Saturday, 29 December 2007

Where have the last few days gone?

Christmas this year certainly turned out differently to what we expected. Not only did mum not come over on Christmas Day, but she still didn't feel well enough to venture out on Boxing Day. So in the afternoon we had a taxi over to her so that we could take the presents that were here for her and also some of the Christmas food.

Thursday was quite a functional sort of day - because we had someone coming to do the cleaning (relief for the regular person), it made sense to take down the tree etc in the morning ready for her coming in the afternoon, because next Wednesday we're having new carpets fitted and so won't be cleaned again till next Thursday.

So this really has been a strange Christmas because it's the first time ever that the tree has come down by 27 December! We've still got cards up, but not much else.

Yesterday I had a day of watching craft on QVC (no, I didn't buy anything) and in the afternoon I popped briefly into Bromley (no way I wanted to battle through the sales zone, except I did venture into M & S) to collect an unstamped letter from the Royal Mail sorting office.

And today I've been putting items for sale on ebay (no, not unwanted Christmas presents!) - it's taken me best part of all day, taking photos, descriptions etc.

I'm well aware that this is supposed to be 'My Crafty Outlook', so back to crafting reality. I did make a few cards yesterday - or it might have been the day before - but I won't show those now.

Why oh why didn't I make John's birthday card earlier?!?! Why is it that the important ones are always left till last? It's his birthday tomorrow and I'd been trying to come up with a new idea - the longer we're married the harder it is to come up with something new!

He plays bowls (for a blind bowling team) and enjoys rugby on TV and loves his classical music, but I seem to have exhausted those themes, and, besides, I made a rugby decoupage card for mum to give him. We sometimes play cribbage (we use large print playing cards - and because you only finish up with four cards to play with, it's not too difficult. Anyway, I decided to try to do a card based on this and looked up the maximum score that could be got, which is why the card has the Jack and 3 fives and the other five at the bottom. I was going to put something like 'you are a top scorer' but I wasn't sure that was good wording for a card!

I'm not sure that I'm that happy with it, but at this late stage it will have to do! The background paper is from the Guy's Life collection, which picks up on the cards theme, although not clear on the photo:

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Between courses

The morning was spent preparing the lunch and family phone calls (some more to come later). Mum was meant to be coming over to us by taxi, but, unfortunately, had one of her giddy turns just before the taxi was arriving, so she hasn't been able to come over.

John and I have just done justice to our Christmas lunch (neither of us could quite finish it - eyes being bigger than ...) We're now having a rest between courses, so I decided to open my CBC secret santa present:



We haven't got presents for each other this year because we bought our new TV for each other, but we've got other presents and stockings to open in a while.

Hope you're enjoying your day.

PS - for anyone who read this earlier, I made the most terrible mistake - I typed 'fortunately' instead of 'unfortunately' about mum!!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

New Year Blog Candy

My site meter is telling me that I've now had over 9,700 visits, so it seems that some time in the new year I'll reach the 10,000 mark (I didn't actually have a site meter when I first started the blog, so for the first two or three weeks there's no record).

I'll come back to this after Christmas.

Happy Christmas everyone

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog. I'd like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and every blessing in the coming new year.

This evening I've packed away the remains of my Christmas crafting stuff (even sorted through it before doing so and was a bit ruthless with getting rid of some bits and pieces).

We managed to get to church this morning for the family service and also the early carols by candlelight this evening. In between I did some baking - mince pies and sausage rolls and prepared for cookie dough which will be cooked tomorrow.

We still feel a bit in a state of limbo, as the decorating's been done, but the new carpet is being fitted on 2 January, so we have carpet cut away from the skirting boards - not the best look really! And because things will have to be moved again for the carpet laying we still have boxes of things housed in the room where I craft because it's pointless unpacking them and packing up again.

One day (soon, hopefully) we will be straight(ish!).

Christmas tree

On JB Elvin the Elf has today asked us to share photos of our Christmas trees. So here is mine (and it will also serve as my HS:MS one for today):


Friday, 21 December 2007

Handcrafted cards I've received

Over on the Just Bex forum, Elvin the elf is asking us to show some of the handcrafted cards we've received for Christmas, so I thought I'd show some here. Some were made by the people who sent them and one or two (I think) were purchased from others.

We are very grateful to all who have sent us cards.










HS:MS cute

'Attractive in a pretty or endearing way.'

My initial reaction was to post a photo of Josey, but you've seen so many of her I thought I ought to show something different - and besides, Anita has shown her new cute puppy who is so much cuter than Josey!

Here are our stockings hung up in the hall - for three adults, mind! But hey, why not? I'm going out today to get all the stocking bits and pieces. I'm doing one for John, one for mum and one for me. For a few years now John hasn't been able to put one together for me (lack of vision and other problems make it impossible for him to trail around). And this way, I get to buy all those little bits and pieces for myself that I never usually buy!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

ATCs for swap on Paper n Lace

These are the ATCs that I've done for the December swap on Paper n Lace:

Christmas:



Friendship:

HS:MS glow

'To have an intense colour or slight shine. Find 'glow' in your space today'. Having already taken a photo of lights on the tree for 'glass' I looked around for another 'glow':

Commissioned cards

The request was for a card with a 'posh' car on it - I hope this decoupage fits the bill. The scan isn't very clear because of the raised decoupage (and photos were worse with flash). I didn't have a blue 'happy birthday' and husband, so I improved - used a green one coloured with Stazon blue ink pad:




The other card is for a 2 year old granddaughter. I cut the '2nd' overlay on the robo. The other bits are mainly K & Co Dollhouse embellies:

Salt: John 3:16

Esther chose the topic for this fortnight's Salt challenge:

'How time flies, and it is my turn (Esther) to set the challenge again. With Christmas now around the corner, I thought it best that we still concentrated on the 'true meaning' of Christmas namely -JESUS.

The verse John 3:16 'For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only son, that whoever believed in him shall not perish but have everlasting life'

It is perhaps a well known verse, but it is a real testimony to our Christian faith, the fact that the babe Jesus was born as a SAVIOUR for our sins. So that if YOU believe that he came to die, and ask for forgiveness YOU ALSO will recieve the GIFT of eternal life in heaven. John 15:13 reminds us 'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.'

Use this verse to inpire you or to meditate on in the next few weeks, and especiallly over the Christmas period. God bless you all and have a wonderful Christmas,
see you in the New year with more challenges!

Please leave a comment with this post,

it is always encouraging to know that you come and visit our blog.

Especially if you want to share your creation on this topic'


Please take a look at Salt


I found it hard to finalise my ideas for this one, but in the end went for a digi LO (produced with clipart and wordart in Publisher and then tweaked in Digital Image Pro).

Firstly I produced this:



and then changed things a bit to come up with this:



I'm still not sure which I like best, but I think it's probably the second one.

Nearly there ...

Managed today (well, it was yesterday actually, because I'm posting this at way gone 2 in the morning because I just can't sleep) to make birthday cards that I needed for directly after Christmas, so they are now in the post so that they don't get overlooked.






I also did a few more quick Christmas cards (the ones that I needed to research addresses for - which have now gone in the post first class). I didn't scan all of them, but here are a couple:





Oh dear, what an awful photo that last one is - I was in such a hurry to get cards into the post.

Now the big confession - I still haven't made a Christmas card for John and I also need to make a birthday one for him for 30 December - oh well, there's time yet. And two commissioned cards to make before the end of this week. And then that's it! (apart from a couple of ATCs and CJs).

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

HS:MS win

'To be successful or victorious. Show us 'win' in your space.'

This is the only idea I could come up with. Josey loves to have a tussle with a toy and, unless she's told to 'leave it', she usually wins - her teeth are so strong:


Tuesday, 18 December 2007

'No room for a baby'

This afternoon I went round to the local school (where I used to be chair of governors and have friends who work there, including the headteacher). Anyway, the upper school put on a performance of 'No room for a baby' by James Wright (you can get a taste of what the play was about here: http://www.gottalife.com/productions/no_room_for_baby.htm)

It was an extremely well performed play - and one that brought a lump to the throat - very moving.

The children wore T shirts and each one had a country's flag on the front and a youngster's name on the back and the date that they went missing.

The afternoon was one that drew attention to the plight of homelessness. Well done, children and staff for staging such an excellent event.

HS:MS drawer and glass

Yesterday's HS:MS prompt was 'drawer': 'A sliding storage compartment. Find 'drawer' in your space today.'

The first thing I thought of was a photo I shared once before:



but then I thought that would be cheating, so I took this one:



Today on HS:MS: 'glass': 'Hard, brittle and transparent. Find 'glass' in your space today.'

I suppose this is almost a cheat, but I thought it was time to show that I have at last got something Christmassy in my space (and the lights are glass, even if the baubles aren't really):

Monday, 17 December 2007

John was right

When my cards went wrong earlier this afternoon, John told me to walk away from it all and watch some telly - 'forget about them and then when you go back to them you'll think differently.'

He was right, of course (I'm safe - he can't read this so he won't know I'm admitting he's right! - lol! - although he knows it anyway!).

So here are the three cards that I made this evening:

The silver tree on the first one looks black on the scan (no light for photos without flash rebounding):





I only hope now that inspiration and energy will suffice some time tomorrow or Wednesday so that I can do the remaining birthday and commissioned cards that are outstanding.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry

It's ironic that when I just logged in here, I saw that yesterday's title was 'Getting there ...' - oh, how I wish that were try today!

This morning consisted of having my hair trimmed and then trying to locally track down some Christmas wrapping paper and labels for mum (who had previously assured me she'd got some) - how difficult it was to get some - and then take it to her and wrap presents for her before returning home for late lunch.

This afternoon I managed to wrap up the last couple of packages that need to be posted and remembered I needed to do three more cards.

I'd joined the Chinese whisper Christmas card group on CBC and so I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the layout. Ha ha!! Everything went wrong - did one version almost perfectly in the end (others already in the bin) - then discovered I'd done it upside down! So, because I didn't want to waste what I'd done, I guillotined the card with the idea of sticking it on to the front of a new card blank. Fine ... except that I decided to run it through my Xyron 900 for speed - oh dear yuk ... the stickiness was patchy and started to come away in places and was sticking little crumbly bits to my hands, which were then sticking it to other things ... in the end the whole lot had to be abandoned.

I did manage to get the Chinese whisper card done, but I can't show you because they're not revealed to the whole group has done one. I tried doing another one after that and got in such a mess I abandoned it.

And now I don't feel like tackling the others I need to do (thankfully they are only local and could even be delivered by hand).

On days like this I think this cardmaking lark isn't for me!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Getting there ...

Last night I managed to make eleven Christmas cards - not bad going, but admittedly they were all the same, so it was the case of making a production line - stamping, embossing, sticking ... This one is actually the worst of the lot (a bit of embossing powder astray in the middle), but you can get the general idea (the rest of them have now been written and sealed up):



So many of our immediate family have birthdays during the run-up to Christmas and straight afterwards (very inconvenient of them - I'm the sensible (!?) one with a birthday in August).

Here are three family cards that I've made to be given by mum. I have to admit that when in a hurry a peel-off greeting or two comes in handy, despite my non-love of them). The middle card 'birthday greetings' were cut on the robo from a template kindly supplied by Erika on UKS - I've now used this format for quite a few Christmas and birthday cards in various ways:



Saturday, 15 December 2007

Just when I thought I was nearly there ...

This afternoon I made a list of the outstanding Christmas cards that I still need to make - at least twelve. I then listed the birthday cards that need to be done before Christmas - another twelve (includes a phone call from a neighbour asking me to make a special one for her sister). We have so many family birthdays around Christmas time - I've already done three or four of the 'special' ones. Oh and I need to make a wedding card by Monday.

I managed today to get into Bromley for a brief time and get the rest of the presents I needed (I shop for the ones mum gives as well as our own) - back has been really playing up today - so disappointing.

Enough whinging - this is a crafty outlook, not a moaning one!

HS:MS SPS 17

Here we are again - it's SPS day on HS:MS, so here's my offering for today - antique effect (very appropriate for me!) and darkened slightly:



And still no puddle in my space (no, I can't get Josey to oblige!)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

HS:MS catch up

I decided today that I'd catch up with this week's photos (I know that I left the SPS and SOS this last week - might still do those before this coming weekend).

On Monday the theme was 'frosty': 'When a frost forms on surfaces. Show us 'frosty' in your space today.'

This is the frost that was still there this afternoon:



Next, Tuesday's topic was 'moonlight': 'It gets dark so early at the moment, you can even see the moon during the daytime! Capture 'moonlight' in your space today.'

I have to confess that I've cheated with this one (well, just call it poetic licence instead of cheating!) There's no way I was going to go out now into the cold to see if there's any moonlight:



And then yesterday's prompt was 'laces': 'Two pieces of string to assist in the fastening of shoes and clothing. Have you got some laces in your space?'

So here they are:



And today Anita posted the prompt of 'teddy bear': 'A soft toy bear, i know you all have at least one in your space.'

I chose to take a photo of a little pottery painted teddy that I've had for a while now - he has been put to sit beside the tree (yes, at last I've started on Christmas - put a tree up last night). I do have other bigger, fluffy teddies, but tbh they are tucked away in a drawer in our bed (for safekeeping while the decorating was done) and I can't be bothered to get down there to get them out, so I thought I'd make do with this little one:

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Inspiration struck

Having done the CJ DLO and the ATCs that needed to go into the post today, I didn't intend to do any more crafting.

I needed to do two ATCs for the swap on Tanda Stamps, but these don't have to reach Wendy till 31 December, so plenty of time. However, inspiration struck, so I've done them.

I used some base paper by Anna Griffin (some left over from the vast Christmas kit that I've made loads and loads of cards from). I stamped this with one of the Tanda holly stamps designed by Sheila Oliver with Brilliance Galaxy Gold and embossed with gold fine detail. I coloured in with Sakura (can't remember what they're actually called, but the sparkly ones - doesn't show up here as sparkly, but can assure you it is irl) and put a strip of vellum down the right hand side with words of some Christmas carols, including 'the holly and the ivy', then just added a couple of strips of sticky ribbon:

Christmas ATCs



Working to a tight deadline again - need to get these into the post today for the swap on CBC. I used Winter Worderland wonder words paper by Crafty House (love these papers) and then put a vellum overlay that has Merry Christmas and puddings on it - I swiped a pink chalk inkpad over this to give a hint of colour over the paper(you can hardly see any of this on the scan - and photo was worse). The stars are silver holographic (never shows up well on photo or scan).

At last some proper crafting

The posting date for the CJ group on Crafts by Carolyn is today and, although I'd got papers and ideas, I hadn't actually put them together.

I've now done my DLO this morning in Carolyn's fab CJ called 'Chocolate Dip' - what a yummy topic!

Carolyn says: 'Dip into my chocolate heaven ,,, now is your chance think inside the chocolate box and complete my journal.'

I used papers from my latest K & Co pads - a swirly acrylic stamp with sepia inkpad and other bits and pieces, including bits cut off products from my fav choccie shop (expensive, naughty, but nice!).

The photos don't show the colours very well (might try to take better ones later). Carolyn asked for colours to be kept similar to hers - green, brown, cream etc.