Christmas cards & music – yayyyy :)

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Oh dear – another few months gone & I never got around to making a single post on here – oops.  😦  No real excuse this year either (unlike last!) – just haven’t had anything worthwhile putting up.

And even now – all I have to offer are some of this year’s cards & a couple of my fav songs for the season, but hope you won’t mind that.

Ok – cards first.

Only a small selection of the 400 odd I managed to produce this year – still a good 100 short but that was thanks to a rather important wedding (my wonderful brother’s)  I had to do the cards for back in Aug & Sept – well worth the loss 🙂  Should you take a fancy to any of the above or would like any others created for you, feel free to check out my website for more – Gentle Touch Cards

And now for a couple of this year’s fav songs:

Instrumental but beautiful by Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns

Another take on the same song by Chris Tomlin

Richard Marx

That’s it folks.  Unlikely I’ll be on here again now before Christmas so all that remains me to do is to wish all my faithful followers a Peaceful & enjoyable Christmas celebration always remembering Jesus is the REAL reason for the season (as cliched as it sounds!) 🙂

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 9:6-7

Difficult days…

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Apologies to all who follow my blog for the lack of writing of late. No excuse available for much of the time away, but now am in that awful place we all have to cope with having just lost my wonderful dearest mother to heaven on Monday past (20th August 2012).

She was 85-1/2 and had suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)after having smoked heavily for 30+ years of her life.   While we knew her time was getting shorter with every passing day, we somehow still felt she would be here many years ahead yet, as she was in superb form right up until getting her final chest infection just over a fortnight ago.

She unfortunately didn’t complain of the right symptoms, so we were unaware of how seriously ill she actually was, & thus time was wasted getitng her into hospital, and once in, she deteriorated very rapidly despite all the treatment she was getitng.  We were told last Thursday that she was unlikely to recover and on Friday preparations were started for her impending demise.

Having never prayed with her at any point in her life, I thankfully had opportunity during her last 2 days to do so, & to read lots of scripture to her.  She had made a statement of faith in her youth but never progressed from that point, yet I have to believe that it was enough.  Certain portions of scripture give the impression that really nothing more is needed:

“Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Act 16:30-31


Christmas pyramids & more card fun….

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I’ve been tirelessly slaving away making Christmas cards once again this year – started in August and still going strong.   No idea exactly how many I’ve made in all, but given I’ve fulfilled at least 3 orders of over 250 and I’ve still got 5 A4 file boxes full I’m assuming I’ve probably managed to make at least close to 4-500 which isn’t bad going given I’ve only put in about 3 hrs a day on them.

This year I reverted back to my Dufex prints in order to make a higher volume of flat cards because of the dire high postage costs on the decoupage ones, and knowing that one of my orders was to go to a pensioner’s residential home.   But I then got really into making a quantity of nice new decoupage designs as well.   There’s a new craze sweeping the craft world at the moment which really works wonderfully for those of us into decoupage in particular, but also many other card styles, which is being able to buy 1 print that you then have the right to print off as many copies as you wish.   The main outlet in the UK is CraftsUPrint run by the very successful Rob Jackson of  Papertole fame.  While many of the designs are quite simple and some really not that good, there’s also a large quantity of truly super designs from some very talented designers.  These 2 cards are a small example:

Another new style of card making that has really come into its own in the past year or two is pyramage where sections of the design are layered one on top of the other to create a pyramid effect, which in many cases can be hugely effective.   The above 2 cards use this to some degree whereby the middle section has 3 layers, those beside it 2, and the outside only 1.    It’s hard to show the true pyramid effect in photos as you really need to obviously see the card to see the real effect of it, but my very first pyramage card was actually one of Joanna Sheen’s images off her triple Christmas CD set which provides a lot of Victorian style images, and I think it shows off the pyramid effect very clearly.

I’m rather behind on keeping my card website updated (I manage 3 sites, and 2 are much larger than my own), but if you keep an eye on it, I should get some more of this year’s offerings up on there shortly.  You can also buy designs if you’re interested.   Head to Gentle Touch Cards.   I’m happy to fulfil personal requests if you want some minor changes on any of the cards – just ask.

Back to work…

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Bit of a longer break from writing than I’d expected to have this past couple of months, but a necessity of sorts, as I just haven’t been able to think straight much to do anything requiring brain power.   I’m battling bone pain nightly which is now under investigation but which continues in the meantime to cause me endless fatigue through broken sleep.   I’m contented it’s nothing serious as I’ve had this before in 2006 caused then by bony infarcts and it’s most likely just a recurrence, but I discovered then that the only way I was going to get pain relief was to be willing to be totally housebound and on ridiculous doses of narcotics which ended up just making my brain more like Swiss Cheese than it is already 😦   So I figured this time, I’d just try and ride it out a bit more in the hope that either the Lord will once again heal as he did that year, or the docs find something easier treated perhaps.   There’s a possibility it may be nothing more difficult than bumping up my Vit D intake as I’ve had very low levels for some time now and my Rheumatologist thinks that also might be causing the pain as it can cause a condition called osteomalacia (bone softening).   But we’ll see.

So, in the meSquare diamond DPantime, I’m going to try and put my tired brain cells into action and resume writing once again – plenty of ideas certainly, but it’s proving tough to just get stuck in and put the post together – something I’m sure all bloggers feel now and again.   This is also the busiest time of year for me, as I’m once again starting in to the yearly Christmas Card production which takes up pretty much all of my spare time.   Usually have around 3-400 cards+ to produce and unless I keep on top of them, I end up in November trying to make 10 a day which is crazy – easier to make 1-2 a day now and have less pressure then.

But at least you’ll know if nothing’s happening over the next few weeks, what the reason is.

Handmade Cards for Summer…

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Well, despite my ongoing hand/wrist difficulties, card making has been in full swing. I’ve begun with embossing again having had to take a short break from it while my left wrist healed, but with so many beautiful Mattie stencils that are available I determined to at least have a go, and although the results weren’t anything like the examples in the book, I was very pleased (middle card below). Sadly I can no longer use border punches easily, so have had to just use scissors for edging cards and inserts – nowhere near as nice a result. The vellum wraps were a new find for me too, so have enjoyed using those (the first card below). But the vast majority of my cards now are done for giving away to either my local church or other such outlets, and thus tend to have a scriptural or Christian influence where possible. I’ve pretty much given up selling now except to friends who insist on paying, or at Christmas when bulk buys are requested.

I have a couple of wonderful South African friends, Gavin and Desiree Campbell, who run Rose of Sharon Ministries there, and Desiree makes cards to sell for funds. So my donation to their work was a batch of around 50 cards or so and a lot of my excess stock to help her out. I got totally obsessed with making as many as possible in the couple of weeks prior to their visit last week, and some of the designs are shown in this set. Goes without saying – if you live in SA and can support their work please do – it’s a wonderful and vital ministry to the community there.  And also my card website at:

And for those of you who’re maybe just browsing and not that interested in seeing the whole lot, here’s a taster of just a few for you to enjoy.