Saturday, 5 December 2009

Gosh Christmas is creeping up fast

I'm not real good at this blogging stuff, am I? I have really neglected it lately.

We spent a lovely ten days in Cairns in the beginning of November which I am sure you will see in the layouts that I will be creating over the coming months and indeed in the last couple of Cybercrops.

We stayed at Holloways Beach which is approx 10kms north of Cairns city and the beach is not like our South Aussie beaches where we have the soft hard packed sand, it was grainy and moved a lot under foot. In Cairns itself you cannot swim at the beach as the city has a more swampy beachfront which is muddy and tacky with lots of crabs. At this time of the year also, the waters are full of stingers so it is dangerous to swim in the sea unless in an enclosed netted off area for protection. Holloways beach had a small area to do this and the boys liked it but the current was strong and wavy and no sooner would they stand up than wave would come and dump them under again. It became a little much for them after a few days so we resorted to swimming in the pool at the resort.

One evening at dinner I got up from my chair on the balcony to find this little fellow sitting under it. I rushed to get the camera for a photo before the boys terrorised him and he left. I could not believe the intensity of the colour of him up close.

We did a variety of activities whilst there because the resort did not run the usual activities for guests, instead they relied on the local tourist trade to entertain. We took a trip, a rather bumpy one, out the the outer reef and spent time snorkelling over the Great Barrier reef. This was rather a challenge for me because I have a fear of getting my face in the water but I was determined not to let the boys down .... and show them sometimes you have to face your fears and I made myself do it.
Here we are suited up ready to go snorkelling and I must admit I did enjoy it after the first 15 minutes of psyching myself for the experience. There aint no hiding the figure in these suits!

Another trip was out to the Rainforestation Nature Park which I think overall was the best day we had. There was wildlife to feed and look at, Aboriginal dancing, boomerang throwing, didgeridoo demo, spear throwing demo and a rainforest tour on an old Army DUKW. The boys loved this...... as they were the only kids on our tour they all had the opportunity to drive the DUKW when we got into the water. This is Mitchell at the helm.

Ethan and Keelan even put up their hands to try the aboriginal dancing in front of the crowd - I was so proud of them for having a go.

Viva even remembered us when we returned to collect her from her short boarding home. Now we are back into the routine of walking twice a day and going to the shops and craft and swimming etc.

Tonight I have been having fun with a free online class by Penny Hackney. It's over at Scrap a while
I wasn't sure that I could make the class so I didn't buy the kit that was on offer but I managed to find some papers in my stash that would work with similar effect. Loved it!
Now into the Cybercrop shares from last weekend. As usual I found myself working on two CC's on the same weekend so I didn't quite find time to complete all the challenges at both.
Over at Scrap Of Difference Anne-Marie asked us to complete a belated birthday card. I used a computer printed verse and stamped the turtle from the Cute critters set of stamps by Clear Dollar stamps.

The theme of the CC was Remember - due to the fact it had been Rememberance Day in November. The colour challenge was to use cream, brown, rust red and green and Michelle wanted us to use the word "remember" on the layout also. This is the boys holding a carpet python at the Wildlife Dome in Cairns.

See, I told you I snorkelled....... This was the sketch challenge from Anne using a sketch from Pencil Lines.

Now over at Home and Scrapped, this was a little challenge Josie asked us to complete. We had thirty minutes and were to use once piece of cardstock and scraps to complete 6 - 4" x 3" cards in non-traditional colours. I used a Kaiser stamp from their Merry Christmas collection from last year. I actually enjoyed this challenge so much that I complete another two sets and made a little holder to carry six cards so that the teachers get a thank you gift of six Christmas cards, two of each design.
I haven't photographed the others yet, so when I do I'll add them including the little holder I made for them.

Jewels gave us a layout for inspiration which I virtually copied to a T as it suited my birdie photos. These photos are also from the Wildlife Dome in Cairns.
Did I mention that I won a Cardinal's song Fiskars punch from the Fiskars blog? Well, can you spot where I have used it?

Mary gave us a title challenge - to use the words Forever and ever. Straight away I thought of the song from the Winnie the Pooh movie so used a verse from that as my journaling. This photo has been sitting in a drawer for almost ten years waiting for something to be done with it. It was the first "studio" photo taken of Bruce and I long before we had any plans to get married. The paper is from Colobok - from my survey win which I received last month. Nice, eh?

Joy gave us a mixed challenge: 2/3 photos, some black a little white, a lot of one other colour, 3 red things and some stars. I kept it very simple and I really like how it turned out, not to mention the fact I used up some really, really old paper from my stash. The photos are of the boys at the lagoon in Cairns which was created for people to swim at because of the swampy beach. It is a huge pool and has one side of sand and the rest is concrete paths and grass/picnic areas surrounding it.

Heather gave us another of her great sketches and again I have photos of the wildlife dome.

Last but not least, I found some shopping centre photos from Christmas 2006 at the Tuggeranong shops in Canberra. I have three of the same photo, one each for the boys albums so this is the first of my layouts. Again kept it simple as I really want to get some scrapping done at the moment and don't want to waste my time looking and looking through my stash for the 'perfect' embellishment. I just want to keep them moving. I put it up for the Scrap a while December challenge to create a Christmas layout.
I'm so behind with Christmas stuff though. I have spent so much time making my cards that I have not got around to writing in them yet. Some will be lucky to get them before Christmas the way I am going. I even went to start writing them out and came across about 12 cards left over from the ones I made last year so I guess I will have heaps of them.
Hopefully I'll be back a bit before Christmas.....

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It's been nearly a month.....

Hi there..... I can't believe it has been nearly a month since my last post. Where has the time gone?

Lot's of shares in this one because I am heading off to Cairns for ten days for a holiday in just a couple of days so won't be around for a while again.

Have managed to do a couple of Cyber crops in recent weeks but the mojo is certainly not flowing freely yet. I have also managed a few more of Fab's challenges but not even close to caught up yet.

Took Viva in for a holiday stay arranged by Guide dogs whilst we are away so have been feeling rather odd today walking around the shops without my companion. Although it was rather nice being able to vaccuum the floor and have no dog hair on it an hour later and not have to close every door behind me. I'm sure she'll have a wonderful time as she has gone to stay with a gentleman who lives on his own with an older labrador so it is a combination of quiet time and a friend to play with. I wonder if she will remember me in two weeks time?

Onto the shares which I am doing a little back the front .... but who cares! Heather challenged us to complete at least three of the challenges over at the Home and Scrapped CC and with the leftovers create a card. So here are my three cards.

Ange challenged us to create a layout about the things we would do if we won the lotto and money was no object. I decided to use a Jen Hall layout concept from her online class "the write stuff" for this one as her idea was based on goals over the next five years and I'm not really a goal setting kinda girl.

Heather's challenge was a sketch which had to also incorporate something "old" from your stash. There's a few old things from my stash on this one.

The lovely Sarah wanted a layout with journaling and a frame of some kind about the area we live in and why we like it.

Kerri's challenge - a layout about growth, including a tree somewhere on the layout and we had a couple of quotes to choose from too.

The clever Karen wanted us to take inspiration from a shopping catalogue or magazine so the only one I had on hand was an Ezi-buy catalogue. I wanted to use a number of photos so played with the old Picasa collage and printed out my photos on an A4 page. I stamped the hearts on the background and used the logo for Jump rope for heart as the inspiration for the die-cut image.

Now onto the next CC from Scrap of Difference. Of course both CC's were on the same weekend so after a number of weeks of not scrapping I had numerous layouts over just a few days.

This was for Jo's sketch challenge - she had a single page sketch that I turned into a double layout and tried to get a Pip Prosser style happening but it's not quite there. I truly have to keep working on the doodling concept.

As the theme of the CC was Halloween, the card challenge was to use the colours orange and black predominantly and also include a "ghost" shape. I found the scalloped edge in the Breezy Design Kleer kutz so played with that.

Here's the colour challenge - black, white and orange. And before anyone asks..... I don't have the Fiskars effervescence punch, although I probably would like it... this is all done by hand using the Fiskars threading water punch as a base and a regular hole punch followed by the Big Bite for the smaller holes.

Last but not least was the word challenge which worked a little differently this time around. Our words were - Trick or treat. We did not have to use those words on a layout, but rather do a layout using a new "trick" that we had learnt recently or alternatively a layout with something we had treated ourselves to at some stage and not yet put to good use. I went with the "trick" technique and created the twirled ribbon roses from an embroidery technique that I found on you tube.

Back to one of Fab's challenges - #42 Yellow and/or watermarked background. I chose both the watermarking on the yellow card base and used up some really old stickers and this awful bear embellishment that I have had sitting around for a while. The card is okay but I'm not that impressed myself. Still, it made good use of some old stuff which never hurts.

#6 - Use a vintage Santa image. This is an image from a package of vintage images that I purchased recently. Can't find the name of the site at this late hour, but when I do I'll let you know.

#14 - Brads or a tall card theme. Of course I chose both ideas again. When I actually look at it now, it could also be a birthday card too but I'm still likely to use it for Christmas.

Just before I go I want to share with you the awesome gift I received from Colorbok last week for being involved with a survey of theirs. As some of you may be aware, Colorbok have bought the Heidi Grace and Cloud 9 names from Fiskars and being a fiskateer they offered us the opportunity to assist them in their design processes by sending online surveys asking our likes and dislikes to up and coming designs. I was lucky enough to be a part of the first group to complete the survey and won this huge set of papers, stickers, chipboard, album etc. I was pleasantly surprised by their generosity. Now I just have to pick up my mojo from somewhere and get on to using it all.
See you all when I get back from holidays!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Getting there with Fab's challenges.....

Well, I'm back with more of Fab's challenge ideas and I think I have about 6 or 7 until I have got them up to date.

#10 - Use swirls and gems. This card has a mish mash of stamps from Heidi Grace, Fiskars, Kaiser and an old rubber stamp from Aussie Stamps and Crafts with a variety of words on it. I found this lovely green ink, Versamagic Tea Leaves chalk ink and I just love the shade of it and found this scrap of green paper to match it. The rhinestones are from Papermania, a UK brand which I purchased ages ago. I love the fact that they have these little tiny ones, smaller even than the Kaiser small rhinestones and they fit nicely into the centres of some of the Heidi Grace flowers.
#2 - Use free papers from a magazine. I think these were from a Simply Cards magazine and the little glittery stickers came from a magazine too. The "joy" is stamped with Stephanie Barnard's "Fresh lowercase" font created by Inque Boutique.

#11 - Stripes and ric-rac. The paper here is some really old Karen Foster paper that I bought in a pack of Christmas cut-offs from an LSS back in 2004. I have been trying to use it for ages. The vellum is a stuffed up cricut cut that I didn't have the blade setting right on so it gave the impression of the cut and not actually cut through. It made for a slightly decorative effect and the ric-rac was me playing with the Fiskars scalloped border edge punch and strips of paper 3/4" wide.

#13 - Either/or decoupage or Pink. I went for the pink cos I'm not really a decoupage girl. The tree is a Kaiser stamp - again from the Merry Christmas set. Background is a Sugarloaf products stamp and the Happy Christmas I have no idea - maybe an old Paper Pleasure Plus stamp.
#9 - Anything goes. I loved the stamp and the pink so much I played with it a little more. The other stamps apart from the little flower one are all in the same Merry Christmas Kaiser set.

#16 - Tea bag folding. No laughing now! This is my first ever attempt at tea bag folding. Nothing of the planet but at least I can say I have done it now. More Kasier Merry Christmas stamps and also played with an EK success corner punch around a circle to make an interesting effect.
On the home front we have had a busy day. The boys went to my sister's whilst I took our Guide dog puppy Viva to a group obedience session. She wasn't her usual well-behaved self today, whining and barking at the other dogs occasionally. But, she performed all her obedience tasks well. Now just have to work on the dog distraction for a bit. Our Supervisor informed us of her resignation today so will be interesting to see how things change over the coming months.
After the group session, I went back to Penny's and Viva had a chance to have a play with her boxer Holly and they were both exhausted after a good play. My boy's played with the twins for a while and we got home about 4pm. It was a lazy soup dinner and I think I might try for a semi early night..... Well, before midnight for a change.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Just a quick one...

Today is just a share of a couple more cards for Fab's challenge #39 - Green, green and more green and/or two cards made with the same supply of materials.
I have used some old TLC papers, outline stickers and some chipboard embellishments I bought a few years ago.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Did I happen to mention I like this stamp?

If you actually read my blog, you may recall my story about my card class and having extra glitter images sitting on my table to work with. Well, left the housework to do itself today and got stuck into working with them.

Here are the cards I achieved........

This one was actually embossed with Antique Gold powder instead of glitter.....

Back to glitter...

Are you tired of seeing this stamp yet?........... Funnily enough, I'm not. You would think I would be by now but I really like the design. Yeah for Kaisercraft!

This card is one I completed from a tutorial by Kim over at Home and Scrapped. I am including it for Fab's #12 challenge to use Organza or Vellum. This is my first ever parchment craft card and probably my last...... ;-)
I really enjoyed doing it Kim but I was so glad to get it finished. That pin pricking just drove me nuts!
Last but not least is #19 - Old fashioned with a twist/Altered image. I have used an angel image that I purchased through Smugmug from Royce Bair's Vintage collection. It works quite nicely with the hot pink.......
Hope some of my cards are giving you some inspiration.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

And the Christmas cards just keep on coming.....

I have continued on with more of Fab's challenges to keep me going but I did take some time out to run a Christmas card class using outline stickers and glitter.

This is my #1 - Anything just make a start challenge which uses an image that a friend gave to me because she was never going to use it. I knew straight away what I would use it for though. It's a little hard to tell from the photo but the oval cut-out in the card has an oval silver card insert with a transparency in the centre with the rubber image attached to it to give the stained glass window effect.

This card was a - just because...... Saw a design that I wanted to try and duplicate and had some chipboard card toppers that I bought cheap at the end of last season that worked for it.

The next four are my card class from last weekend. The first is a little difficult to see because I originally created the card with 'dazzling diamonds' from Stampin' Up and a Kaisercraft stamp from their Merry Christmas set from last season. After I thought about it for a while I realised I had other shades of glitter and brought those out for the ladies to try so have a few more glittery trees sitting on my table waiting to be used. Get used of seeing this stamp this Christmas cos I am really loving the delicate image of it.

This one is an outline sticker on transparency and coloured with kindyglitz to pop dot on the card. I love to use this technique with outline stickers because it gives an elegant look to the card.

There is all-over glitter on this one with a gold metallic background and combination of gold and silver stickers. Looks much better IRL.

This was an add in because I figured the others would not take long. Using the lovely Fiskars Apron lace punch and the strip that gets punched off which we have covered with glitter and added to the left hand side of the card to balance it. The sticker is coloured with brush markers and Kaiser rhinestones added.
I've skipped around a little with Fab's challenges as I hit some creative blocks with ideas so this is #4 - Xmas baubles. It uses the Kaisercraft Merry Christmas, snowflake image which is embossed and punched with the Fiskars circle squeeze punch. The bauble tops are bells punched with an old Carl punch.
#15 - Either/or use a square card, utilise some fabric or paper flowers. I stuck with the square card only and made two of these because I had to stamp and emboss both the green and red cardstock.
#12 - Put a Santa anywhere theme. This was playing around with glimmermist and a Santa from a recycled Christmas card from last year. It actually has a nice sparkle to it IRL which is a little hard to tell from the photo.
And finally..... #18 - Cute and cheerful. This is a digital stamp from Fab's mate, Vince. I hope Vince does not mind that I added a Christmas hat to one of his little monsters because I could not resist the idea that the image was reminiscent of my trio of boys. I have had the word stamp sitting around for a while and not used it - the one inside reads: but.... don't get caught!
Just have to keep my thoughts open on who I give this one to though..... LOL!