So …what’s the point?

You take ink and a stamp. You (possibly/probably) cut up sheets of coloured paper just to stick them down in a different place or order. You have spent hundreds of pounds (ulp..) and hours of time. For what purpose ? Yep, 99% of the time you make something pretty, and it makes someone’s day (especially if it’s for no particular reason !) and that’s a good enough purpose. But I bet you – just like me – have a stash of “no point other than I want to !” cards.

Ever feel guilty about those cards? Or the money/time? If you don’t, good for you ! – but I do. Or I did, because they now have a purpose.

In April, my church had Tearfund Sunday. Tearfund is a Christian organisation who work to provide relief from poverty through the local churches. We watched a video that told the story of Stidia – go here and spend 5 minutes watching it – I was very moved.  Briefly, Stidia lives in a rural village in Uganda, Africa. She is thirteen years old and every day she walks for two hours to collect water for her family. Every day, she is likely to be beaten – or worse – by gangs of boys. Her other big problem is that she is frequently late for school and misses lessons…. Seriously – this is one of her biggest worries after the constant threat of rape !

I came away from church feeling very frustrated because I couldn’t think how I could do something more practical. My time – like many, many of you –  is very tied up between work and family. However, I have also been listening to Christian speaker called Joyce Meyer and I remembered a broadcast she had done where she talked to a woman who had raised $1000 for her charity by providing a spa day for her friends – she was a qualified masseuse and used her skills to raise funds. And a lightbulb went off. I make cards. I like making cards. People like my cards.  I could sell some of my cards…

So now, my “no purpose other than to soothe my soul” cards are channeled into the Tearfund box where I sell them. And, as you’ve read this far, here’s a wee bit of new eye-candy for the box.

* Images are from  Papertrey Ink’s All Booked Up

* Ink is Versafine and Elzybells Sugar Candy (clear-embossed)

* I used a sketch from Get Sketchy

(I hope I haven’t offended anyone by mentioning my faith or rape. I expect that you all find the idea of a 13 yr old girl being raped daily as she gets water for her family far more offensive)

So, can I encourage you to take your stash of “no purpose” cards and set them free ???! For that “handmade” as opposed to “homemade” look, I pop mine into cellophane bags and seal them with a sticker I made up explaining where the money went – cellophane bags are very cheap at Craft Creations (I think it also means you can whack a bit more on the price – and, people, we’re WORTH it !) There are LOADS of places that would accept your gorgeous creations  – check your local charity shops, old folks homes etc. Go on  – SET THEM FREE !!

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Baby gifts…

So, you see your friend once a week at church. About 6 mo ago, she announces she is pregnant. Week on week you see her pregnancy progressing. They find out it’s a boy. She goes 3 weeks overdue. You pop in to pick something up the day before she gives birth.

So how come it takes you til 2 weeks AFTER the baby turns up to make the gift ???!

Oh dear.

And this really is one of those “can have it all pre-prepared for the final frou-frou”.

But it is cute, right ? Cute enough to get me off the hook ?* The basket is Papertrey Ink’s Basket Basics (and, people, if you haven’t used one of the Timeless Templates, you should. No P+P and they are very, very good – Dr Suess is revolving in his grave right now…)

* the taggie image and sentiment is Elzybells – still available (just) and SUPER CHEAP

* the leaves are PTI Year of Flowers:Roses

* All else is stash.

The “roses” are actually balled-up baby socks with a stick pushed in them, anchored in oasis ( find your local florist and ask them !!) You can get some GORGEOUS “baby bouquets” out there at some very fancy prices, but it is easy enough to play around and do it yourself (or google for someone who is smart enough to do it and take a video !!)

OK. At least one more baby is about to be born that I need a gift for. Guess what I’m going to make  …2 weeks after the birth?!

PS FINALLY Spotify has uploaded Glee. My Playlist is Gleeked !!

I like big bags and I cannot lie…

… and the only reason I know any part of that song is because I was FANATICAL about Friends !! (I still miss it…)

So, DD was away and the mumma will play …with her sewing machine. Now, I know my blog title of Thread, Ink and Me has confused some of you who feel that the occasional use of some form of thread on a card really doesn’t warrant a headline title. And you’d be right. But, honestly, I use threads a lot – I embroider, dressmake and quilt, just not so often ( or, in the case of the embroidery, do something that takes over 5 years to finish…2011 could be the year !)

However, this weekend, a UFO (unfinshed object) was completed. And you so know there’s a story behind it !!

Last year, I went to quite a few Saturday courses, and every time I went I wished I’d had a bag big enough to carry a folder, pens, water bottle lunch etc. A Tesco branded bag doesn’t have that professional edge. Even the eco-jute ones…. So eventually, I bought a pattern and fabric for a bag, because I’m WAAAAY too cheap to buy an actual bag !! I cut the pattern out, I cut the fabric out, I tailor-tacked it all …then ran out of time/got bored and stuffed it in a plastic bag to join the stash of UFOs lurking in the sewing area of my craft space…. Over the Summer, I have often wished I had made the BIG BAG, reckoning it would be so handy for day trips with a 4yr old (and her daddy!) So this weekend, being child-free, I went for it. And here it is.

I love the colours – they make me happy! Dark demin for the outer and BRIGHT PINK!!!! cotton for the lining. And isn’t that HUGE pink button cute !!!

Wanna see the reason I picked this pattern ?

 

See the cute internal organiser – man, I need internal organisers for EVERYTHING !! – that gives me a total of 17 -SEVENTEEN pockets !!!!! Cool!!! DH says it’s a ridiculous amount of pockets. What does he know – he’s a man, they carry wallets in their pockets and NOTHING else. Can’t even persuade him to carry my lipstick in his sporran at weddings….!

So, SEVENTEEN pockets!!!!

Realistically, I’m still going to lose the keys, aren’t I ?

 

OOOH !!!

Just so excited about what I’m making this weekend!!!

DD is away with her Fairy Godmother, meaning Mumma gets to play with the big toys….

Hopefully, it’ll be finished and I can show it off to you tomorrow.

I just LOVE it !!!

Here are some more things I LOVE this weekend, in case you want to enable me…. !! THIS is something I’ve craved for a long time but been put off by the sheer fussiness of most. Nichole makes it perfect again !

And, so far, ALL the releases  HERE have called my name. With Jingle Bells attached.

My first official A PASSION FOR PAPERTREY FEATURED STAMPER POST !!

That’s a long title, I’m shattered now.

Anyhow, you’ve maybe come over from APFP to read the uncensored version of this card’s creation. Please tell me you relate….

“Okay, I have to do this card right now as I have people staying all weekend. Right. Border punches. MIne suck. Not using those. Right. Ordinary punches. Ok. They suck too. Right. Ok. Ummm… OH !! remember that card that thingie did with the whatsit stamps – let’s go copy that !! (pause of 30 mins while I try to find said card – include some under the breath muttering re my disorganisation of web ideas) Sooo, image stamped – let’s use colouring pencils. Right. Where’s the flipping Sansodor Mineral Spirit ? Why is it not with the pencils like any sane person would organise it?!!!! BOTHER BOTHER BOTHER!!! ( continue the bother noise for 20 min as I tidy up my workspace, opening every drawer in process and coming across several useful things….) Right. Frame/ wreath thing. DON’T WASTE THE GLIMMER MIST!!! Too late. Punch out leaves. Yucky leaves. Where the heck is my maple leaf punch ??? (Mutter as I wonder who I can blame for moving it, and feel cross as I know the only person is ….me.) Tuck leaves around frame. Panic as know it just doesn’t work. Muse about how FABULOUS Aimes and Kate’s creations will be and how the world will look at the sad little card underneath theirs’ and wonder how much this person had to pay to be APFP Featured Stamper. Suddenly remember the Rubber Tapestry Stamps I came across in the mad tidy-up 20 minutes ago and micro-panic as they are not PTI …then remember that it doesn’t matter and I can write something in the blurb about how it shows off the versatility of PTI ( feel smug as I remember that I am  WORD GIRL – my secret power being the ability to bluff convincingly !) Continue feeling smug as card comes together – and actually looks ok. I am getting away with this !!! In a feat of over-confidence, slosh a TON of crackle glaze over the main image that – yes- I have already stuck in place. Panic as confidence evaporates while cardstock curls up. Squish it down again while telling myself I can photograph it so it doesn’t show. Hopefully. Decide to smear Tea-dye ink over the image because if crackle glaze is gonna cause that much drama, people may as well actually see the crackles. Sigh with relief as I am able to wipe most of the ink off. Card finished. Fingers crossed, people might actually think I can do this stamping lark….”

Now I need LOTS of you to leave a comment about how fabulous you think my card is. Sarcasm often doesn’t come over in the written form…

My baby’s ill…

DD doesn’t get ill very often, but when she does go down, she goes down HARD. Luckily, her daddy is at home to look after her, but it doesn’t totally assuage the mama guilt. She loves crafting and making cards, so I thought I’d make her one!

Cute, eh!

* The bug and sentiment are Elzybells – you have a month left to pick up her goodies before they’re gone !

* Frame image is Papertrey Ink’s Tiny Treats Valentine

* Scallop circle is Nestabilities

* Ink is Versafine Onyx and Ancient Page Primrose

I’m glad her father was around to tell me how pleased she was with it, because all I got when she got home was ” Where’s the sparkly bits?” !!!! I found it tonight sitting on my cutting mat and she said she’d left it there so I could add some sparkle to it…. I consider my creation to be perfect as it is, you little philistine !! She has also nicked quite a few of my glimmer mist flowers and has taken to wandering around the house with them.

I’m gonna sneak upstairs now and pry ’em outta her sleeping hands….

Mother, look away now….

.. because I’m going to show the world your birthday card.

I’m serious.

Don’t make me use my teacher voice….

Scoot.

So I didn’t originally set out to make my Mothers birthday card – remember chronological making of cards for birthday book?- but the Passion for Papertrey’s challenge this fortnight was to make a polka dot card. I don’t do polka dot stuff. Just not my thing (totally tangent, but I seem to be saying that a LOT recently, and then going mad on it – no layer cards, DL cards – but that won’t happen here. Honest!) Now usually, I’d just let this one go by PARTICULARLY AS I HAVE 2 CHALLENGES TO PREPARE FOR THE REST OF THE MONTH DUE TO MY POSITION AS FEATURED STAMPER ON APFP!!!! YES, I KNOW I’M SHOUTING – I GET TO !!!!

Ahem.

But the prize for this challenge is the exclusive Round and Round Anniversary PTI set. The one you can’t buy. It’s pretty….

So. Polka dots. Right.

I don’t have ANYTHING like that in my (immense) stash. I considered downloading some papers but wasn’t too thrilled about that. And then it hit me. If I am good enough to be  FEATURED STAMPER ON APFP!!!! then  surely I can, um …make my own? Actually, it was the little rounded sentiments in the PTI All Booked Up set that triggered this idea, and it was SUPER easy to do. And I LOVE the effect. It doesn’t change my mind about polka dots, but I will use it again !

So here it is. Mum’s card.

* Images: All Booked Up, sentiment is from Vintage Picnics – both by Papertrey Ink

* Ink is Versafine Onyx and Elzybells Whipped Cream

So why is this so my mum? Well, we are HUGE book people in our family. I grew up in a house that seemed to be decorated by books. I remember going to other people’s houses and wondering where they kept their books, cos I couldn’t see them ! I can’t sleep without reading, and it is one of my greatest pleasures in life. For which I have to thank my mother. She just threw books at us from a VERY early age (apparently “BOOK!” was my first word !) and has done ever since. It’s not Christmas if there isn’t a book. And now I follow her habit of giving all the children I know books as presents. Including my own child – it’s not an issue, she adores books as much as I do – here’s the proof ( she was about 6 wks old at this point…!)

So, Mum, thanks for giving me life and all that – but, SERIOUSLY, thank you for the gift of reading.

And, Mother, I also know you couldn’t help but read this all the way through….