Monday 23 August 2010

Talented Parents

This week has been frantic and, as such, I have had little time to craft myself.  What I have created has been for orders and has gone out straight away so, when my other half asked me if I'd blogged this week, I panicked.  I'd nothing to show for my efforts.  I'd had no time to enter any challenges and not planned what I was going to say.  What on earth is a girl to do?

Well, this girl is going to show off other people's talents.

For the last 4 years I have been coaching kwik cricket for my local club.  I fell into it by accident when the previous coach moved on to follow his son to hardball cricket.  My own son was a keen cricketer and my other half volunteered to take his coaching qualification and take over the team.  Then he changed his job.

Rather than let anyone down, me being me - one of life's volunteers, I offered to take it on.  After all being an overweight, nearly forty something, none cricketing women I had lots to offer!  Time, enthusiasm and memories of watching my dad play when I was a little girl being my best qualifications.  And, I have to say it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I have had an absolute ball for the last four years (and hope to continue to do so).  Number one son (one and only son actually) has long since moved up to hardball cricket and has even played at district level this year.  In the meantime I have seen a succession of kids grow and develop as cricketers and as sportsmen - and that includes several girls.  This year, however, I have been overwhelmed.

I run, with the help of two volunteers - Susie and Bob, two teams of under ten year olds.  One team has my more experienced players in it and the other team provides match experience for the newer players to the game.  This year I've also had another team - the parents.  I have always had the support of the player's parents but this year they have all gone 'above and beyond'.  They have volunteered to score, to warm up the players whilst I'm organising the matches.  They've umpired for me (believe me that's the hardest job) and they have actively encouraged both teams - regardless of who is playing.  They even organised an end of season party for all the children.  The team work and enthusiasm they have displayed on the side lines is an inspiration to all of the kids.

It also transpires that several of the parents have crafty talents of their own and it is these talents that I want to show you this week.  At the end of the season I was treated very generously by several of the parents to gifts of chocolate, drinks, cake and even jewelry!  The cake and the jewelry made even more special as they were the work of the some of the children and their parents themselves.

Firstly, I was presented with a huge box containing a fantastic work of culinary art:

And it tasted as good as it looked.

Secondly, I received a fantastic bracelet.  It had been made by one of my cricketers and his dad.  Dad has been scoring for me for several years and next year they will both be moving on to hardball cricket.  Now, I do tend to get a little bit excited during matches, especially when my teams are doing well.  Although I always try to be totally fair as an umpire (I'm not saying all my decisions are the right decisions but I make as many wrong ones against my own team as I do anyone elses) I have been known to lose track of how many balls have been bowled in all the excitement.  Many is the time when I've stood in the middle of the pitch with a bemused expression uttering the plaintive cry of 'One to come scorer?'

Here is the scorers answer to my plight:

Now, those of you who know what I'm talking about, will note that - whilst there are only six balls in an over - there are eight pennies on the bracelet for me to count.  Well, the scorer says that, in his experience, there are usually about two extras bowled in the over at this level so he's put me an extra couple on. 

A lot of umpires have six pennies or stones in their hand and move them across as each ball is bowled.  I can now do this myself and look stylish in the process.

I hope you have enjoyed the talents of my cricketers and their parents as much as I have.

Love Dawn x

Saturday 14 August 2010

Unlooked for inspiration

Well, actually, I'm lying.  I was looking for inspiration but it didn't come in the form that I thought it would.  I spend many an hour trawling through the internet visiting various craft sites and wandering through challenge blogs trying to get my creative ideas kick started.  I have, in my favourites list, several sites with sketch challenges on them, colour challenges, themed challenges etc.  I do occasionally even enter the challenges.  More often than not I'll dabble a bit but not post an entry -either because I forgot to take a picture or because, by the time I've done my card, the challenge has moved on.

Two of my favourite challenges are on Splitcoaststampers.  Monday has a Clean and Simple Challenge and Wednesday has a Sketch Challenge.  This week's Clean and Simple was 'Gardens'.  You just had to upload a garden themed card that was clean and simple.  Unfortunately, I wasn't inspired.  I'm not really a garden person.  I'm fine when occasionally dragged out to sit in it with a glass of something on the patio but I'm not a gardener and I rarely have time to sit.  If I attempt to craft in the garden my papers usually blow all over the place and I lose patience.  Anyway, I did carry on and have a look at the design samples - which is where the inspiration hit me.  Toni's sample (which you can see  here) was the inspiration.  I loved the layout of the card and was struck by how versitile it was.  It got me thinking.  How many different cards could I make using this layout?

OK, what I was also thinking was 'what on earth am I going to post on this blog thing now that I've started it' and I thought it might be interesting to show you what I've come up with.  So, here are 4 samples of what I've been doing this week - using Toni's layout of course.

I wasn't sure whether to post this one or not.  It's not usually may thing.  I have die cuts but don't use them

this one is for a lady who'd asked for a turquiose wedding card

I'm afraid that none of the cards will do for entering in the challenge as they aren't garden themed and only two of them are stamped but I had fun making them and, considering that they are all based on the same basic layout, they all look very different. 

Thanks for reading.

Love Dawn x

Sunday 8 August 2010

I've taken the plunge

After months of viewing other peoples blogs, entering blog challenges and feeling that I was missing out, I've finally created my own blog.  This is a huge learning curve for me as I've no idea what I'm doing so, if there is anyone out there reading this, I ask for you patience and hope that you will bear with me.

I am a full time working mum with a small craft business on the side.  I started out as a cross stitcher - I've hundreds of finished projects hung in the wardrobe as I've only ever framed one finished item.  Several years ago I discovered papercrafts and nowadays I hard lift a needle.  I've done scrapbooking and atcs but I generally stick with cards.  I'm mostly self taught (blog taught really as I've trawled hundreds of tutorials in a bid to improve my skills). 

As an experiment I'm going to try and upload a project I recently entered into a Mo's Digital Pencil challenge.

Whoo hoo, it worked!!!!  (the challenge was to make an easel card with a Mo image)