Sunday, December 7, 2014

Taking Time To Be Creative

With the silly season well and truly upon us, it can be very hard to find time to create.  This weekend was no exception.  Daughters needed to be here, there and everywhere all at once, which meant trucking them where they needed to go.  In between these times and giving my house a little clean (really it needs a big clean, but we won't look to closely will we ...) I gave myself permission to take time and create a couple of fun little cards.

Here is one I created using the really cool metal die set from Echo park.

I started with a very plain background cream cardstock and just went over it with the Distress Ink Broken China and the Distress ink tool.  I punched out the corners - I love this effect.

I cut all the clouds using a light blue Bazzill cardstock, then cut out the word 'sunny' and the sun from yellow Bazzill cardstock.

All these dies are from the Echo Park Sun and Clouds die set - available from our online shop

I also used some red washi tape for some fun contrast.  One of the plain clouds was adhered using foam tape seeing as it was in front of the others.  I really like adding dimension to my cards.

I also had a bit of fun with this little journaling card.  I saw an idea on Pinterest and thought I should give it a go.  I love this particular punch, it seems to be very versatile.
Basically I had two pieces of cardstock and then using this punch, I punched out a piece from the side of my lights cardstock
I matted my main two pieces of cardstock then added a scallop circle and two strips of cardstock.  I also stamped in the space that was punched out - this looks so cool.

I love getting more uses and ideas on how to get the most out of my punches.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Such a Busy Weekend - Love It!

It was the weekend of Craft Out West last weekend.  Yippeee!  Craft Out West is one of my favourite craft shows.  I think I like that it supports Hospice West Auckland.  I also really love meeting all the locals and getting to chat with lots of lovely people.
We had enough room with the wall behind us to have our sign up and some layouts and card ideas
Here is my table that I worked out.  Melissa and I made a great team!

Here is the stand for the Martha Stewart goodies and the EK Success Punches
This was the stand for the Spectrum Noir pens and lots of lovely stamps
And of course here I am getting ready for another great show!

Here are some photos of my stall at Craft Out West.  I was in a different spot this year.  Not sure if it was the different spot or that fact that the weather was so beautiful outside, but the crowds seemed quieter this year.

My daughter Melissa helped me for both days and she did a fantastic job of demonstrating the Martha Stewart Crafter's Clay and the border punches.  I on the other hand was demonstrating the Spectrum Noir pens, and the Teresa Collins modeling paste and templates.

The big surprise again this year was the popularity of the Dress It Up Buttons from Jessie James.  On Saturday in particular these just went crazy.  Mind you so many of the buttons are just too cute to pass up.

The craft show was from 10am - 4pm both days.  So after the show each day there was not much time to do much else but get ready for the following day and have dinner.  But on Sunday morning I was able to get out and water my veggie garden before the show.  Little did I know that there would be a wonderful surprise at the end of the day.

So after the pack down of the show and getting home, the front fence was completely finished and there was another beautiful looking garden bed at the top of the three I already have.  Also my bean seeds and corn seeds have sprouted - so excited.
My baby beans just starting to sprout!
On closer inspection I found these tiny corn seedlings had finally sprouted!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Preparing for Craft Out West

Oh my goodness!

Shows and Expos always come round so fast.  Still so much to day and only a few days left to get things done.

Today I have been working on my little giveaway that I will be giving to special customers :)

I have been frantically cutting out on my Silhouette Cameo for everyone.

In each pack you will get the word Joy, with the 'O' being an ornament, a Ho Ho Ho title, a jingle bell with a red ribbon and a vintage lamp post.  Here are a few ideas that you can use to create some cards using these items.

The background papers or cards are not included, only the main shapes.

Have fun everyone!

See you at Craft Out West this weekend
West Wave Recreation Center
20 Alderman Drive

10am - 4pm
Saturday and Sunday
8th and 9th November

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Who is scratching at my ceiling?

The other day Grace and I came home from Aqua Zumba and after my shower Grace said she could hear scratching but wan't sure where it was coming form.  I stood beside her and sure enough there was a scratching noise coming from the ceiling - the attic.  This got me concerned that maybe we had a mouse or worse ... rats.

Well I didn't think there was much I could do so I went out to the workshop and did some work on the online shop and thought when Brad got home he could take care of it.

When I came in for lunch I decided to face the 'rat' or 'mouse'.  But when I opened the attic door and climbed half way up the stairs I could hear a baby bird peeping.

Sure enough at the far end of the house sitting on the top of the pink bats was a little sparrow fledgling.  Grace and I carefully stepped on the beams and Grace was able to get the little sparrow into an empty Weet-bix box.  The we saw the other fledgling, but it was dead.

Once out of the attic and into the kitchen I made some mush with Weet-bix, water and a tiny bit of honey.  I used a toothpick and carefully fed the little sparrow.

It turned out that the night before Brad and Melissa could hear the peeping of a bird that sounded like it was in the house (because little did we know that it was).  We do have a family of sparrows in the corner of the house under the gutter area.  So it looks like this little sparrow was from the family and had hopped out of the nest and up under the roof on the building paper where if fell through into our attic.  But seeing has it did not have very strong wings yet it could not get back up to its nest.

When Brad did get home we managed to get the dustpan under the building paper and sent it back towards its nest.  Since then it parents outside seem to be calling more and it sounds like more than one baby responding back in the nest, so hopefully it made it back to Mum and Dad (who we have nick-named Jack and Jackie)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A quick card

I ordered some papers last week and they arrived the other day.  As soon as I opened my parcel of papers I was inspired to create a card using a couple of the papers.  It was amazing how quick it was.

The papers I used were from Pavlova Papers - these are created and designed here in New Zealand.  I really like this set of papers, they have a lovely vintage look with the sepia tones and then the brightness of the reds and other colours.  These two papers are Rose Card Red (it has all the roses ready to use on cards) and Cocao Gold and I used the reverse side that reminds me of wallpaper a bit.

With just using these two papers, some Peels Craft stickers and some foam tape here is the card I created.
I cut three of the flower card pieces out, used one as a base then with the other two I cut out the roses and leaves and from the third piece just the red rose.  I layered the pieces using foam tape.
I cut a piece of the Cocao Gold to cover my card front, then added the flower piece and lastly added some Peel Craft stickers to give a sweet border round the card.  I wrote the sentiment with my Chocolate brown Zigwriter pen.

I am very pleased with the result, now to just send it to a deserving friend.  It is really nice to send cards to those you care about.  There is not enough nice post arriving in our letterboxes anymore.

You can find these papers available in our shop and online (click here or here)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Girls

I am probably the happiest when I get to create and when I get to work in my garden.  Though creating is the best.

This week I thought it would be fun to give one of the Echo Park Mini Theme packs some of my attention.  I popped down to the shops and picked up a cheap embroidery frame and using the Echo Park Mini Theme Princess kit I created this fun wee project.

I had so much fun with this that I will be doing this as a kids class in Term 4.  I created the flower on this project using my Silhouette Cameo and one of the flower files from Silhouettes online shop.
I used a piece of ribbon so that I could hang this lovely frame.  At the moment it is hanging in my workshop as I decided where it will permanently live.

This is the kit that I used and it is available from our online shop
Echo Park Mini Theme - Princess
Click here to order yours!

Gardening - a new beginning

I have started a course via facebook helping me to grow a veggie garden.  It has been really exciting to see all sorts of things happening for this lately.  Over the past couple of years I have managed to grow strawberries, lettuces and silver-beet quite successfully but I wanted to be relatively self-sufficient and grow more veggies.

To do this I need more garden beds.  So to start with I have chosen a spot on the bank of our property where we can build some raised garden beds.  At the moment we are trying to kill of the grass so it looks like we are growing a broken trampoline and some wooden pallets.
But last weekend Brad and I popped down to Placemakers and found some wood that would work to make my raised beds.  I think we may have a bit much, but I am sure I will find more use for it round the back to make even more gardens LOL.
When moving all this wood from the trailer to the front of the house and then from the front of the house to in front of my current strawberry beds Kitty supervised - and played with the recently cut grass, so funny to watch her play seeing as she doesn't normally like being on the grass.
Once my garden beds are ready I will be able to plant my seedlings.  At the moment they are growing from seed in my little greenhouse.  Growing from seed is kind of fun.  Sowing the seeds and then waiting patiently for them to pop through the soil.  My family thinks I am crazy when I get excited that a shoot has popped through the soil and, that I refer to my seedlings as my babies - but they need me LOL!
Here are my peas that are coming up.  All going well the garden will be ready soon and they will be strong enough to go out into the garden.

More seeds arrived yesterday so I will be sowing even more seeds shortly.  Brad said on the weekend that I will be getting an extra bed than I thought I would be so I wonder what I will plant in that one.  All my other three beds are planned out.  Maybe the next lot of lettuce or maybe some herbs.

I honestly never thought I would become a gardener.  My Mum has always been into gardening but it never seemed to rub off on me.  If anything I used to be very good and killing plants.  I guess that is why doing this facebook course will be very helpful.

Visiting Family

On the third weekend in September my family went of on a little trip up north to visit my Dad and his lovely wife Lyn in Kawakawa.  Of course we chose a weekend where the weather was not particularly friendly.  We had planned to take our bikes and try one of the cycle tracks but it was so windy and rainy even before we left that we decided to leave the bikes at home. So we left home just after lunch on the Saturday and headed up.

The drive was not too bad.  We had our music on shuffle so we all enjoyed the music in the car.  We also had some nibbles.  I love looking out the window on road trips and just watching the country side change.  Going past farm land, bush, forest, flat land, hills and rocky terrain.  I love how New Zealand just seems to have everything covered landscape wise.

We arrived at my Dad's just after 4pm, so we had quite a good run.  Lyn was already making dinner.  so we had time to unpack and do a small catch up before dinner.  Lyn put on a lovely spread and we all had time to catch up and have a really nice family time.

The following morning we had breakfast and a bit of fun with photos using tablets and then my family and I were off to explore Piha, Opua and Kawakawa.  Here is our family photo using Grace's tablet.
The weather on the Sunday was probably the worst out of the two days.  In Piha we got rained on when trying to look round the shops.  So we headed down to Opua where there was the start of a cycle way for cyclists.  We thought we would check it out ready for our next visit.  It was nice a the rain had stopped and the sun came out while we walked.  Here are my girls enjoying one of the small bridges on the trail.
 Pretty much as soon as we got back to the car the heavens opened at it rained ... again.

On our way back home we stopped off in Kawakawa to check out the Steam Engine and to see where the cycle trail came out at the end.  It was fun to see my family enjoy watching the steam engine. That is another thing we will have to do next time we visit over summer.

The drive home was uneventful but the weather basically rained on and off all the way home.  Once home the cats would not let us out of there sight.  They may have missed only one meal but as far as they were concerned we had been gone a lifetime.

Family time with the extended family is so important.  It is something we do not do enough but I would like to see us do this more often with all our extended family.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stenciling with Stencils

Ok for one of the challenges this month, it asks for you to use a stenciling technique on your layout.  I have had a couple of people asking what stenciling in scrapbooking is, so I thought I would do a quick blog post of some stenciling ideas.

To start off with there are many stencils available out there from the alpha stencils we used as kids to the fancy alpha and shape stencils available in scrapbooking and card making today.

With stencils you could use them to trace the image with your pens - this you might like to do for a title.  But more fun techniques are using things like ink, spray ink, acrylic paint, modeling paste and chalks.

Here are a couple of layouts that I have used stencils on.

This layout used the cutout from inside the stencil to
create a make and inked over using an ink pad

This layouts title was traced from a stencil

This layout used a stencil and modeling paste over
the whole background of the layout

On this layout I used the modeling paste and a stencil for the
border and then sprinkled glitter over the top

On the layout I used the stencil and spray ink to create
 the look of the chicken wire background.
So I wonder what you will do with a stencil and your layout challenge.  Remember, if you do not have a stencil you can make your own using die-cut machines and or shape punches.

Have fun and let me see what you create.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Once a month not enough

I can't believe it has been about a month since I last had the chance to write here on my blog.  I so wanted this year to be the year I was able to blog more regularly.  I wanted to blog at least once a week.  I came to the realization just recently that I write too many different things, I have my G&T weekly newsletter, the Better Deals shopping email as well as the big monthly newsletter (which oh bother, I just realized I have not uploaded to the website - will do that next) and then write my blog, no wonder there are times I just don't know what to blog about with regards to my scrapbooking, I am all written/talked out.  I do want to do better and to write here more often and share what I have created and learnt so lets see if I can try to do it tad more often.

Anyway, one of the new things that I have recently got myself into is my garden.  When my girls were younger - even before I had children - I was not very good with plants and gardening.  I was more prone to killing things off that growing them.  Well over the past couple of years I have discovered I can grow strawberries - they don't seem to mind neglect from time to time.  This year my daughter Melissa and I have turned our hand to growing some Spring bulbs, and sure enough over the last 2 weeks they have started flowering.  We are so excited.
I had made one mistake earlier in the season, as I had planted one of the bulbs upside down - was wondering what this white spider looking thing was coming out of the pot.  So turned it up the correct way and re-planted it.  It is flowering now.  Very happy.

Seeing as these were such a success and because over winter I purchased a gardening book (and even finished it - this must be serious) I have been inspired to try to grow more veggies this year - other than tomatoes and lettuce.  The author of the book I purchased is running a class that I have signed up for so you will probably see lots of gardening photos and layout coming through the next few months.

Also lately I have managed to get some of my own scrapbooking done.  Oh it is so nice to be able to take time and actually scrapbook for my own pleasure. Letting my creativity shine and not be confined to a specific range or style.  Here is a layout I have created of my daughter's school production.  I really love the cityscape die-cut from my Silhouette Cameo.  It really added meaning to this layout that was set in New York - love it.
Well that is basically all from me at the moment.
Will hopefully be back to write again soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paying Tribute

Earlier this year my Uncle passed away.  It was sad in a couple of was as my extended family is not as close as maybe I would like.  I had not seen my Uncle in a couple of years.  Though the nice thing is that I remember him as a strong and generous man.  I was very thankful to be able to attend his funeral and to see my Aunt, cousins and their families - shame it took a sad event to bring us together.  Since then I have wanted to do a tribute layout of my Uncle.  It was hard as I was not sure where to begin.  But recently a line of papers came out from Carta Bella that seemed perfect.  My Uncle was an avid sailor and loved to sail and race his Trimaran boat. So that is where I started, and this is my end result.

I really wanted to keep the photos from the funeral leaflet as there were some really lovely photos, and the hymns were so beautiful so I used two of them.
I also sat down and thought about some of the things I remember of my Uncle and some of the things we all did together.

Tribute pages can be really hard as they are so personal, but I think they are also very important as these people were important in our lives and need to be seen.

Here is another layout I have done of my Uncle and I when I was probably about seven.  I don't remember much of the details about that day, but I do remember being happy and having fun.
Thank you Uncle Ike for being a part of my life and for the advice you shared (I did follow it)
Love you and rest in peace.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cold in the Wild West of Auckland

I know many think that Aucklander's are just great big wusses and we just might be - I know I am especially when it comes to being cold. This morning before I even got out of bed I just knew it was cold.  I was glad that it was a Saturday morning as this meant I could get a sleep in.  Brad and Grace we up as they head off to Grace's morning Zumba class over on the North Shore.

Anyway Brad was out warming up the truck when he came in to let me know there was some thick frost on the truck.  I bounced out of bed, grabbed some warm trousers and my dressing gown then like a good scrapbooker I grabbed my camera.

Yep sure enough there was a frost.  Thanks for the visit over night Jack, everything looks so pretty dressed in white in the morning.

 I loved how beautiful the frost was on the roof of the car.  I looked like really short grass all sticking upwards.  It was fun to gently run my finger across the top.

Then I turned my attention to the garden and sure enough there was frost everywhere.  It was impressive to see it on the dirt and my flowers.  I am sure it was probably thicker down country but I do like to frost even if I don't like being cold.

Even my poor relatively new veggie garden was dusted in Jack Frost's handy work.  The gardens by the house seemed fine though - phew LOL!

But the rest of the day has also been pretty cold, feels like I cannot leave the side of my little fan heater.

Stay warm everyone!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

17th July 2014

Oh my goodness I have neglected my poor blog for well over a month.  I mean what with getting ready for SENZ, setting up for SENZ, having SENZ, then packing up.

Of course then there has been the after math, the rain, production rehearsals for my daughter and then to add insult to injury came issue with the hot-water valves that needed a plumber.

I don't feel like I have had a chance to breath let a long blog or even craft for crafting sake.

Mind you as soon as I get to craft I have some fun ideas I'd like to create.  I just hope I remember what I want to do when the time comes LOL!

One of the strangest things that did happen at SENZ was that my daughter and I were filmed for the 4:30 Show with Liam and Cameron.  Now I don't know if our section will make the cut to the actual show, but the filming process was great fun.  Apparently it is going to air next Friday so we will see.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Having fun with embossing

I came across this technique today and just had to share it.
As many of you know, the Teresa Collins Craftwell eBosser arrived not so long ago and I have really enjoyed using it.  So now is a great time to try some new embossing techniques.

Today I would like to share about embossing with glitter using embossing folders and embossing powders.

To start with use some Versa Mark ink and added it to the recessed side of your embossing folder. (this is the side where the detail is 'dug out')

Add your cardstock to the non-inked side and close your embossing folder.

Send your folder through your embossing machine

Create a mix of clear embossing powder and fine glitter - about 50/50 of each.  I used a micro-fine glitter for this.

Pour this mix over your embossed cardstock.  Shake off excess and heat set your embossing powder mix.

Create your card - very pretty!
I hope you will give this a go.

Have a great weekend of paper crafting!