Monday, November 13, 2017

My Christmas Gift Tags

OK, I admit it. I am kind of getting excited about the arrival of summer and of Christmas.  I always struggle at this time of year because both my daughters have birthdays about now.  I like to concentrate on them first before I starting doing Christmas stuff.
This year I am feeling prepared for the second birthday this weekend and so last week I made our Christmas gift tags.  I am really pleased with how they have turned out.

I cut the ornament shape using my Silhouette Cameo, then stamped the 'To and From' on the back.  Using Copic friendly cardstock I stamped lots of little  Christmas robins.  I coloured these using my Copics and Spectrum Noir pens.  I added a touch of Clear Wink of Stella to all the areas coloured red.
I punched each Christmas Robin out using a 1 1/4" circle punch.  Then inked the edges with Worn Lipstick Distress Oxide ink.  I adhered these circles to the front of my ornaments and lastly added some glittered thread to each ornament.

Now all I need are sine gifts and a tree to put them under.  Roll on Christmas Season.  But, first lets enjoy thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Journaling Strips

I had such a great week.  Two days this week I have been able to sit in my craft-room and scrapbook.  I am not saying this to brag (OK maybe a little).  On Monday, seeing as it is school holidays, my daughter was able to arrange with her friends for them to come round. This meant, I was banished from the house (honestly, it was what I wanted, six 18 yrs olds was just a little bit much for me)  So I was able to enjoy my craft room and finish of a few layouts that I did at the workshop last weekend.  Don't you love that feeling when a layout is complete - title, journaling, the lot.  Very satisfying.

Well, yesterday I was able to have another day of scrapbooking. It was amazing, I managed to complete three layouts.  I am trying as I go to be sure each layout is complete including journaling as these are layouts from my trip to the US and I don't want to forget anything.

One of the layouts I decided to try something new for me.  To add journaling in strips.  I have seen layouts with this over this years and thought they looked good, but was never confident enough to give it a go.  Or they were done using computer journaling and I wanted hand written journaling.  So this is what I did.

I cut a piece of cardstock about the width of the space I had available on my layout.
Then I cut it a bit shorter than I wanted it to be when finished - knowing that when I cut the cardstock into strips I would want to spread them out a bit down the space.

I wrote my journaling in pencil first to be sure to get the spacing right.  I was strange to write with huge gaps between each line.  But this was so I could cut each line apart easily when the time came.

I wrote over my journaling in brown pen to match the feel of my layout (sometime black is too harsh)
Once the ink was dry I erased the penciled journaling.

Then it was time to bite the bullet and cut them apart. I used my trimmer and carefully cut them apart.
I would cut one strip at a time then place that strip on my layout so I would not mess up the order.

Once my journaling was cut apart and laid out I lined up my layout on the grid of my cutting mat, then lined up my long ruler down the edge where I wanted my journaling to go and adhered each strip in place.  Having the ruler as a guide so all the strips lined up down the left hand edge was a great help.

I was really pleased with the end result.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Steal Like an Artist

Steal like an Artist - 10 things nobody told you about being creative by Austin Kleon

Oh my goodness, this is a good book to read if you have any creativity - be it writing, painting, drawing, photography, scrapbooking, or card-making.  If you like being creative this is a great and easy read.  Grace found this book in a cool little book shop at the San Francisco Wharf.  She read it for her writing and told me that I would enjoy it - she was right.  Grace managed to read it in a couple of days.  I read it in just over a week - that is really good for me.

I came to realize that ideas for creativity are everywhere.  We just need to open our eyes and sometime look at things differently.  I also came to understand that everything has already been done, but that doesn't need to stop me from creating something I want to see.  Copy something and make it my own.

Many of us like to 'scrap-lift' ideas.  Well, know you can join me and understanding that 'stealing' artist ideas is just how creativity works and flows.

One thing I did really like in the book was being told to step away from the screen (computer, phone, tablet or whatever) and do something with your hands.  Make something, anything.  It can be so true, sometime when I get scrappers block, what helps is to get into my craft supplies and play, create and make.  Love it!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Beyond the Stars

I have been playing with a new technique for card-making.  I have to admit I have had fun with this.  I don't normally like getting messy, but this was a fun messy.

For this you will need inks that will blend easily.  I found using bright colours was a lot of fun.  I used the Distress Oxide Inks from Ranger.  But I understand you can use the normal distress inks and some die inks.  For the black I used Momento's Black Tuxedo ink.

To start with add smooches of colour to your 6"x 4" plain cardstock - a light colour works best such as a white or cream.  I used four colours. I added the inks using the ink applicators from Ranger

Using a make-up sponge I added some black ink over the top of all the colours.  This will look as though you have ruined it.  Take it from me, you haven't, keep going. Let this dry, you can use a heat tool to speed this up if you like.

Add a bit of colour over the to and then dry again.  I added a little bit of the blue.

To finish off your galaxy flick some white paint over your cardstock.  Or you can add some white pen dots - varying the sizes of dots helps with the effect.

Now you have a galaxy.

Add to your card.  You can add stamps and other embellishments for finish your card.

Have fun and create something amazing!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

I'm Back!!!!

It has been such a long time since I last posted (almost a year).  So much has happened since I last posted.  I am and have continued to craft while I was gone.  I have been thinking lately about whether or not to carry on/pick up my blog again.  I number of people encouraged me to start writing my blog again, so here I am.

I have decided to make this a personal blog and to share my cards and scrapbooking layouts.  Even to share how I have done some of them.

First of all let me catch you up of a few things.
About three months ago my father-in-law had a heart attach and a triple bypass heart surgery.  My sister-in-law flew over from the UK to spend time with her Dad and to be here for his initial recovery.  She also spent some time with us which was lovely. She even got me knitting - haven't done that in a long time.  It has been fun.

About six weeks ago my daughters and I went for a wonderful two week holiday to America.  Grace went to Orlando, Florida for the Zumba convention. While she was at convention Melissa and i spent time with my friends Andrew and Katie in San Diego.  Melissa's friend from Canada also joined us.

After convention Grace joined us in San Diego for a couple of days, Then Grace, Melissa and I went to San Francisco for three days before coming home.

Recently my Dad has been diagnosed with Dementia.  For me this was not a total surprise. But it is still something my family and I are needing to come to terms with.

I have just done my first training to become a Zumba instructor.  I do not know where this will lead but I am looking forward to the adventure.  So much to learn - exciting.

So currently I have many scrapbooking projects on the go.  I am also seeing a great need to document family stories from both sides of the family.

So come join me on a journey of learning, discovery and creativity.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Die-cut inlay card

Over the weekend I watched a You Tube video from one of my favourite card-makers Jennifer McGuire.  After watching the video I just had to give this technique a go.  A link to her video is at the end of this post, I do recommend that you watch it.  She shows you how to create the background and the die-cut so you can inlay your title of your card.

I loved creating the background so today I have created three more for even more cards.

I wanted to do this as I have a little friend that is desperate need of some happy mail, so I plan to make more cards and send them to her regularly.  I think we all need a little bit a happy mail sometimes.

Enjoy Jennifer's video and I hope you too will give it a go.

Taking photos is fun

We went out as a family to the Arataki Visitor Centre.  We went because the weather had been so terrible but had finally cleared up and we were all suffering a bit of cabin fever.  I had not used my camera in ages so I dusted it off and away we went.  It was nice to check out the view and take a couple of fun photos.

Once inside my daughters and I went straight for the Gecko display cabinet.  They are always a challenge to find and fascinating to watch.  I could not resist so I took a couple of photos.  Next thing I know my daughter is having a bonding moment with a Gecko through the glass.  It was so cute I just had to get a photo (or five to be on the safe side).

Little did I know, but one of the reasons for popping into Arataki was to check out the maps for a Sunday drive.  We chose one of the few (if only) round trips, down to Karekare Beach down Lone Kauri Road, then back up the other road (forgotten the name of it LOL)

So off we went, to one of the wild west coast beaches. Once at the beach car-park we set off for a walk along the waterway to the beach.  But we forgot that to get to the beach you have to cross the waterway which was about knee deep and it would have been rather cold.  So we stayed on the cliff side and have fun taking photos of us as a family doing that air jump photo.  We had to do it many times to get the results we were after, but we always ended up with the giggles. I was so glad I had a really good sports mode on my camera.  Some of the results were hilarious.  The whole afternoon was so much fun and laughter.

I highly recommend getting out there with your family and just having some spontaneous fun and photos.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sisters Layout

Over the weekend I was able to take a bit of time to scrapbook. (this is always a plus)  I looked through some photos and found one of my two daughters horsing around on a bush walk we did at the beginning of the year.  We had stopped in front of a beautiful big Kauri tree and were trying out our new camera.  My daughters were sitting across from me and I just happened to snap this photo.  I really like how it brings out the fun side of both of them.

It is not very often that I use pink on my layouts but for some reason this just felt right.  I also decided to use punched out circles from left over pattern papers instead of flowers on this layout.  I used a range of circle sizes of punches (2 1/2", 2", 1 1/2", 1 1/4", 1" and 3/4" circle punches were used)

I also used some sequins to add a little sparkle to this layout.  For the title/journaling I jumped onto Pinterest to find some 'sister' quotes.  I found about 8 quotes and then took them to my daughters and had them choose the one they felt was the most like them and would go with the layout.

This was a simple, but fun layout to create.

Monday, September 5, 2016

It's the little things that make life Big!

I hope you all were able to celebrate Father's Day yesterday (in NZ).  I made my Dad a cute little card and will be sending it shortly.  It just did not happen before Father's Day, but I did get to talk with him yesterday which was really nice.  My Dad lives in a little town up north, just South of Kerikeri.  I miss going out for a hot chocolate with him at a local cafe.

Ok last week I promised to do a colouring post this week.  So I have two cards here for you.  One of which I did use for my Dad's Father's Day card.  So I will start with that one first (I am hoping to do a video on how I did this technique soon - I miss making videos).

I created this card using Watercolour paper and Distress Crayons.  These are really nice to use. See the video below where Tim Holtz takes you through using Distress Crayons.
So I used my set of Festive Berries, Rusty Hinge, Fossilized Amber, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire and Seedless Preserves.  I took each colour and added it to more watercolour cardstock to make an Ombre look.  Then I took a wet-wipe and carefully wiping from left to right and slowing down ward to move and blend the colours.

Once dry I stamped with my favourite dandelion puff stamp.  Later I added a sentiment 'For my Dad'
I was not totally happy with the blending but I am going to try this again on the smooth side of the watercolour paper to see if that helps move the colour and blend better.

Here is my second card that I made.  I really love how this one turned out.  Firstly I used one of my Party Paws stamps from Crafter's Companion and a sentiment stamp from Kaiser Craft.
To colour this I used my Spectrum Noir pens.  I used TN2, TN3 and TN4 for the teddy.  The TN3 and TN4 are from the 'Lights' set of pens, they give a really rich, warm colour to teddy.  So I started colouring this Teddy's head first and then the rest of the body.

When I was happy with how Teddy looked I went onto the gift.  I used TB1, TB2 and TB3 from the basic blues set of 6 pens.  TB2 is quite a different blue so I used that as my base for the side of the gift going over it with TB1 so it looks a little darker.

For the ribbon on the gift I used DR1, DR5 and DR7.  Use the DR7 sparingly as it is very dark.  To finish off I used EB1 for the tag and IG4 for the ground shadow.

Very happy with the result of my colouring for this card.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Latest Layouts

I had my monthly workshop over the weekend and managed to mostly finish 3 layouts.  I got them to the point at the workshop where all I needed to finish them was my titles - these I do at home where I can use my Silhouette Cameo.
Well today, I took the time to design, cut and add my titles to my layouts.  I also worked on another cardstock house ready for my Christmas Village at the end of the year.  A couple of weeks ago I made my first building for the village which was the school.  Today was a house.  I might do the church next.

Anyway, here are my three layouts.  Firstly I put together this layout of my daughter taking part in a busking competition at the beginning of the year.  I wanted to do something a bit different with my layout so went for a colour blocking style of layout.  So pretty much the whole layout is covered with different sizes of cardstock and pattern paper cut into rectangles.  The plain Bazzill Calypso cardstock I embosses using a music embossing folder.  I am really pleased with how this page came together.  Sometime working with a landscape photo and a portrait photo can be difficult to find a way to display them creatively on a layout.  I like how these compliment each other without having to be beside each other.

My next layout was when my eldest daughter visited my pen-pal and his wife last year and they visited the Cheesecake Factory.  As big fans of the TV program 'The Big Bang Theory' this was a fun visit.  Apparently their slices were huge and my daughter shared her piece with her best friend that also traveled with her last year.  I am looking forward to maybe making a visit for myself next year - we will see.  For the four small photos in the middle I just cropped two photos and mixed them up together.  I like the use of the two pattern paper circles.  I am also trying to experiment and play a little more with my titles and using more than just one font to give a fun looking title.

My last layout I really stepped out of my comfort zone and created a sun-rays with pattern paper.  This was fun as I just cut some pattern paper and just trimmed  blue each strip then placed those on my cardstock, then measured the gaps between each piece and cut strips accordingly.  I am very pleased with the out come.  I adhered all the strips in place so they hung off the edge of the layout and once happy with there placement I trimmed off the excess.  My daughter really loved this wee little dog.  He was a bundle of energy and morning kisses - what a great way to wake up in the morning LOL!

Well during the rest of this week I am hoping to get some more colouring of stamps done so will do a post on my next colouring project.  Until then ...

Let's get creative!