Jesus Joy!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

We often sing these words at this time of year, I would like to take time to reflect on what this actually means. And how the reality of the joy of knowing Jesus can dramatically change the direction of your life.

It's my turn (Ruth) to set the theme this week, we're slowly getting back into a routine after the birth of our daughter Mae.

I have recently been introduced to the Christian speaker Louie Giglio. If you search for him on Youtube you will find clips. One of his talks is headed Indescribable, he goes into great detail about the Universe, our Galaxy and the size of the stars. They are inspirational messages, that have made me appreciate how great and awesome God is, indeed how indescribable he is. It has reminded me of the humility of Jesus - God's son, in taking on humanity - being human.

The even more amazing thing is, he take on 'being human' for a holiday, or for the 'experience' - he did it for a purpose. He had to become human in order to pay for the punishment we deserve for the things we do that we shouldn't, and the things we don't do that we should.

Although Christmas isn't a day we are told to celebrate in the Bible, it is a time where we as Christians can stop and ponder and be thankful to God that he came in flesh all those years ago. A time to be truly JOYFUL for JESUS.

Have a blessed and peaceful Christmas, and please have a look at the other creations from the Salt team.

I made some Christmas bunting, love making these! The words and triangles were cut on the Craft Robo, then decorated with punched leaves and flowers. Used one of my fave techniques to spruce up flowers... I stick a gem in the centre and squeeze down so the glue oozes a bit, then dip it in microbeads. Also used liquid pearls for the finishing touch.

Birthdays and brooches

Managed to make a card for my friend's 30th birthday, and a little pressie to go with it... Used my fab new butterfly punch, however I am afraid to say Martha Stewart has come out with a new one that is similar, but different, and its going on my wish list!

This was my first attempt at singed edge brooches...

Ethan being the big bro to baby Mae

Time flies!

Wow, the weeks are passing by so quickly. My daughter is a month old today! Here are a couple of pictures taken 2 weeks ago.

I snatched a moment to stitch this quick creation a friend's baby. It was so easy to do. I cut out 2 different size heart shapes and hand stitched the smaller ones to one side of a larger one. Embelished them with some ribbon and a button, then sewed the 2 larger ones together on my machine remembering to stuff them and stitch some ricrac so they could be tied together. It made me so happy to look at it, so shabby and girly!

Just had to take a quick, more recent picture... so here is one taken a few minutes ago. She's wearing a cardigan knitted by her Poh-poh (my mum) and a covered with a blanket made by a friend.

Recently had these pictures taken of our family and Mae when she was a week old.

She seems to be fitting right in to our family and loves looking at her brothers. I am suffering from sever mushy baby brain syndrome. It is especially affecting my communication, I can't seem to find normal words to describe things, and end up using really unusual words to express myself. Tom went back to work today, thankfully I felt a little more energetic, although I'll be ready for my bed tonight even after an afternoon snooze!

Photography by Splash Photographic

Look what we made...

Well, it's been an eventful few weeks since my last blog post.

Will try to be brief, although I would like to post further thoughts at some point.

On the 13th October at around 4pm as I was sorting a pile of washing, I felt a gush of waters which could only have meant one thing... at least 4 weeks earlier than I was expecting I went into mild but controlled panic! A friend was at the park with my children, so I called a midwife and my husband. My friend then arrived back at the house with my and her children, and I quickly arranged for a friend to look after my children whilst my friend took me to the hospital which happened to be in the same town as my husband was working. I called him with a list of items to buy from the supermarket as I was expecting the baby to arrive that day. However, once I was at hospital, apart from the odd trickle there were no real contractions. I was kept in for a couple of nights for observation, then I was told that they would like to induce me. I was a bit shocked at this as I had been given the impression previously that if I didn't go into labour I could be let home. I negotiated that I could come home to pack some things then return to the hospital to await a space on the labour ward... it didn't come. The next day another Doctor saw me and queried the postion of the baby, so I went for a scan and discovered the baby was breech (I suspect the little madam has been twirling around in there all through the pregnancy as I had previously gone for a scan querying the size of the baby - turned out it was a big baby and lots and lots of water). He then recommended I see another Doctor who scanned me and performed an ECV - basically she turned the baby. She was happy to let me go home as she could see that there was still loads of water around the baby. So, I was let home on the 16th with a follow up appointment booked for the 22nd. Fortunately my mum had booked to come and visit and was around when I slowly went into labour on the 23rd. As I had kissed goodbye to my homebirth I wanted to go and get settled in at the hospital so I could feel relatively calm. Tom and I headed off just after 10pm. A lovely midwife negotiated that we could have the 'family room' until labour really set in. Tom was able to sleep on an off from about 12am - 3am whilst I listened to our MP3 player and surfed the internet on my phone. When the contractions started to get more painful I got moved onto the labour ward. The whole process was a little bit longer than I had anticipated as my previous 2 labours had been under 2 hrs long. Anyway, eventually Mae was born after a huge gush of waters popping at 6.24am on Saturday 24th October, weighing 8lb 5oz nearly 3 weeks before her due date.

Without further ado here are some pics...

Tom, Ruth and God

Felt Brooches

Apologies for being a terrible blogger over the last few weeks.

Have to confess not made any cards for over a week, and am now posting about some brooches I made a while back.

Being heavily pregnant and looking after 3 busy boys (4 including DH) means when it comes to evening I lack motivation to do anything that requires moving to much or thinking too much! Including standing at craft table and making things - although I really miss it and would like to be cuttin' and stickin'.

Anyway... I have recently discovered the joys of using my Quickutz to cut out felt and make them into brooches... Here are my first little designs - what do you think?

Quickutz dies include RS-0377, RS-0487, RS-0230, KS-0075, RS-0005, RS-0349.

STAMP SOMETHING - favourites!

The challenge on the Stamp Something blog is to use your favourite product, this card SO fits into this category! Was commissioned to make this.

Favourite paper company - Anna Griffin
Favourite ribbon - Anna Griffin
Favourite chipboard buckle - TLC
Favourite flower company - Prima
Favourite footprint stamp - Hero Arts
Favourite corner stamp - unknown
Favourite scallop punch - Fiskars
Favourite punches - The Punch Bunch and Woodware
Favourite techniques - inking, layering and threading floss through buttons.
Favourite font - Porcelain.

Di Hickman September no 2

This is my card for Di's sketch this week, you can find it here if you'd like to play along.

Paper - Anna Griffin,
Flowers - Prima,
Punches - Fiskars and The Punch Bunch,
Stamp - Hero Arts.


Here is my piece for last weeks Salt challenge, please have alook at what Stacey wrote and our responses to the theme here

I've been wanting to do some more painting and perhaps mixing it with some other media. Thought this would be an opportunity to play . I'm afraid I was a bit impatient with my attempts and am not very satisfied with it. Anyway, the important aspect for me was to be reminded that for guidance we should look to God's word, and pray for wisdom to apply it to the situations we find ourselves in.

I printed out the verse, tore it and used the wet acrylic paint to 'stick' it to the canvas.

Di Hickman sketch Sept no 1

Used some of my new Anna Griffin stash for this, the papers and ribbon co-ordinate so well with her kits. I like the idea of creating baby cards that are not too 'babyish'... if you know what I mean!

Papers and Ribbon - Anna Griffin,
Stamps - Hero Arts and Stampin Up!,
Punches - Fiskars, Xcut and Woodware.

All new things...

I heard on the radio the other day that September is the new January... I think what was meant was that people are using September to be a fresh start as people often do in January with resolutions etc.

Although I am not a fan of making resolutions that can't be kept, I'm all for a little contemplation and reflection. This September is bringing some new things to out family, my eldest starts junior school, my middle son starts infant school, and the ETA for baby no 4 is ever looming closer. I've been reflecting a lot on how my time should be used, how to be most productive when the children are not around, and how I can spend quality time with them when they are. I am fortunate to have a very loving and caring husband who gives a lot of time to our family, and I am ever in awe of how he keeps his cool as the sound levels rise and the mayhem starts. Spending time with God each day has to be a priority, as it time so often slips away. More and more people and their needs are being brought to my attention and in need of prayer, and I want to be able to talk to God about them. Also my spiritual walk has to grow, as I have more responsibilties to those around me. I want God's name to be glorified.

Anyway, I've ended up rambling, so I'll get on and post the picture of the boys and their first day of school - well, kind of...

Luke's first day at Maesydre,
Ethan's first day at Ardwyn and
Jadon's first day with his new bag!

Friday Sketchers 67

Went to Shrewsbury this last week, it's the closest town with lots of 'big' shops. Luke had birthday money to spend, so Tom took all the boys to Toys R Us, after dropping me off in town. I whizzed round getting some last minute bits as the boys start school next week. Managed to pick up an Anna Griffin kit for a bargain price, so been playing with some of my new stash. These are not papers I would normally pick up, but as they came in a pack with some beautiful other ones, and thought they'd make good cards for children, I have used them.

As I make cards to sell, I have taken to making a few at a time. Saves loads of time, as once I've got all the bits and pieces out for one card, I may as well have made 4 similar ones!

Paper - Anna Griffin and other
Stamp - Anna Griffin
Ribbon and Photo Corners - Anna Griffin
Flowers - Prima
Punch - Fiskars


My eldest boy turned 7 this last weekend. He had a lovely day, my husband's parents visited, and he had 4 friends round to play, have tea then go to the cinema. He insisted on singing 'Happy Birthday to me', thats when I took the pic!

This is a card I've made for someone's birthday.

Stamp - Magnolia
Paper - Basic Grey
Punches - Martha Stewart and The Punch Bunch
Flowers - Prima and others.


It was my turn to set the theme on SALT this week.

Here is my card, and the blurb is below. Do check out the work the other girls have done HERE

Paper - Basic Grey
Flowers - Prima and others
Punches - The Punch Bunch, Xcut
Others - Pebeo Metal Touch, lace and ribbon from stash.

Like so many words that Christians use, it holds a different meaning when you become a child of God. Often when I hear it used it may mean to be puposeful - to know where you are heading and aim for it, sometimes regardless of consequence. It is seen as a 'good' thing to have a 'dream' and persue it. Or it could be taken to mean that you have a purpose, your existance is meaningful. These interpretations are not in themselves wrong, but sometimes through our self driven motivations they can become tainted.

When someone becomes a believer in Jesus and what his life and death signifies on a deep personal and spiritual level, their PURPOSE changes. Our motivation becomes to live each day for the GLORY of God. To honour HIM in the way we live our lives. How does this happen? When a heart is changed by the Holy Spirit, we realise that often what we live for on a day to day level is how the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it - MEANINGLESS. BUT through the death of Christ our lives can have deep MEANING, FULLFILMENT and PURPOSE.

Recently a friend of mine has undergone serious heart surgery, many prayers have been lifted up for him, and so far the surgery seems to be successful. He has lived a varied life, striving to fulfill the purposes of God, and inspite of fearing the worst he was able to trust God for everything. It has been good to be reminded that we are mortals and one day will die for sure, however our eternal destination is based on wether our PURPOSE has changed in this life or not.
How does your faith make you think differently about your PURPOSE?

Basic Grey Challenge - Week 1

Basic Grey Challenge Blog has relaunched have have started off with a fab sketch. There is some great blog candy to be had if you wander HERE

Paper - Basic Grey 'Perhaps'
Swirls - Quickutz
Ribbon, lace, flowers, pearls, floss, button and brad from stash

2Sketches4you - 33

Had a tidy up under my computer desk today, and swapped a bulky 19" monitor for a smaller flat screen a friend has lent to us, suddenly my photos aren't as dark. I now have space for a cuppa, a jar of pens and notepaper by the desk! And I found my long lost Sakura glitter pen that I actually replaced this summer as I loved it so much!

I am surviving the holidays - the boys are making a slide out of a spare mattress in their room and making dens.

My bedroom has stayed fairly tidy, much to my joy, as I am not a naturally tidy person. It is my on going personal project to be more organised, and with the looming date of the birth of our 4th child I think this is becoming more necerssary!

Anyway, to the card...loved the simplicity and versatility of this sketch from Kazan.

Paper - Basic Grey
Tools - Fiskar Shape Cutter, Fiskars Threading Water punch
Ribbon, Lace, Ric Rac and Pins from stash

Friday Sketchers 65

Bought some lovely bits in the Silly Monkey Crafts sale. The brad, some papers, pearls and ribbon came from there.

Followed this weeks sketch here.

Papers - Dovecraft and TLC
Punches - Leone Em, EK Success and Karl Craft
Brad - Dove Craft
Ribbon - May Arts
Tab - Quickutz

Just spent an hour in prayer in a prayer tent at a young people's camp being held on the outskirts of my town. How great is our God! He listens all the time.

DCM Lacey

Fab challenge on DCM this week...

I had a card half made, their challenge gave me the final inspiration I needed!

The lace flower was made by gathering lace into a rosette then stapling it... who needs messing with glue?!

Apologies for the shiny photo, had to resort to using my flash.

Paper - Laura Ashley
Ribbon - East of India
Punches - the Punch Bunch and others
Stamps - Rubber Stamp Tapestry and Rubber Stampede
Ribbon, staples, thread and lace from Stash
Pebeo Pearl Touch

Just Magnolia - wk 17

Made these for friends who had a baby way back in June... its taken me ages to come up with them, hope they like it!

Followed the sketch on Just Magnolia, you can find it here.

Papers - Melissa Frances, Making Memories
Stamps - Personal Impressions, Magnolia, Rubber Stampede.
Flowers - Prima and other
Punches - McGill and The Punch Bunch
Others - Quickutz corners, Sakura Stardust pen

Friday Sketchers 64

A friend at church was 40 this week so had to make a special card. Used this gorgeous Basic Grey paper I recently picked up.

Used the sketch from Friday Sketchers this week.

Papers - Basic Grey
Stamp - Stamps Unlimited
Flowers - Prima and others
Punches - Leone Em and other
Brads - Basic Grey
Pebeo Pearl Touch and glitter.

Silk booties

Made these for a friend's baby shower. Got the pattern here.


Silk Damask, elastic, lace butterfly and vintage button.

Paper - Melissa Francis
Stamps - Stampin Up! Personal Impressions
Button - Goodwear
Punch - Leone Em
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