Saturday, February 11, 2017

Where did she go?

Today I am very excited as I have reached the target weight I set myself. It is still on the heavier side of the health bmi section but I am still over the moon about it.
I've been trying to lose weight for ages. Since moving to Devon my weight has gradually gone up adn up. And it was not for want of trying to cut down and exercise more. But nothing I tried worked. Its not helped by having an underactive thyroid and being over 50/perimenopausal. So I decided to go for a weight loss programme. I was going to do the Joe Wicks one but it was a LOT of money. I still wonder if I should have done that as exercise isn't happening much and is a large part of that one. But instead I chose the Freedom Diet which was half the price but basically is just a load of diet sheets. However I'm not knocking it because it has worked and I have lost a stone now. The diet sheets are tailor made (I don't eat meat) and I have hardly ever felt hungry so that is all good. I have slipped in a little alcohol every now and then and eaten out too but slow and steady has done the trick. I had kind of ground to a halt so I would like to thank that horrible bug for getting me back on track. I lost 2lb then and another 2 since! (I don't recommend the bug but at least I had a reward!)
I haven't got many before and after photos, except in a bikini and no-one is seeing those on the internet!
The best I can do is one taken last February and one last Saturday when I was dressed up as Ginger Spice (as you do) for the local charity 80s/90s dance.

 As you can see, plenty left to lose if I want to but I'm a healthy weight and happy with it. I don't know why Phil chose to take the photo from the least flattering angle ever but there you go. Here is a better one with Sporty and Baby Spice and several girls from the 80s. (who just reminded me of my teen years!) Oh and one chap...

 Anyway I expect the Spice photos will be coming to a scrap page soon. 
So lets get on with some crafting news shall we...
this week on Daring Cardmakers the theme set by the lovely Sharon was Mirror, mirror 
 we were tasked with using something reflective on our cards. It could be foiling, shiny stickers, miri card, or even mirrored tiles. 
I had a great idea using silver miri card. Only I didn't have any. I did have a lot of gold miri card over from Christmas Messy Church crafts so used some of that. I wanted to make a Valentines Day card so went for something quite simple (well I always do!)

Once more I went for that rectangle die cut with the faux stitching. This time I cut out watercolour paper so that I could paint lots of hearts on it with my Kuretake paints. It might have been neater with pencil lines but you can tell its hand drawn this way! I die cut the letters using Wplus9 Whimsy alpha dies. I've used them before but never on such thick card and love the embossed edge that you get with the thicker gold card. 
For the inside I die cut a cross stitch edged heart and added the rest of the letters. I've got lots of the stick it stuff for sticking down letters but forgot until it was too late so used my old friend the xyron x150 refill sticker maker (I don't use the little machine as you get to use more sticker by just using the inside refill bit!).
And there you go. All I need now is to remember to take it with me next week when we go and visit Carys in Bradford for the last holiday there before she leaves.  
We have a new place to start visiting though - Hywel has a new job starting soon in Halesowen near Dudley/Birmingham so that is where we will be for our Easter hols, helping to buy and assemble furniture. His new company have a relocation officer so he is doing the had work of finding suitable accomodation!
 (which is more exciting than me losing weight. But only just...)

I had a day off yesterday and enjoyed doing some colouring in of stamped images and also making a scrapbook page for fun. It turns out that the Go Now Go paper line by Shimelle is very similar to Fancy Pants on Trend 2 so I was able to mix up embellishments and stickers. (And also going through my random selection of bits to stick on as well)
When I took my mother and sister in law to Rockfish, a really lovely fish (and chips) restaurant in Brixham where all the fish is freshly caught, the batter was sublime. But ma in law only likes a little so asked if the leftovers could be wrapped up for her dogs. She was tickled to have them returned in a posh little box!
I wasn't sure how to stick on the clouds. "Love" went through my little xyron machine but the clouds were too big. So I dotted some glossy accents on the back and it looks like a pattern. I'll do that again. 

 The photos of the layout are not great - it snowed this morning and is still rather dark with white yet dark clouds covering the sky. Lots of excited children as snow is rare in Devon. But it didn't settle.

I'm still practicing with the lettering (thanks for the kind comments last week!). This one is done with Kuretake Zig watercolour pens. Its better but I still can't always get enough differentiation between thick and thin letters

 Next week it will mostly be crochet as we will be away but I might take my writing practice stuff with me too.
Do have a look at the Daring Cardmakers blog as there are some really terrific mirror ideas this week


Friday, February 03, 2017

It was a lost weekend

cue the song...

I had a lovely day off last week, mooching about and crafting followed up by a delicious tea and movie night (the Hateful 8). It went downhill from there and I spent most of the night in the bathroom... for a while I thought it was my cooking but it turns out there is a bug going round here. I was able to be back in action for the most part on Monday but it as taken until today (Friday) to feel properly better. Apart from the low level cold I have had for a few weeks now. I think that moving to a new place and spending most of my time with children means that I will pick up every bug going. Sigh.

Anyway that means that I have two cards to talk about this week
Last weeks DCM dare theme was "I want more" where we had to decide what we want more of. Hmmm hard to choose so I went for 
more hand lettering
so I went for bravely trying to paint letters.
I find it really, really hard to tell if this is nice or not. I look at my writing and all I see are the things that are not perfect and it I am totally honest, the ways in which it is not like Kristina Werner's hand lettering!
There is a real difference between me and Kristina though and that is that she has spent a lot of time working on her letters and I just want to be like her straight away. To me that is a lot like discipleship. It is no good comparing yourself to others especially if you are standing there moaning rather than putting in the time practising. Christians are called to be the best we can be - using our own individual gifts not looking with longing at others.
hear endeth the sermon... 
so I do want to commit to working on this a bit more and have started adding lettering into my bible reflective journal that happens a few times a week (should be almost daily but I'm being honest here!) 

So the deets are large stitched rectangle die; Gansai watercolour paints; fine brush; sequins from stash.

This week it is the beginning of a new month so we had a lovely inspiration photo from Svenja
I could have sworn that in my stash I had loads of these bits and bobs from when steampunk was all the rage. Not so much, it turns out. I also wondered what card to make as I think I did a "key to my heart" last Valentines day, if not then, the year before (what do you mean he won't remember!). So I turned out my whole craft space and came up with...
 The blue filigree backround (inspiration 1) is a booklet type thing left over from a Quirky Kit that I trimmed down. The key (inspiration 2) is made from a thin chipboard one covered with Versamark ink and peacock blue UTEE. When it was melted  mint green UTEE was sprinkled randomly on the top. The gold hexagons (inspiration 3)are dies covered with old gold and then tinsel gold embossing powder, plus a little bit of Vintage Photo distress powder that you heat on and rub off to age it. The letters are die cut cardstock covered in old gold embossing powder. The combination of rough embossing and UTEE covered die cut meant the two surfaces did not want to meet up, not even with extra strong glue but finally foam pads and the threat of going in the bin did the trick.
(it looks bronze there but really is green)
I was sure I had some nailhead brads to be inspiration 4 but these little metal square ones were the best I could do. I cut and inked some paper layers at the bottom as it all looked a bit too stark against the large square card base. Lastly in my throwing everything about I found these lovely Prima jewel like stick on gems that are the exact same colour as the key is now so they went on. Now who to give the card to? Would it suit Carys as she is (gulp) 21 in a few months time?

In other crafting news I have finished the blanket I made for my Goddaughter. She was 18 last birthday and is heading for Uni so I thought something to snuggle under in a cold student room might be the thing. I only decided that after her birthday so it is a bit late! I used the Attic 24 Cosy Stripe Cupcake kit
which was nice as someone else had done all the work of putting together the colours and I could just crochet

Its a largish single I would say. The edging is beautiful
 This is my second cosy stripe. The first was a rainbow baby blanket. I like bright colours and hoped the parents would too
 I've seen the baby wrapped in it and she looks lovely. (though I say so myself!)

So now I have two projects on the go, both by Sue Pinner and I will have to hope I don't get confuddled. One is the Secret Blanket which is a small lap blanket that uses up all the leftovers from the Carousel. Its a bit scary in that I have to choose my own colourways. I mean Sue chose all the colours initially but I wanted to try and put them together well too. Here are my first two large pieces
Every one will have red in as that is the accent colour in my front room and anyway red goes with everything in my opinion. 
I've just got the wool for the other one which is made in pieces in a similar way but using aran wool. Two of the colours should have been in a different more expensive wool so I swapped them out and hope it will still work well.