Various bits of art…

The verse from Proverbs that kicked off 40 Acts:

On Sunday I enjoyed playing with tissue paper and glue, creating this piece. I was planning to calligraph the words, but felt that this was a more harmonious way of adding them to the piece. I’m quite pleased with it.

This is a card I made for someone in Mr FD’s office. It was her birthday and Mr FD wanted to arrange something special for her. The “C” is because her name starts with a C, not for any random reason to do with crocodiles. I was a bit annoyed to find that my expensive white calligraphy felt pen had been left open, and so had dried up. The “Joyeux Anniversaire” is on a little blackboard, but unfortunately the writing was horrid, due to the aforementioned dried up state of the pen. So I had to do something different…

This is a piece I drew for friends from church who are going back to the States. Tom & Sheryl have been utter stalwarts and have really demonstrated Christianity in action. They will be surely missed. I wanted to give them something that was “of” Clermont Ferrand, and there is nothing more iconic of the area than Puy de Dome, the mountain that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.

So that’s what I drew.

The cards you never want to make…

Last week we heard on Tuesday that the wife of one of Mr FD’s oldest friends had been diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer. On Thursday evening we heard that she had died. What can one say or do in a situation like that?

We had only re-made contact with H – the friend – a few years back, and so had only met T a handful of times, but she was lovely: down to earth, fun, and kind hearted. We had loked forward to getting to know her better, but it was not to be.

On Saturday I made two condolence cards (as always, click on the photos to get a better view). This was my first effort:

I quite like this one – although the gel glue I used wasn’t my usual brand, and it didn’t stick as well, leaving some bumps and marks. The flowered paper was from the front of a free magazine (which I snaffled purely for the front cover!) and the butterfly was die-cut from some shiny blue wrapping paper. But I wasn’t happy with it. Partly because of the glue, but partly because it seemed a bit “meh”. And T wasn’t “meh”.

So I tried again

I chose daffodils, as both T and H are Welsh. I much preferred this one – using paper from a co-ordinated paper pad (from Noz) and yellow ribbon (Noz) The stick-on gold is also from either Noz or another discount store! I also used my usual glue, so there was no glue-related complaints!

As you can see, I used the same sentiment in both – I found it on t’internet and thought it was eminently suitable.

Although Mr FD iniatially chose the first card, when I pointed out the daffodils (he’s not always that observant about fine details) he changed his mind!

While I wonder if the second is a bit too brightly coloured, I still prefer it. What do you think?

C’est compliqué!

An expression used in French to mean “it’s complicated”…but it can also mean “it’s difficult” (but not necessarily complicated.) Which confuses my students sometimes.

Well, today it really was complicated – well, one thing I was trying to craft was complicated, anyway.

A few years ago, I went on a training course for the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) and one of the freebies handed out was a clever little card that opened out in a sequence of steps :

Open this like a book, and fold back to reveal…

 

Fold the top and bottom halves back to reveal…

Open like a book again, folding the two halves back to reveal…

Fold the both halves over-and-back, to reveal… Again!

It really is very clever (and difficult to describe) so I took two of them, one to dismantle to work out how it was done, and one to keep as a finished model. Yesterday I found them tucked into my craft shelves and decided to try to work out how it was made. After much fiddling and faffing, I worked out that it actually is deceptively simple, although you do need to be quite accurate with your cutting and sticking, or else it doesn’t fold easily into place.

I’m afraid I can’t really explain here how it’s done – I will try at a later date (if I remember!) to take some photos of me making one, so you can see the process – but here’s my own version made for Friend Alison’s son, who will be 16 on Tuesday.

Mine wasn’t quite as neatly folded as the model, so needed some help to lay flat. You can see Flynn’s two main passions illustrated – tennis and Fortnite!

I’m pleased with how it worked out, but it did take quite a long time! I’m not sure how often I’ll make a card like this, but it was fun to do. I like things like this that take my full concentration!

 

Two cards – one birthday!

It’s coming up to my mum’s 90th birthday! Hard to believe – here are pictures of her when she and my sister visited us in September. We went for several walks of 5 km or more, and mum was fitter than I was!! (Though to be fair, it was only three months after my chemo had finished!!)

I’m going over on Wednesday, and we have a big family lunch on 11th at a restaurant. It’s her birthday on 12th May. I have a picture that I bought in Strasbourg for her present: it was going to be her Christmas present, but sending it became so complicated I decided to keep it for her birthday. It means I can buy a frame too. I’m there for almost a week, which will be lovely – I hope to maybe catch up with an old friend from school while I’m there too.

So today I sat down to make a card. The first one I made was this:

 

I used papers from a papercrafting magazine plus various Noz embellishments. I quite like it, but it’s a bit boring for a 90th birthday card. So I went a bit more OTT and created this one:

It’s a three-fold card (which is a bit difficult to photograph) so it’s already a bit more “special” than the first one. Here it is, standing upright:

and in the second fold there’s another butterfly hidden away:

I think this one is a bit more joyous, and appropriate for such a landmark birthday. What do you think?

40ACTS2019 :: 22 :: Open Invite

PROMPT: Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, a day of celebration but also a difficult reminder of grief for many. Think carefully and creatively about how they might best receive generosity. It could be inviting them to the party, or offering a more low-key and quiet recognition of how they’re feeling.

LINK: HERE

ACTS Green: Give a card to cheer up someone who’s struggling today.

Amber: Have a catch up with a friend who isn’t able to spend time with family, or will find tomorrow a painful day.

Red: Prep a Sunday lunch, and invite as many as you can!

Paul lived for two years in his rented house. He welcomed everyone who came to visit…His door was always open.” (Acts 28:30–31 MSG)

Interestingly, this reflection is anonymous: I wonder if it is written by someone for whom this is indeed a difficult time. If so, I lift them to God in their hurt and pain.

I’ve sent an e-card to a blogging friend for whom this might be a difficult weekend. I’ve also had a catchup with a friend – not that she’ll find tomorrow difficult, but it was nice to spend time with her. I probably won’t do much more for this challenge – it’s a strange one really, which I’ve found a little tricky to fulfil, and I have felt a little uincomfirtable with.

***

On Catching Up with 40 Acts this morning was a busy time…

I made cakes for our neighbours (Act 19) and took them round. Marion was a bit confused as to why I was offering her a plate of cakes, but I explained it was a neighbourly gesture and she seemed satisfied, but still puzzled.

My first efforts at piping with buttercream – a bit shakey but not too awful!

I also made 12 cards – these are for the people who help at Lunch Bunch – our version of Sunday School – (Act 17) to say Thank You for what they do. There are 8 people who escort the children down from school to the Church Offices, and 4 people who actually teach the children. I was lucky enough to find some little scented sachets in Casa, at 2 for the price of 1 and 1 costing 0.49€ which I thought made a lovely gift to slip in with the cards for the escorts, and I had bouht 4 little fridge magnets in Noz as a preparation for 40 Acts at 0.50€ each, so it didn’t cost me very much to thank these people for what they do.

magnets & scented sachets

Little “Thank You” cards for the escorts

Bigger “Thank You”cards for the teachers.

I had bought a Thank You card in Noz ages ago, for 0.75€ which had lots of “Thank You”s on it – which I cut out and used on these cards. Sadly I was one short, which is why one of the cards has a different style of Thank You. Otherwise practically all the paper and embellishments have also come from Noz – so these were cheap to make. I put one of my 40 Acts stickers on the back of each.

I have other 40 Acts to catch up on tomorrow afternoon too, not least researching Open Doors for Act 18, and making some cards to send with letters to persecuted Christians. As my afternoon lessons on Monday have been cancelled (both students away on holiday) I may hold off until then, and catch up with other admin tasks – I’ve got bills to send out and tax declarations to make…AND I’ve also got to try to make sense of the emails I’ve been sent about the catering arrangements for the party for the Bishop next Friday. It seems extremely complicated and I have filed  them away under “Worry About This At A Later Date”. I think the “later date” has arrived!!

I’m off to feed the Poor Cats now.

 

 

 

A not-Birthday card

It was Friend Alison’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, but as she was working, we only caught up with her a few days after. I made her this card, which I didn’t theme as a birthday card, as it was rather late after her actual birthday, using lots of bits-and-bobs. The letters, the shiny paper, the glittery swirl, the sun embellishment and the backing papers all came from Noz; the “Russian Caravan” came from a box of teabags, and the orangey-yellow card came from an M&S £10 curry box that I bought in Paris. Even the card & envelope itself were bought at Noz I think, so it was a cheap card to make!!

We gave her a lovely Robin silhouette fat ball holder, a little like this:

together with some jazzy socks and a couple of sweet little magnetic bookmarks.

A Baby card

Our two local GPs (who are partners) have had a baby. So I made them a card:

Quite simple, but I rather like it. I don’t know whether they had a boy or a girl, so I chose suitably non-gender-related colours of yellow and lilac. The two papers were from a pad of papers I was given, the rosette from a collection bought at Noz, and the heart cut out of a card bought in Noz too. It was an engagement card, with several embossed hearts on it, which has provided many embellishments! All for 0,75€! The ribbon was cut out of a jumper! And the silver letters were also a Noz purchase.

Just because…

Just showing another card that I’ve made recently…

It is a belated birthday/ Just because card for Richard…he collects strange antiquities, especially old tools, so the violin was a nod to that.

I thinbk everything that was used in the card came from Noz – the violin sticker, the silver “bling” stick on, the paper used – except the yellow card used behind the violin…

That came from the box that contained an Indian Meal for Two for 10€ bought at M&S Food Hall in Paris! We really enjoyed it – but it wasn’t exactly Slimming World friendly. That’s been an Epic Fail this week!!

A couple of cards

I haven’t made many cards for a while, but here’s two I have made.

The first is for a family of friends who lost their father/father-in-law/grandfather not long ago:

I didn’t want to make it too sombre, so I chose a cream/grey/yellow colour combination on a darker grey card. I hope it didn’t look too “feminine”. It’s always rather hard to know quite what colours to use in a Condolence card – I usually use purples and greys, but I was led by the background paper here.

The second is a cheerier card, made for a friend who is currently going in a clinic, for depression and alcohol related problems. She recently took an overdose – whether on purpose or not, I don’t know – and this led to her going to the clinic. Her OH has told us that she is responding well, and we hope she’ll be home in a couple of weeks. I hope this will remind her that we are all rooting for her to conquer her demons.

I often look at people’s blogs where they show their workspace – I envy those crafters who can work neatly and in an organised manner…when I’m making a card, my desk looks as though a bomb has hit it. I put things down, and can’t find them again, my glasses (which I take off for close work) get buried under drifts of paper, I have boxes of this and that balanced on top of boxes of other thises and thats…It all becomes a bit of a nightmare. And it’s a real chore to tidy up again afterwards!

I’m sure other people must be so much more organised than me!

Wedding card dilemma.

A friend of mine is marrying his boyfriend in September, so I wanted to make a card for D and his partner (who I don’t know).

Here’s a picture of D taken next to the statue of Red Rum in Southport:

Usually the wedding cards that I make are a bit more feminine in feel, and possibly more suitable for a heterosexual couple (though why I should think that I don’t know!!) Anyway, using a card I found on t’internet as inspiration, I’ve come up with this (Please note the inner piece of card with the quotation on it is mounted using a brad, so that it moves. That’s why it doesn’t look straight!):

As always, click on the image to biggify it.

What do you think? Is it too sombre for a wedding card? Should I have gone with something more flamboyant? D isn’t a very “camp” guy, so I didn’t want to go all rainbows and gay-rights-ish, but maybe this is a bit dour…Or is it simple and sophisticated?

I wondered about something like this one that I made earlier in the year.

 I suppose I could do a rainbow gradation like this (although not with the Bible verse on it):

Or make something completely different…

I think this one’s a bit girly though…

 

What do you think?