Friday, 29 February 2008

My first exploding box

I decided yesterday to make an exploding box for mum for Mothering Sunday, so I used my robo with a template kindly given by stressed on UKS. I used papers and bits from the K & Co Hannah range (worked well, because the papers are double sided - and then I layered to match).

It's not perfect, but for a first attempt I'm quite pleased - and the robo template was so easy to use.

I'm going to make a card with Hannah papers etc to match (note to self: make it before it gets too late tomorrow evening!)



Thursday, 28 February 2008

Salt: Inspiring Christian Women

It's time for another Salt challenge (two weeks go by very, very quickly!).

This is what Ruth said:

A big thank you to everyone who has participated in past challenges. We pray that they will have been a blessing and/or challenge to you.

Please continue to spread the word about our blog, and to help you do that we've decided to offer our first RAK! We are pleased to announce that Casey from Scripture by Design is offering a fab package of items... 1 x printed transparency, 1 x pack of 4 stitched verses, 1 x pack of three journaling cards, 1 x pack of three handstamped tiles. Total retail value $AU 21.85



Please leave a message to this post by Wednesday 12th March, and we will pick a winner out a hat and announce it in two weeks time when we set the next challenge.

This week it is my (Ruth's) turn to set the challenge. To be honest it crept up on me and so when I was thinking about it I think I had in the back of my mind Mother's day here in the UK which is this coming Sunday. So, with a slight twist I came up with


Inspiring Christian Women...

...they could be women from the Bible, from Christian History or from your life.

Please take a look at Salt - and leave a comment to be in with a chance to win that fab RAK

For my contribution to this Salt challenge I was inspired to concentrate on a LO about the Samaritan woman and her encounter with Jesus at the well when I listened with John to daily readings this week from Everyday with Jesus (John has tapes from Torch Trust for the Blind and I sometimes listen along with him). It struck me that in a very simple, but effective, way, the woman became one of the first missionaries - she went and told what had happened - and as a result many believed. The encounter of Jesus with the woman unfolds in John chapter 4 - it is a fascinating encounter with an unlikely person at an unlikely time.

I used rub ons by Fancy Pants, Basic Grey wholy cow! and American Crafts 'mini marks'(because some of them are white, unfortunately on the photo you can't really see the 'believe' in the top right section and the 'share' in the bottom left section - the light isn't really enough to get a good photo).

Background paper is Basic Grey Urban Couture 'Lustra'. The journalling is printed on to vellum which was then put through the xyron and stuck down. The Fancy Pants rub on at the top right hand corner was rubbed on to vellum and then reversed to give a softer look than the original. I had a hard choice for a picture of the woman with Jesus - there were so many famous paintings etc to choose from - but I rather liked this woodcut by Gustave Dore:

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Crafts by Carolyn Oriental ATC swap

At last I've managed to do ATCs for the oriental swap on CBC. I used DCWV Far East papers and bits and HOTP stamps, overlaying with vellum:


Monday, 25 February 2008

More Easter cards

Not showing any, but altogether now I have 41 Easter cards (a few of which were from last year). I just hope that someone is going to come along on Saturday 8 March to buy some of them and help raise some money for TEAR Fund. Of course, there will be lots of other cards - birthday, best wishes, get well ... all the 'usual' ones. If anyone local is reading this: please come along and support TEAR Fund.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Janice tagged me

Janice tagged me a few days ago - details on her blog. Here are my answers:

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Getting used to being 50!

What were you doing 1 year ago?

Getting over pneumonia, worsening back pain that turned out to be fractured vertebrae. Crafting, crafting … mainly cardmaking … just beginning to dabble into scrapbooking.

And getting used to the idea that I would soon be 60!

Five snacks you enjoy:

Dark chocolate would easily cover all five! The darker the better – love Hotel Chocolat, but also Lindt, Green & Blacks – not that I’m a chocoholic! (I’m not supposed to be, ‘cause I have high cholesterol, but there are supposed to be health benefits from eating good dark chocolate – so that’s my excuse).

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

This is a difficult one, because the one thing that money won’t buy John and I is good health. However:
Whatever it takes to make mum’s life more comfortable
Houses for stepsons and families
Support to charities
A chauffeur driven limousine at our disposal
Even more crafty stuff than I’ve got now (and that would definitely need somewhere bigger to house it all).

Five bad habits:

I suppose all five could be ‘eating too much dark chocolate’!! (as per the five snacks!)
But also:
Generally eating some of the wrong things even though I know I shouldn’t (and still ought to lose weight)
Getting impatient with my mum (‘cause I don’t really mean to)
Probably other things that others would tell me rather than me confess!

Five things you like doing:

Making cards
Blogging (particularly looking at others) and keeping up with folk on crafty forums
Scrapbooking (although I don’t do enough of it … perhaps one day)
Watching Holby and Casualty (I know … how sad … you’d think we’d had enough of hospitals!) and a few other programs
Cooking (but nowadays tends to be more functional than anything else – back doesn’t like the standing involved)

Five things you would never wear again:

Stiletto heels (originally with winkle-picker toes)
Hot pants – complete with bib (oh yes … especially with a maxi coat!)
Mini skirts
Platform shoes
Pleated skirts (wow … what a long time ago that was!)

Five favourite toys:

Computer
Craft Robo
Camera
Big Shot
Ipaq (but doesn’t get used so much these days)

So now I tag five others:

Jackie

Joanne

Adele

Kate

Jo

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Easter cards

A while ago, when it seemed like a good idea, I decided to have a pre-Easter sale of cards in aid of TEAR Fund (I usually do this at this time of year) - inviting folk for a coffee and a browse. Anyway, what with one thing and another - particularly John's ongoing foot problems and my back (which has been pretty dire for the last ten days or so). So I need to have everything ready for Saturday 8 March (two weeks from today now and it will be over!). Trying to ignore the pain in the back which has been pretty unresponsive to the strong painkillers, I decided to get on and try and make some cards today.

I's a bit like trying to walk through treacle - I seem to be struggling a bit to make anything much atm.

Anyway, these are pretty simple cards and most of the bits that went on to them were either stamped and ready (some have been in a box since last Easter) or ready-made embellies.

When they first came into the shops I bought some Papermania Easter papers (it seemed a good idea at the time) - now I have properly looked through the pads (of course, in the shop they are packaged), I've discovered there are quite a few that I won't be using. But I've made a determined effort to actually use some of them.

The photos are awful because I've just taken them with flash (too impatient to wait until the light's better tomorrow) - so here they are:






Friday, 22 February 2008

Getting ahead!

I decided that while I was going over to mum with one card, I'd make and take the next one that will be needed for another great grandson in March:



(Did a scan rather than photo because of poor light - realise now that the scanner glass isn't too clean!)

Thursday, 21 February 2008

3 cards to post tomorrow

It's one of my great nephew's birthday on Saturday, so I needed to make a card from us and one from mum (he's obviously one of her great grandsons). These are quick cards with decorated tags (and I'm afraid I resorted to peel offs for the Great nephew etc). I did the one from us at first with a vellum piece down the left to centre that had 'just for you' scattered on it and then realised that it had tiny (which is why I hadn't noticed before I used it) little bunches of flowers on it - definitely wouldn't be appreciated by a 10 year old boy! So I quickly had to take it apart and put the 'happy birthday' background on the left instead:



It's also a friend's birthday on Saturday (one of my oldest friends - I don't mean she's old, just that we've known one another since schooldays). I made her this card:

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Bumbleberries CJ

There have been ten of us involved in the CJ group on Bumbleberries. Today I've done my DLO in the last one, which is Nicky's (madhousekeeper). The theme was 'All my hats' and here is my contribution:




I used paper from 'Red Hat Society' by K & Co and a few gems - a very simple effort, using my Dymo Letratag for the labels.

So now I've done my bit on everyone else's and very soon my own CJ will be coming home!!

Monday, 18 February 2008

A big thank you

Thank you from us both for all the concern and thoughtful wishes expressed in the light of Josey going back to Guide Dogs - all who left comments or got in touch in other ways.

It seems really strange without her. Today she will start being assessed to see whether she will be offered to someone else as a working dog - the assessment will be for the next two weeks.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

JB Big challenge 5: pick a letter

Pick a letter
and then find 3 things that begin with THAT LETTER and add them to your creations -
a card
a LO
an altered item??

So, here is mine:

Robo template card of a red house with a red roof (that's got to quality for 'r')
Rub on (on the roof!) - it says 'New beginnings' - photo not clear at this time of night
Red ribbon

JB Big challenge 8: colour matching

what does this conjure up - use these colours to create a card or LO



I used HOTP papers (bought the pad ages ago and hadn't used any until earlier today - getting to like these now):



Btw I wonder why the flash photo makes the brownish brads look purple!

JB Big challenge 3: A recipe

We would like you to incorporate the following into a card, ATC, LO etc

1 a ribbon
2 blooms
3 different pattered papers

create anything you like

Here's my card, using ribbon, two blooms from ELC and three different HOTP patterned papers:

JB Big challenge 2 Monochrome Madness

Here I used another of the recently acquired large stamps, using Brilliance Coffee Bean on to a DCWV textured brown card. I swiped the ink pad on to a cream card blank and also on to some beige flowers:



The brown of the stamped image shows up better irl - light is fading now to get a good photo.

JB Big challenge Template 1

Here's my contribution for this template, using a large stamp I recently purchased as part of a set of four - had to use 7 x 5 card blank because of the size and got out some primas that haven't seen the light of day for a while. The dress is coloured in with a Karisma Gold pencil which looks far more gold irl than in the photo. Edged around the card with Brilliance Galaxy Gold:

It's a start

I just don't seem able to craft like I used to - perhaps it's because of all that's been going on recently - I don't know - but I've managed to produced a card using one of my favourite Magenta stamps and a couple of my new Karismacolor pencils (they are lovely - so rich in pigment).

There is a big challenge weekend over on Just Bex (well, it will continue for the whole of next week), so this card is for challenge 6: black and white and ... - addng one colour:

Friday, 15 February 2008

Sad day

I know this is not to do with craft, but I'm sure that any readers will forgive this post creeping in here.

When John first had a guide dog (some eight years or so ago) he was still going up and down to London for evening meetings etc and the dog gave him independence that hadn't been possible with the use of a white cane.

Having suffered a heart attack and a consequent heart bypass op in the autumn of 2005, John's health hasn't been too good, the complications of diabetes catching up with him in all sorts of ways, he has had to settle for a less active lifestyle (not that it was that active before that!).

Over the years, John has also had quite a few problems with ulcers on his feet which always take ages to heal. Recently he had one on a toe that went from bad to worse affecting the health of the whole foot and he had to have the toe amputated. He's had an ulcer on the other foot, which, thankfully, has now healed after quite some time. It is now thought that one of Josey's hairs might have got into the ulcer and made it worse (however careful we are with cleaning and grooming Josey, it's inevitable to have stray hairs).

Because of the recent foot problems, John hasn't been able to go out with Josey at all, so she hasn't actually worked on the harness now for over a month.

We've had to very reluctantly come to the conclusion that it's no longer viable for John to have a guide dog because the need for one isn't as great and the dog herself isn't getting the exercise she needs when walking with him because his pace is now much slower and he has to stop quite often because of breathlessness. And a lot of the time now he has to have a taxi rather than public transport to go anywhere.

So, after much discussion and tears, earlier this week John phoned Guide Dogs and the result of a phone conversation yesterday was that Josey would be taken back. We were told we would get a phone call telling us when this would be - little did we know it would be so quick as a call at 8 o'clock this morning and someone came to get her about 11.30 am.

She will be six in May, so she still has a working life of about four years left, so Guide Dogs are going to access her in the next couple of weeks to see whether it's viable to allocate her to anyone else (depending whether there's a suitable person to match her to) - if not, she will be adopted by someone on their list.

This is a very sad and difficult time, especially for John. Obviously we will both miss her so much and for John it's the realisation that he really isn't that fit.

We're hoping that Josey will continue to work as a guide dog because she has always been so willing and confident.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Salt: Lent

How the weeks go by! Today sees another Salt challenge launched and this time it was Lythan who chose the topic. This is what she said:

As Kimberly is on maternity leave it is Lythan's turn to do a challenge. You can find out the latest here. Kim we miss you. Actually I think the rest of the group decided just how much they missed you when I posted this challenge.

Lent.

I thought it would be a decently tough challenge but I honestly hadn't realised how much. Although the denomination I am part of (United Reformed Church) doesn't make a huge deal out of Lent, it is part of our cycle of the Church year. I took it for granted that all denominations use the various elements of the Church year as a hook to hang certain ideas of discipleship. So I have learnt something new. Its actually been a good experience as we have reflected why we think Lent is or isn't important for faith. Although I promise to give a simpler theme next time. Something like transubstantiation maybe. Kidding, just kidding.
For those who want to learn more about Lent - look here for a brief summary

Here are our attempts to express our views of Lent creatively. We pray that our challenges are a blessing to you and ask that if you'd like to create a "Lent" themed project to leave a comment, with a link back to your gallery or blog, so that we might share with you!

Please take a look at Salt



My LO started with thoughts of the traditional 'giving up' for Lent - something I've never done really and it got me thinking of areas of life that need to be put at the foot of the cross and left there, living life in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, who wants us to produce the fruit of love, joy, peace etc. So the flames at the bottom represent the fire of the Holy Spirit. The song in the box at the top left is Marilyn Baker's beautiful composition 'Jesus, You are changing me', which seemed apt for the concept behind the LO.

The background paper is 'Flowing with faith' by Be Blessed.

Thank you, Lythan, for making us think through this topic - even those of us who perhaps normally pay little attention to observing Lent.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

ATCs I've received

The first two here were for the January swap 'Numbers' on CBC. The left one is called 'what size' by Lyn and the right one is by Shirley:



The next two are swaps for January from Susan on Paper 'n' Lace, the theme being 'Winnie the Pooh':



Thanks, girls, for these lovely little pieces of artwork.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Winnie the Pooh ATCs

I'm late sending the swap ATCs to Lynn on Paper 'n' Lace - no excuse really other than that crafting hasn't been in evidence much recently. Anyway, the theme was 'Winnie the Pooh' and I got these done last night, using some decoupage pictures of Pooh that I'd had in my stock. I drew the trees in the background using embossing pens and embossed with clear powder. I know that the bee in the one on the left is far too big, but I'm sure that poetic licence is in order!



Thursday, 7 February 2008

RAK and ATCs received

I've been waiting for the postie to bring me my ATC Number swaps from CBC, organised this month by Carole. Postie came with them this morning (just as I was going out to go to the chemist to pick up prescriptions - I know, what an exciting life I lead!!) - the envelope felt a bit fat for two ATCs - and when I opened it I found that there was a RAK inside from Carole:



Carole, it is so lovely and such a kind thought.

I received gorgeous ATCs from Shirley and Lyn:



Thank you, ladies, for brightening my day.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Steph's Yummy CJ

I've completed my DLO on Steph's (Nerdbird on CBC) yummy CJ: Naughty but nice. Steph asked us to supply two recipes, if possible one savoury and one sweet. Here's my contributions: