday") (Ministers? Competitive? Surely not!)
But most of the frazzling goes on in my head as I ring up removal firms and start to throw away papers etc.

I think the hardest thing was standing in the boys room and realising that we moved in with children and we are moving out with young adults and having to leave (most) childish things behind. Phil was set to dispose of the Moses Basket. Imagine a really loud shriek. Now make it louder. That was my voice as I said "not the Moses Basket!"
"But it is tatty"
(quivering voice) "I slept in that and so did all our babies and I want to keep it to hand on for their babies to sleep in".
He put it down. Sensible (scared) man.
I'll blub again in a minute.
We have just ordered the boys new beds. They still sleep in the bunk beds we bought for them when Carys was born. Yes at almost 18 and 20 they are still in bunk beds. I'm hoping they can cope with the change.

And I haven't really been able to console myself with crafting what with the first paragraph and all. I have managed my Daring Card this week. Its a great dare with a fabulous prize. The gorgeous Gez makes her debut with Tag You're It! to put a tag somewhere on your card. And there is a fabulous prize as well from Tea House Bridge. We've had some of the goodies to play with and they are so lovely, it almost feels wrong to use them! Please join in this challenge to win the prize but remember our special rules!
To be in the Draw to win our prize:
Make a card for this challenge and leave a link so that we can see it
Add links in THE MAIN BODY of your blog to:
Tea House Bridge and the Daring Cardmakers
You may link to no more than 10 challenges including this one

Here is what I did with my embellishments - and some of my new bits from Alexandra Palace as well.
I've used new MME 6x6 pads; a new lace background stamp; a mask on the tag coloured with distress inks. I wanted a bit more red so I coloured two buttons with Distress Ink 
and also added some extra bling to the resin flower with stickles

I'll be honest - its not my favourite ever card - but the embellishments are soooo gorgeous. And the other design team members have done a spiffing job so make sure you take a look - and tag along with the dare as well. (See what I did there?)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two for the show

Here's what I finished last night :)
Today I am back at work and juggling projects to finish with decluttering the (very large and very messy) study. We are DETERMINED to be tidier when we move. How long will that last I wonder? And suddenly it is after Easter and midway through April and then there are only two months left living in Essex. How come time is running away like this?


Enough already... on with the challenges. Firstly challenge 4
It had to be teal... it had to be teal... I wandered around but finally found a colour that's real (or something)
 This one was quite easy in that I am using an awful lot of yellow. And teal. And some grey at the moment. The papers are Echo Park, MME and Crate Paper - but not necessarily the same collections as before. The Chipboard is MME, ribbons, buttons, tags and fuzzy brads from stash. The letters are American Crafts. I didn't have any grey ones so rubbed an Iced Spruce Distress Ink Pads over some white ones. And yes, I am proud of that bow...
The painting in real life is just awesome. It sums up something about living in the South Wales valleys that you probably have to experience to understand. I have a visceral reaction to it - the style is just perfect. Disclaimer: I did not live in the Rhondda valley (I'm from Port Talbot myself) but visited it a lot when a child on holiday. And my dad did and he feels it too. Just as well as the painting was for him!

So onto challenge 3... Yes I didn't follow the correct order

 I love Laura Kurz 's minimalist style although it is a bit of a stretch for me.
So I gave it a go with a little more of my style. What is my style? A tad more distressed and definately more busy than that. Did I succeed in fulfilling the brief?
Well I like it and that is the most important thing. I love the chicken wire mask (I also have the reverse one. And see how many of those WRMK giant brads I managed to use. I've only got 5 left. Papers are all MME from a 6x6 pad and I also used Dotted Swiss Bazzill. Which is why I had to write the blurb on a piece of tag as you can't write directly on bobbly bits and I wanted a block not strips. It was up on the wall ready to be photographed when I decided I needed to balance it with another tag bit so added the photo corner. (And next time I will measure the holes for sewing as the butterfly was necessary to cover up the slightly bigger gap around the bottom) And look Sue Hyde. I found the butterfly stamps hidden in the punch - you were right!

I'm not sure I will be able to complete any more layouts before the weekend but might do some more challenges anyway as they are great fun. Thanks Shimelle!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The tale of the slow scrapper

Well this weekend Shimelle has run an online crop. "Great" I thought "its a weekend off and apart from Alexandra Palace on Sunday I am free so I can really get stuck in and do this". Then I woke on Saturday feeling really, really rough. (Poor Phil was worse). So I had a morning lying down and reading until I felt better again (and finished my book - a Matthew Shardlake historical mystery which was fab). I managed a little scrapping in the evening but for my whole weekend I only have two layouts to show :(
I did buy quite a few dies and masks yesterday so they may appear in work soon)

 So I started at the beginning ("which is a very good place to start"). I knew I had some similar paper and added some clouds and stickers and blobs a la Jaime for Challenge 1
 Here is a close up of the mystery sticker - and you can just see that I dry embossed the tag I used
 and here is the blurb. I found these little phrases as part of the Echo Park For the Record papers and cut some out that echoed the mystery of the photo. Apart form the one that says"write it down" which is a reminder to, well, write down what a photo is all about before you forget
Papers are Echo Park and Bo Bunny. Stickers Echo Park; Punches EK Success; Dies: Nestabilities; spray: Studio Calico; letters: American Crafts: Pearls: Mei crafts
Can you believe that baby will soon be 16? or that I was about 32 in that photo?
And on to challenge 2


 This took forever as I kept changing my mind on how it looked. I had to ditch one photo as there just wasn't room without covering up the butterflies. I wish i hadn't done the butterflies to be honest. There are actually silver, pink, gold and white sprays on this page and the papers are from My Minds Eye; Echo Park and Crate Paper. The sprayed butterfly is Prima, as are the lovely yellow flowers. The letters are cut using Dienamics dies or are making Memories/Cosmo Cricket. Here is the blurb and yes, I have spelt "stile" wrong. It was wrong in the title but I noticed in time to change it. And then wrote it wrong again!
Today Phil and I have been decluttering madly. He has taken two large loads to the dump and I have taken a car load (literally) to the Cancer Research Warehouse. This does mean I can have an afternoon of crafting. Only another 14 challenges to go!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The long and the short of it

  • its the week after Easter, when Ministers put their feet up
  • I've been rushing around - Tuesday I went to see my parents in Swansea by train
  • I decided I didn't need part of my ticket and discarded it at Paddington.
  • I did need it - the rest was the reservation
  • I'd like to thank the Inspector for forgiving my stupidity and not charging extra. I think he could tell I was speaking the truth about what happened by my face. Which I suspect was a picture.
  • Wednesday I took Mum out for her special mothers day meal (just a little late!) to Sosban. it is awesome. If you are anywhere near Llanelli it is worth the trip. Food, service and place were fabulous. And good value too. Just lovely.
  • in the evening we went to a read through play called "Love in Plastic"
  • it was about a man in a spacesuit who meets a woman in a restaurant where she is followed by her acting agent who is jealous. there were 4 in the play.
  • there were nine in the audience
  • there was a powercut half way through. It was all the better for the accidental interval (I think). The actor said it was the second worst thing that had happened on stage for him, the first was when another actor died and he took a long time to notice.
  • it was one of those nights of which memories are made...
  • Thursday was uneventful - travelled home, finished my DCM card, started a layout
  • Friday Carys and I explored Westfield. I decided I have good taste in clothes. But not the wallet to match. Oh Hobbs skirt how I wish you were mine. Oh Celine, what fun we could have together. Fortunately the fact I am going to Alexandra Palace for the craft show on Sunday helped me put these things back on the rails. Twice. And also I would have nowhere to wear them. well maybe not the skirt. Its so versatile that skirt.... We had a lovely meal in posh McD's aka Nando's and I actually enjoyed it. And watched the Hunger Games. And bought perfume and a few bits from Next and Primark. And I came home and photographed my card and sat down to write my blog...

So here is my DCM card for Zuzana's fab challenge "Hat Boutique". I have had this little wooden picture hanging about for ages and noticed the elephant had a hat on - and it went from there really.
It all got rather colourful in the end! I used up lots of scraps. Apart from the yellow which is from my latest MME collection (feet hurt after days shopping so I am not going to find out what it is called right now). I added some ancient red gems, a velvet flower and polkadot button.

And now I am going to probably snooze for a while. Shopping is hard work you know!

Monday, April 09, 2012

A trip down memory lane

I had an email this week asking me about a tutorial I had written about making extra patterns with patterned paper. Well it rang a vague bell so I went back through my blog to the time I was doing that kind of thing and lost a happy hour trawling back through events, photos and crafty bits that I had forgotten. Its clear that I have got a crafting style but I'm not sure I can describe it - perhaps - "fairly clean but with a lot of patterned papers" will have to do.
I didn't find the tutorial though...
well not until I had an idea it might be on the Daring Cardmakers blog and googled it, finding that I wrote it almost exactly 4 years ago. If you are curious, it's here

After a marathon week I have finally managed to finish my Daring card for this week. The colour theme is sorbet colours
which my card is - but maybe I should have photographed it on a lighter background!
this card went through several versions and finally has a doily sticking out over the edge. I love the colour of the doily which I created by using a glimmer mist. I also sprayed some cardstock with it to make the sponge part of the cupcake. The papers are all MME; Dies: Sizzix and Nestablilities; PTI stamp; doily from shop up t'road (High House which sells ribbons and wedding bits and artificial flowers). Here is a close up of the hand created cupcake (as if you couldn't tell, LOL!) which has Rock Candy sparkles and Glossy Accents

At Card Club on Saturday - a real balm for the soul on the lovely pause that is Easter Saturday - I made a card for the CASE study challenge blog. I love the style of the designers and wanted to see if I could be clean and simple too. I used the same shape and similar colour scheme to the original card
The papers are Papermania; ribbon is Anitas; also used white enamel accents; Banana Frog and Imagine That stamps and gems from Imagine That. I obviously have a thing for yellow accents at the moment!

I was kind of dreading today as I had dubbed it "operation Carys' room". Well that was a trip down memory lane in itself as we rediscovered the floor and said goodbye to many cuddly toys. Even Mickey Mouse - who Hywel used to babble away to at six weeks old - he didn't do that to us or any other toys. Even Cake the orangutan and many others that I can name and tell you where they came from. It is time to put away childish things. Or, if you are moving to a house with no storage space, time to donate them to charity for others to enjoy.  We filled 3 rubbish sacks and 4 for charity. I even found her MP4 player down the radiator (amongst other things I will not mention for fear of upsetting the squeamish!).

I allowed her to sleep in and while I waited, made a layout with some fab new MME papers with a little bit of Cosmo Cricket thrown in (as a yellow accent....)
You may now be singing Van Halen in your head, sorry! There is a little October Afternoon as well. I used some mists and a hexagon mask, plus my hexagon template and a sizzux scroll die. I finished off by blobbing some Stickles of various kinds and colours around the place. Here are the words...
Well the bedroom is done and it has stopped raining so I suppose I better go out for a run as I won't be able to over the next few days as I will spend a lot of time on the train or having fun with my parents (its a flying solo visit). As I have just reached 4 miles I don't want to lose momentum. Tempting though!

Friday, April 06, 2012

A Good Friday

British Christians tend not to be demonstrative. (Either that or IN your face - but that doesn't usually go down too well...) So it is always wonderful on Good Friday to be among 100's of Christians, walking together and celebrating the events surrounding Jesus' death on the cross. Because I am leaving Romford soon, I was asked if my church would do the last stop on the procession this year. We go from the Baptists, at one end of town, to the Methodists at the other, via the Catholic and Anglican churches, stopping in the marketplace for the crucifixion scene - all led by the Salvation Army band. My church doesn't feature as we are not on the route, so it was cool to be asked. Except it meant that I was nervous all the way along. I know how the Methodists feel now! I wrote something with 7 witnesses to the cross and the tomb, intermingled with singing "were you there when they crucified my Lord". All the readers (some of whom had 5 minutes notice) were fantastic and the whole event was really powerful this year.

My plan was to come home, take the dog for a walk and then settle to some crafting - especially my Daring Card for this week. But it didn't quite happen like that - I finished my book and then did some decluttering instead. So the card won't be made until Sunday now but I can show (off) two other projects completed recently.

This is for the Scrap 365 sketch challenge. I thought I would try stamping with acrylic stamps and paint. Not sure I've quite got it yet! The big pre made circle is (I think) Lily Bee and the other papers October Afternoon. I found some Purple Onion circle stamps and decided to add a painty section for my journalling. It looked terrible until I decided to add some hand stitched lines and (just about) rescued it. Phil has been clean shaven since the summer and I had forgotten what a white bushy beard he had!





The second is for a Shimelle Sketch Challenge. Again I used October Afternoon papers which means it is all rather in your face!
I do like the layering of random tags to write on so I may well try that again. The black loopy thing is Bazzill. Looking at the two layouts together suggests I rather like yellow at the moment...
And experimenting (still unsuccessfully!) with paint.

Well tomorrow is Easter Saturday which will involve writing part 2 of a sermon, Card Club  and gearing up for three services by lunch time. Holy Week is fabulous but there is a lot of it! Happy Easter

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

And now for something completely different...

Normally I use this blog to show (off) my creative side through playing with paper. But I am also sometimes creative with words. And this week there is far more word writing and service collating than there is card making or scrapbooking so I thought I would share with you some reflections that I have written to use in Holy Week services. I'm putting next to the words just as a reminder to those who may want to use them that I wrote them. If anyone does, feel free!


the garden of Gethsemene


Waiting and sleeping
He wanted us to wait
He wanted us to watch
He wanted us to pray.
And, seeing his drawn features,
And, hearing a voice near to tears,
We wanted to wait
And to watch
And to pray.
And so we sat on our knees and began to pray
But the ground was hard and we relaxed our postures
And soon, in the quiet
We were asleep.

He came back
And the hurt and pain in his voice was one of the most terrible things I have heard.
“You were sleeping!” he whispered
“we will wait and watch and pray” we promised.
And we did.
But the night was warm
With a soft lulling breeze
And soon we were asleep.

He woke us again
We apologised again
We promised again.
We prayed, fervently
We watched – as he paced, and lifted his arms to the sky, and knelt and cried
We listened - We could hear him crying out to God to “take this cup away”
We could not bear it.
And perhaps, because our bodies could not take the agonies they sensed.
Once more we fell asleep.
Once more we let him down.
And there were no chances left.
How could we be angry with Judas for betraying him with a kiss?
When we had already betrayed him
We had already betrayed him.
© Lythan Nevard


Peter in the courtyard
I don’t know him
I was not in my right mind.
Truly, I wasn’t.
I was already reeling from the events in the garden,
Wanting to stay awake but failing, failing.
Judas’ kiss
The arrest.
Running away.
And then doubling back and following the crowd who had Jesus’
And so I arrived at the High Priests Courtyard.
Sweaty and distraught
A head full of everything and nothing
Suddenly so cold and finding my way to the brazier.
I didn’t realise she was speaking to me at first
“You’re one of them aren’t you. Oi, you”
She prodded me.
“You’re one of the followers of that Jesus of Nazareth”
I stood up, and stuttered.
“no, no not me, you’re wrong”
I moved to a more crowded area.
To my horror she watched me and I saw her pointing me out to some others
“Look, he was with Jesus of Nazareth”
“no, I wasn’t”
There was nowhere to go, the place was packed.
I was frantic, my heart was beating so fast, my head was spinning
A group came up to me and one of them said
“Come off it mate, of course you’re one of them – you’re from Galilee too”
“No!” I shouted “I don’t know him. Swear to God!”
I was so loud that the people in the courtyard froze.
Which meant that the sound of the cock crowing came clear across the air.
And then from inside the High Priest’s House, the sound of a man thumping a table
And shouting
“Guilty!”
I broke down.
And wept.
© Lythan Nevard

at the crucifixion
Mary’s song
Oh my baby, oh my boy
Sleep now, sleep.
The song I used to sing to you, when you were a baby
The song I once thought I would sing to your children.
Somehow I find myself singing it now, under my breath.
It stops me from breaking down.
I sang it as I watched you carry the cross up that hill
And as you fell
When I could see the red lines on your back from the whipping
I sang it, with my hands over my ears as they pounded nails into you
And as you cried out when the cross was lifted up

But I did not cry.
I thought about the times I have cried over you.
When you told your father and I that the time had come for you
To fulfil your promise
When I tried to see you – you were tired and worn out and I just wanted you to come home and rest for a few days
And you would not see me and said that everyone was your mother and your brothers.
That was a new sword to pierce my heart.
But now as I look and sing
Oh my baby, oh my boy.... Sleep now, sleep.
I wonder if it was a gift.
To help me for today.
To give some distance to help me cope.

I see the women around me weep – and know that they are your mother’s too.
And that we will support each other.
Even now you have new things to teach me about God’s grace.
I don’t know why this is the way things must happen
But I have long since given up trying to second guess God’s will

There will be tears to shed.
But now,
I stand proud to be the one God called to be your mother,
Amongst your mothers and your brothers
Remembering the stable
And the carpenters shop
And the love and the laughter
And the endless reciting of the Torah
And the debates with your father
And the times of prayer and quiet
And the way you would resolutely do things your way,
Even when I failed to understand.
And I know that you are God’s son

I don’t want you to die
I don’t want it to be over
But I see you in such pain
Oh my baby, oh my boy.... Sleep now, sleep.
It is finished
© Lythan Nevard