Saturday, 31 December 2011

Willow in blue again

I don't know why this delightful image of Willow with her shopping bags almost always ends up getting coloured in shades of blue. Well, by me anyway. It just suits her, and my Copic blues go so well together.

The papers were sent to me in a swap and I'm afraid I have forgotten what I was told they were - if I was told. The snowflakes are a Cuttlebug die, liberally adorned with silver Stickles, and the greeting is from Lili of the Valley. The blue glitter card was from a $ store here, cut with QuicKutz nested scallop dies.

Charisma Cardz: anything
Colour Create: blue, silver and white
Simon Says Stamp: anything
Whiff of Joy: sketch

Friday, 30 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #113 - Colour

This week at Scrap Whispers we have a colour challenge for you:

I'll admit I was a bit eye-brow-raisey, sigh-ish and arm-foldy when I discovered that. But this was another case of "don't knock it till you try it" for me. I think that one of my New Year's resolutions will have to be to embrace challenges mentally as well as physically. Because look at this.

Isn't it pretty? And not in-your-face garish either, as I feared. Basic Grey's Green at Heart collection, well distressed, together with the new to Australia (yeah... I know... it's been out for ages everywhere else but we're back in the 70s in some ways here) Kraft saved the day. I used sketch #187 from Creative Scrappers, which is quickly becoming one of my top favourite sketch sites. I tried blotching ink spots for the first time, and I love the effect - it's one I will definitely use again, with more confidence next time. I finished it with QuicKutz scalloped flowers and Spellbinders hearts with some buttons from my stash and some twists of brand new baker's twine.

We have pink Easter lilies back in the UK, but they aren't cacti and they smell quite different. These beauties bloom for just 12 hours. The bud appears from the pin-cushion plant and takes several days to grow to maturity. It blooms after dark, is spectacular all night and fist thing in the morning, and by mid-morning it has wilted and fallen over like the other three buds in the photo.

OK over to you. Link us up to your creation, and link your blog post to the Scrap Whispers site, and check out the yummy prize!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Scrap strips!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas - much, much better than ours!

Ours was a wash-out, with poor DH working from home all over the break - literally all over. He took 2 hours out for Christmas dinner, and another hour to call the family in the evening on the day itself but didn't stop work till about 1am. Then the 24-hour party next door kept us awake all that night. He has worked through most of his week off until today when we had a wonderful time at the WA Aquarium with Glad, and he didn't get a single "help me" phone call. Well, we'll just have to have another go at Christmas next year.

Back to crafting, when I made the green and purple Christmas card for my niece, I found myself staring at that rather beautiful Bo Bunny paper with all those different patterned stripes. A little germ of an idea was growing in my head, although it wasn't big enough to see the light of day yet. That didn't happen until I was reorganising my ribbon collection so that my new goodies fitted in, which meant moving a pile of paper and a couple of boxes containing strips which I'd been saving all year. I opened the boxes up and tipped out the strips all over my table. And suddenly the idea blossomed, right there in front of me.

3 days later, DH is still working from home, the dirty dishes are piling up and the house looks as if a dust bomb has exploded. But look what I made - 40 Christmas cards for next year! AND an empty box of strips for me to fill up again.

I used my $2 store star and flower (for the bows - good huh?!) punches as well as Fiskars threading water and and EK Success square punch. The greeting is Studio G, and Stickles features prominently. As usual!

Less Is More's "one word"
Simon Says Stamp's and Basic Grey's (there's a strip from the Bittersweet collection right there, and I've peppered practically all of those cards with Basic Grey scraps) "anything goes"
Bizzy Bec's "Christmas"

Isn't that just nutty, to have 40 cards for next year done just 4 days after Christmas? Haha! Maybe I'll find a craft fair to sell cards at when I'm back in the UK and have access to such things. I just love them, and I'm going to make a bunch more as my pile of scrap strips grows again, as of course it will.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

Here is our Christmas tree corner, the last time we'll have this tiny tree. Next year we'll be back in the UK with our proper tree and this one will be back to a table decoration again, but here in the heat it seems out of place to have a big tree. It still looks pretty though.

The advent calendar is a Kaisercraft kit that I got a couple of years ago in a clearance sale, and began decorating after last Christmas, with beautiful Bo Bunny papers. Then it sat all year and I finally finished it the day before Advent this year. I made the little village last year at a class with the same papers, so they go really well together. I just love those muted reds, greens and creams - very traditional. My candle fetish is well satisfied at this time of the year - those little votive jars make the prettiest flickering colours on the walls at night. Better than lights on the tree.

I used the same gorgeous papers to make DH's special Christmas card this year, and I also had my first go at water-colour painting using Distress and dye inks. Thank you to Heather (Rica) for nudging me in that direction years ago.

So, House Mouse, friends and a squirrel for my man. Definitely "warm and fuzzy". Also "Christmas" at Bizzy Becs, "anything goes" at Charisma Cardz and Stampin' for the Weekend, "Christmas lights" (candles) at Creative Card Crew, "bingo" at Simon Says Stamp (ribbon, gems and sparkle), Stampin' for the Weekendand the sketch from Cute Card Thursday.

Have a wonderful Christmas everybody!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #112 - Technique

We had a bit of a DT meeting at Scrap Whispers last week about blog hop tutorials. We decided that as preparing them takes so very much time, effort and coordination, and as so few people are actually doing them, we would stop for the time being. If we get deluged with requests to bring them back then we will reconsider! Instead, Georgina has come up with an idea that is just as interesting - techniques. And this week's technique is CLUSTERING EMBELLISHMENTS.

Hmm. That got me thinking. I mean, it's pretty easy to layer shapes on top of each other to make interesting embellishments; Georgina produced a tutorial on that only a few months ago. I thought I'd try to cluster them without actually layering them too much, and see what happened. I quite like it. Maybe layering has more depth. But contrasting them on black is effective. These little guys were sent to me as a thank you gift when I placed an order with an Aussie scrap-booking company. What a thoughtful gesture.

I used last week's sketch #186 from Creative Scrappers for this. I'm really getting into sketches. Have a look at the Scrap Whispers blog for the full details of this challenge, and for inspiration from the rest of the DT. Link your blog up to the Scrap Whispers site with your entry, and link to the site in your blog, and you will go in the draw for this month's prize. Now wouldn't that be a great late Christmas present?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Koalas rule!

Today my dear friend Glad took me to the Zoo! How about that? I was like a child in a sweet shop, and she was gurgling like a drain at my enthusiasm over it all. I think marsupials are amazing creatures. And have I mentioned how much I LOVE kangaroos?! They are gentle, docile, soft, warm and loving. They don't smell and they don't bite. Of course they get cranky if you bother them, as any animal would, but on the whole I'd rather have a kangaroo around than a dog any day. I want a kangaroo to take home with me!

Today I didn't get any kangaroo shots, but I did get these:

And I made these, along with 2 more koala cards and 4 kangaroo cards in a box set as a Christmas gift. The top one is Basic Grey Kioshi paper for their "anything goes" challenge, and also Charisma Cardz with the same challenge. The second one is for Stampavie's "red" challenge.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Just a note

I meant to enter Less Is More's "let it snow" challenge last week, but the days just flew away from me. This week's challenge is "music" though so I HAVE to do this one, since I never pass up an opportunity to make a music card. They get used up quicker than everything else in my life, since most of my friends and relatives are musical. Here is my first. Stand by for more!

So here we have House Mouse Amanda with her darling friend coloured with Copic markers for their "warm and fuzzy" challenge (music never fails to give me the warm, fuzzy feeling), which also fits Colour Create's "blue, white and silver", and the sketch from Simon Says Stamp.

The notes stamps are from Papermania, the greeting from PortaCraft, the music from Hero Arts, and Spellbinders deckled ovals dies also embossed. I double stamped the bottom of the House Mouse stamp and then stamped the music over it, and then added the die cut, coloured stamp on raised foam on top.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #111 - sketch

Hello and thank you for joining us at Scrap Whispers for Challenge #111 which is a sketch:

Now that's pretty simple, so you can let your imagination go wild. Those panels could be photos, or photo strips, or patterned paper. You can make them different shapes, different sizes, or rotate or mirror the design - whatever you like as long as the sketch is recognisable. I stuck to it, because I had a photo which worked just perfectly. I used paper, stickers and alphas from the Basic Grey "Jovial" collection pack, as well as a Fiskars ribbon threading punch and Glimmer Mist.

This is our 7th (and probably last) Christmas spent in mid-summer or tropical heat, away from the UK. The novelty has not worn off in all that time, and the concept of paddling in the sea on the way home from a Christmas party is to me still completely "far out", to quote my dear friend in the picture.

What will you do with our sketch? Please show us - we would love to see! Link your blog post up to the Scrap Whispers challenge #111, and link to Scrap Whispers in your post, and you will be in with a chance of winning December's delicious prize.

Good luck!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #110 - anything goes!

We're having a week of giving you free rein to do whatever you like! How about that? No pressure, no rules, just fun. Well no rules other than having to actually DO a lay-out, post it on your blog and link Scrap Whispers to it, and it to Scrap Whispers of course. AND if anyone from my team is reading this, don't forget that there is a special prize from me for the teamie who enters the most challenges before the Big Reveal. One of our teams is a week behind I believe, so you have at least one more week to enter.

I decided to play along with Creative Scrappers' sketch #185. It has a doily pattern which I did last week, but I took this one down a different route with lots of doodling. I'm having a definite glut on hearts at the moment, but I'm sure normal service will be resumed soon!

The background paper is from the Echo Park "Life is good" collection, and everything else is scraps so old that I can't remember what they are. In fact, I think the pink stripe was bought at my first ever scrap booking lesson nearly 4 years ago. I've been making lace out of my scraps again, courtesy of my Spellbinders nested heart dies, Martha Stewart border punch and Cutterbee scalloped blades.

I'd love to see what you come up with this week. You can enter as many times as you like, and with as many LOs as you make between today and midnight GMT next Thursday. So ready, get set and..... GO!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

And yet more green!

That's all for this week for this over-achiever, I promise.

Why is it that once the pressure is off, it's so much more fun to create? I think I made most of my Christmas cards this year way back in the Australian winter when it was truly chilly and mildly Christmassy feeling. Then once it started to heat up, the job was done and I didn't need to spend hours stewing in my oven-like little room. Or not for cards, anyway, just for scrapping. That worked for me. Next year we'll be back in the UK and goodness knows what I'll be doing. I may not have any time at all for crafting, although I really, really hope that's not the case.

For my final batch of LIM cards, I took my inspiration from Mandi's delicious bauble card to make 3 of these using my Cuttlebug, Hero Arts stamp, Studio G greeting stamp and lots of dye ink:

And 6 of these using an Inkadinkado Peace stamp, Copics and Stickles for the bauble. The bauble tops are punched using a tiny balloon punch.

That really is all. Tomorrow I'll be working at the church most of the day, so no more cards till the next challenge which I'm really looking forward to.

Bizzy Bec's Stores: Christmas
Creative Card Crew: Christmas
Cute Card Thursday: anything goes
Less Is More: green (you knew that LOL)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

More green

I was on a roll after those last cards. I went leaving the love on my favourite LIM submissions and found a beautiful one by Sarita. I haven't got her stamp, but I had a go at making my own version using one of my new purchases from Stamp-It. It's not up to Sarita's standard, but I still love it.

This is my second entry of this week for Less Is More's "green" challenge. I could probably carry on working with green for ever without getting bored actually. Come back on Friday for this week's Scrap Whispers challenge and you'll see what I mean!

Other challenges:
Bizzy Bec's Stores: Christmas
Creative Card Crew: T'is the season

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Family Christmas cards

I've had a wonderfully crafty weekend. It's been hot as Job's boils here this week (any advance on 37*C anyone?) so DH and I have had a good excuse to stay in with the air-con. He's caught up on odd jobs, work and a little much-needed shut-eye, and I've been gluein'n'stickin'. We did pop out to the church food fete yesterday for some yummy Burmese chicken biryani, and to church and a Robo-Fair at the local university today, but they were kind of timed around the "you overheated yet? Me too, let's go" rather than the relaxed weekend amblings of the winter.

Before I show you me on a Segway at the RoboFair ("wheeeeeeeeeee! I'm a Mythbuster.....") here are the fruits of my weekend fun.

For Basic Grey "lost and found" (Eskimo kisses papers from 2 years ago which I thought I'd used up), Colour Create "red, green & white" and Simon Says Stamp "anything goes":

Creatalicious "Christmas and sparkle" and Charisma Cardz "spots":

And for Less Is More "green" (LOVE this!) and Stampavie's "easel card":

Don't you just love that koala bauble stamp? I've been so excited about using it ever since DH got it for me last weekend from Stamp-It, our local LSS. Just adorable.

Oh OK OK, just because you've been waiting so patiently.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #109 - Colour combo

Hi everyone, and welcome to another challenge at Scrap Whispers. This week we're all about colours - and they are:


This photo is the one which began my whole scrap booking addiction nearly 4 years ago. I took photos for mother-in-law's and father-in-law's ruby wedding anniversary. The trouble was that the lighting inside was not the best, and my little digital camera and photographic skills struggled with back-lit subjects. So because I had so many not-so-good pictures but I still wanted to include them, I decided to make them a scrap book album rather than a photo album. Brand new hobby. A whole 14-pager. In 10 weeks. Yup, that was how new I was to this whole game. I'd never put myself through that pressure now. But saying that, I wouldn't make lay-outs like those old pages I made way back then again either!

Here is the first page of that album, which wasn't the first page I ever did, but wasn't far off.

Ah, bless. I was so pleased with myself for framing the vintage photo with red from the colour one, and the colour pic in scratchy black and white like the old photo. The other pages are more exciting, honest. Thank goodness MIL and FIL loved the album and showed EVERYONE, otherwise I wouldn't have had the confidence to continue.

So here the same photo has been scrapped again, and that's the first time I've ever done that. This page is for me though. The photo may be the same, but my scrapping "style" has changed quite a lot!

It's based on a sketch from Creative Scrappers, but I fell down the crack between the deadline for this contest and the next one which hasn't been posted yet, so I can't enter this. Never mind. It's a great sketch and I got past my paranoia about using heavily patterned papers. I still think it detracts from the photo a bit, but it's a strong enough picture to get away with it.

I used my new Tim Holtz alphas die - the first I've ever bought. I love it. I have a little square punch which exactly fits the letters, so I can punch out the right number of squares and waste virtually no paper at all. Very happy. The papers are a combination of scraps, Kaisercraft, American Crafts and Cre8tiv card-stock. My Studio G red glitter glue also makes an appearance (that stuff is sticky) as well as my Spellbinders nested heart dies, brads from the $2 store in Singapore, and a doily inked with Tim Holtz distress ink in Broken China and a spritz of Creative Notions gold mist. I spent half an hour hand-stitching that blinking circle too. There's a lesson for me. Get the design sorted first before wasting time sewing the two thirds of a circle that is hidden! D'oh!

OK now it's over to you. Have a wander over to the Scrap Whispers blog and see what the rest of the DT have done with this.

Oh, and the DT call is still open if anyone fancies joining our select little team!