Friday, February 26, 2016

Yes it is actually Friday

And Friday is the day when I plan to post but usually don't manage it.
However that means that there is very little to show as this has been a mostly work and not play week - apart from the great crochet project with a Mother's Day deadline. The Jury is still out on that one being completed on time...

What I can share is my Daring Card this week
our theme is Simply Irresistable and I couldn't resist (hah!) using it as an excuse to try out a technique I saw on Jennifer McGuire's blog.
Now obviously her card turned out waaaaaaaaaay better than mine but as a first go I am quite pleased

You heat emboss a stamp with white powder, then cover the whole card base with dark distress ink (this is the awesome Blueprint sketch). Then you lift colour with a water brush and paint on some other watered down colours when that is dry. I think the cardstock I used was slightly too absorbant so will try this with other cardstock as I love the graphic colours.
I also added some wink of stella shimmer which I don't think you can see even on a close up. Although you can see my imperfect painting!

I trimmed down the image to a size I like and added a white card mat. Then I found a strip of patterned paper that complemented the stamping as the card was a little too bare without a something else.
I used a Clearly Besotted sentiment which was stamped and embossed on one of the offcuts of the first card. The image was raised with foam pads.

I made it while listening to "the Last Anniversary" by Liane Moriarty on my ipod. Oh what a delightful listen. It is probably a good read too, but having it read with an Aussie accent helps with the context I think. I've just finished it and highly recommend it (a few swear words but no graphic sex scenes. I hate the latter in an audio book....)

Right off to have lunch. I know that part of it will feature these
I had a Lent  Bible Study last night and the theme is "Feasting in a time of Fasting". As each study is linked to a food story I thought we ought to have matching nibbles. I did, of course decide this at the last minute and headed to my local shop wondering if there would be anything remotely fish shaped and tasty as the story was the miracle of the loaves and fish
Ta dah!
They even look like little loaves rather than chips to me.
And it turns out they are incredibly delicious.
There are not 12 baskets left over but there are two packets and one is calling my name.
I also saw this on Facebook this morning which might have helped our discussions yesterday :)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Missed again

Poor little blog. Still, I do what I can!
I've been away with Phil to see Carys this week. We had a lovely time in Bradford and have lined up some things to do (for free) next year. We were allowed to watch a rehearsal of her next show and sing Karaoke in the bar with the students (my parents would not have been allowed. mind you karaoke hadn't been invented when I was a student)

So here is a craft catch up
The Friday before last the Daring theme was "Party Animal"
and here is mine
(lousy weather for photographing)
Love this grumpy looking horse being made to dress up. I had fun going through die cuts to make him look thoroughly embarrassed! Most are Maggie Holmes. I layered up papers and added a glitter circle as otherwise the star of the show got a bit lost. A craftwork cards sentiment completed the look.
It is quite a bulky card
This week I am late with the card as I was away so to make up for it made two on the Geometric theme.
It was an excuse to play with the three new stamp sets that arrived this week - a background, some flowers and those labels

One was embossed with black and the other white. I used Clean Colour pens for the background of the first and all the flowers/leaves. The second was painted using Distress Pads, water and plastic. I had some trouble with my embossing folder (It is really too thick for a Cuttlebug) and so had to cut down/disguise where it went wrong.
So which is best? I can't decide!

I've also managed to squeeze in time to do two layouts for Quirky Kits (details on the QK blog)

and finally.... something completely different.

One of my Churches has worked hard on a new entrance and toilets and we had the official opening this Saturday. I love the entrance being uncluttered but felt it needed a little bit of art so I made this
I used square 8x8 canvases and iridescent paint. Originally the lines were going to be straight, but they looked much better loose and blendy (I think there is a sermon in there somewhere) (there is a sermon in almost everything). As Brixham is by the sea/countryside I wanted to reflect that. I used 4 colours as well as the gold. A lovely man from church put it on the wall for me. I had visualised it with all horizontal stripes but quite like the verticals too.

And here I am next to it in my uniform so you get a sense of scale
with my phone in my pocket. Tsk!

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Layout catch up

the trouble with enjoying crochet (see last post for details :) ) is that is is social and I can do it in a room with a gas fire.
Other things I have to waddle up to my craft space in my bedroom and it takes thought to do that. But I am still enjoying it when I get there and have made a few layouts recently. I loved doing the last one about our amazing holiday to Madeira and I am ready to go and make more.

But firstly, finishing off the stories from our last summer holiday
I used all sorts of old stuff - Simple Stories; Crate Paper and some old resist papers that I think are Pink Paislee, that I coloured blue to match the cloudy sky in the photo. The sticker should really say "undocumented" as it is about the quick as a flash dolphin sighting that we didn't get a photo of. I really enjoyed layering it up top and bottom

Then a more simple page about a poem in Welsh and a very special word that has no English equivalent
The papers are all Websters Papers and the journal spots are October Afternoon. The gold accents are mostly Crate Paper.
I wrote out the translation in gold pen. I wondered about adding in the whole poem in Welsh but decided against it. You can read some of it on the wall in the photo. Welsh people who don't live in Wales, like me, often enjoy wallowing in the feeling of hiraeth, but prefer the emotional pang to actually living there! I've noticed that people from Africa who live here have the same sort of emotional responses to "home". (Maybe others but it is those from continental Africa that I have had such conversations with!)

And then... Meet Barry, done in a flash the other day
I was helped by using a sketch from Easy Scrapbook Sketches and again keeping it pretty simple
That photo makes me smile from ear to ear. Its amazing what making a face on something does to us... which is what the journalling is about. And also reminds me that the food was delicious and the vegetables... strange but tasty.

The papers are Dear Lizzy documentary but I think most of the stickers are Crate Paper Maggie Holmes, plus some old Websters and October Afternoon letter stickers

Oh and some Heidi Swapp words - I think from an old Quirky Kit. All the words left are perfect for these holiday memories so expect to see more soon

Friday, February 05, 2016


Goodness, this crochet thing is addictive. There is something very satisfying about the way the wool runs through my fingers and it grows fast too.
Here is the finished rainbow blanket

with cute edging (that is probably a tad too tight!)

and here is the start of the next one
which is a pattern called "Spice of Life"

We have even started a cochet club at church - most are beginners, so we shall see how many come next time but we had 10 there yesterday (so crochet getting its hooks into you does not just apply to me then!)

But I haven't lost my love of paper crafting and I was only 10 minutes late adding my card to the Daring Cardmakers blog this week. It was an elemental inspiration dare and here is the photo we had to take ideas from
and what I did with it...
Can you see?
  • Animal prints (the paper and the three layered stickers are  from an old Crate Paper collection, On Trend. those red looking stickers are MUCH more pink in reality); 
  • love spelled out in tiles (they are shiny gold from an Old Quirky kit);
  • heart with words on: I found some black/white striped paper in my stash (is it Dear Lizzy Documentary) and wrote some of the words on the heart in the picture in what Phil lovingly calls my messy handwriting
  • fuschia elements - pink Prima dots
I wanted the heart to overhang so cut the front of my card. I then backed it with vellum for some added interest.
Must remember to hide the card as it means valentines is now done....

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

the good news is...

the crochet blanket is finished. I haven't photographed it yet, but will do soon. I'm now starting one for my mum. ideally for Mother's Day but I think that is a tad ambitious!

The bad news is - blogging failures yet again. Sigh.
I think the best thing to do is just not apologise and pretend I mean to be this lazy elusive.

Two weeks ago the Daring challenge was Fool's Gold. I aimed to use rose gold but I think it is a bit more peach than that, to be honest
I used some of the My Minds Eye Fancy That paper pad. The dots are my attempt to create a rose gold backing by combining reddish pink and gold acrylics.
The letters are Technique Tuesday Tall Timbers which I haven't used in YEARS. Despite them costing quite a bit at the time. But I still like the font! I made a frame with some dies and added a vellum backing. A bit fiddly but I  am pleased with the effect
The stars are from a new pack of stickers so  it is all a great old and new combo.

I hope my brother felt that it was all suitably manly. To be fair he is always happy to get a card at all...

Last Friday the theme was balloons
I had recently spotted a balloon sticker in a Maggie Holmes set and had idly wondered what to do with it. Problem solved.
I also used the die that my oh so clever son bought me for Christmas (from my Christmas list)
I chose some papers that I thought would tone together with each other and the balloon. The blue one is actually a little more green in real life. I die cut the whole plate from all the colours and felt very clever as I thought I would then make up some more cards with the other colourways.
I should have sorted all of that out at the same time and put them into little bags as something went a bit wrong and in the end the others were all (gasp!) thrown away.

The sentiment is also from Maggie Holmes. I might add "birthday" at some point but was just too tired when I finished the card. I was in a bit of a rush as I was away from Thursday afternoon to Saturday last week catching up with friends from University, some of whom I haven't seen for 15 years. It is one of the downsides of living a calling that takes up most of your Sundays and quite a few Saturdays as well. I wouldn't change it, but keeping up relationships does take a lot of work. It was brilliant to meet up with some lovely, lovely people and I do hope it won't be another 15 years (especially as one of us will be almost 70 by then and the rest not that far off). Because some of them are uber successful, they are talking about retiring in the not to distant future. My retirement date is 30th June 2033....

But I have had a lesson in not being resentful this week. My church is one of 7 in Torquay who are hosting a winter night shelter for the month of February. I "volunteered" to do the overnights (to show a good example, not because I was keen). I took a mat, a sleeping bag and 2 duvets. I moaned about the floor and how I kept getting woken up by people/noises. I felt like a wet lettuce most of the rest of the day and had a nap (quite fancied two)
And today I am appalled with myself....
(and I know this makes a big difference to how cold you get, a former rough sleeper described it to me in detail once)
I was pretty WARM
and last night, I slept in my own comfy bed again. I didn't have to sleep another night on the floor.
Unlike those people that I met on Monday night who, at best, will be in the night shelter again.
I'm wondering whether next week i ought to take less bedding so that I can be more authentic
I'm certainly counting my blessings and seeing all I have to thank God for today.