Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's Your Favourite...?

The latest Simon Says Stamp Challenge is: What's your favourite Stamp, Tool, Product?

For me I love tools and I consider stamps as tools too! Such a good investment as they are reuseable on every product! Ev-er-y creation people. Layouts? Mini albums? Cards? Off the Page Items? Stamps and tools are good for them all. Reuseable = more $$$$ to spend on product. Basically I love it all: stamps, tool and products!

Cast your mind back a ways and you will remember me saying I won a kit from Artfull Crafts. I finally got around to creating with it. Best bit of all - I got to scrapbook a layout. I truly do enjoy creating layouts the most. I've been putting my latest designs out on display lately and I enjoy seeing them as I go about my day.

The gorgeous subject of my layout is my second oldest niece and I love seeing her lovely face every time I walk by. The picture itself was taken from a webcam and then she altered it digitally so it is really terrible quality in real life. When I ordered the print the developing programme suggested it was too poor quality to print. I'm glad I took the risk of developing it (at 9cents a print I figured I couldn't lose!) as the picture looks fine from a distance and you only notice how grainy and pixelated it is the closer you get.What a shame I didn't have a professional shot of this pose as it would be on permanent display in my home.

I can't claim any ownership of the design as it was a kit put together by Artfull Craft and it came with pictures of cards and 2 layouts you could make with the contents. I did make some changes and individual flair to the layout though.  A key piece was not included in the kit so off to my stash I went. That's where the square, almost see through, element in the bottom right corner of the photo came from. When I raided my stash I found other bits I wanted to substitute for examples in the original layout too (top right corner and the lower right flower instead of heart). I also early on decided to use a chipboard sticker from the supplied sheet instead of a word cut from the provided paper.

One cool thing, from my perspective, was that I got to curl the stems of the roses and use them as part of the design. Looks so cool and is super easy. Why did I waste time trimming them off before? Never again!

The original layout was done by Lisa at Artfull Crafts and the blog link is here and it has all the items I could make with the kit. Of all the options the layout is my favourite. Here's the original layout for you to compare.

Thanks for the inspirations Lisa!

Am I submitting it to the SSS Challenge? Sure am!

This layout used not only gorgeous product but also one of my favourite tools: border punches. I tell ya, a simple border punch edge can really add some oomph to a layout and a border trim really can easily and simply finish a mini album page.  I'm in love with them - but in a good way :)

Simon Says Stamp Challenge: What's Your Favourite?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

And the Winner Is:

And the Winner is: [insert my name here]. Well, that's what I am hoping for!

Today's post is all about a tag (not a boy, sorry).  Ellen Hutson has a 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist blog event going on and I am joining in. I was inspired by Jennifer McQuire's tag on Day 4. I happen to think that JM, as I like to call her, is a fantastic lady and super talented. She shares so many products, tips and techniques on her blog and on the blogs of others.

So, I had a design already for me, provided by JM. I had some of the products or alternatives. The final product however just didn't end up looking like hers at all. Luckily, I made another tag - why waste all that distress stain on your TH craft mat or the second snowflake rosette on the TH die? (That's right, I call him TH!). So, I am submitting the second tag I made:

How was I inspired by JM?
Instead of stamping on the acetate as per JM I embossed it with a script embossing folder instead.
I stamped snowflakes in white on the lower layer (not on top as JM).
The snowflake rosette and ribbon replace the bird and branch
I made the rosette using metal packing tape and coloured it with alcohol ink. (I only have 3 Copic Markers: red, grey and brown).
I did colour the bling as per JM but with Stazon (not Copics)
I did try to get a similar colour base but I used a piece of cardstock lying around and it absorbed so much of the Broken China and Silver distress stains that it ended up looking like Iced Spruce instead. I tried to reintroduce the blue colour by using teal Stazon on the embossed parts (and bling)

Doesn't sound like I followed her example at all now does it?

Confession: First go, I added the foam tape to the white layer - duh! I did rip it up and attach the white layer flat to the acetate then added foam tape to the underside of the acetate as per JM. (In real life the white paper looks just like it has been ripped up and wrinkled - never mind)

Because I am a sharing kind of gal and admit my [crafting] disasters, I shall show you my first attempt:

This tag was just too big! I altered the size for the second one. Of course I don't have a tag die - why would I spend $$$$ on that when I can just cut a rectangle and go from there? Turns out it might be worth the investment ;)

Same inspiration from JM as for the tag I am actually submitting, but this time I stamped a script stamp with white stazon on acetate. I really love how this looks! Must try it again, especially as my white stazon pad was bone dry and is hardening up from lack of use. This first time I also was inspired by Kittie Caracciolo who added strips of corrugated paper to look like hills on the bottom of her tag (see Day 5). However, it doesn't really look right  with only one layer and it flattened out a bit when I adhered it.

There's a confession for this one too: I didn't line the white up with the acetate properly - how could I, the acetate is clear!!!! I decided to cut the corners after adhering as I didn't think I could line them up properly afterwards - again, I reiterate: how could I, the acetate is clear!!!! I tried to cover the faux pas by adhering a bit more white behind the 'exposed' clear piece as it was bugging me. Did it work? Not so much.

Some good things about the creative process:
I got to colour some seam binding ribbon with distress stain. I didn't add too much colour as I wanted it to still match the white paper piece.
I broke my new rule of using old stuff (I'm big on rule breaking!). A little, cough, parcel may have arrived from Inspiration Station ($10 international shipping! Of course you need to buy 10+ items to make the postage cost even out though right?) so I played with some *new* stuff: TH distress stain and metallic distress stain, TH mini rosette die,  and WRMK fancy corner chomper (LOVE!). I love my WRMK corner chomper and crop-a-dile so it's not surprising.

However, I did use some older stash items: bling, ribbon = snot, a Stampin' Up french script background stamp and snowflake stamp, plus the unbranded word stamps may never have been used before.

Here's the official stuff now

I am entering this tag to 3 challenges:
Ellen Hutson 12 Tags of Christmas with a Feminine Twist (Day 4, Jen McQuire):

Simon Says Stamp (who also ship internationally I'd just like to add!) Snowflake Challenge:

Artfull Crafts (NZ!) Christmas Tags and Wrapping:

Materials: Stamps by Stampin' Up! and unbranded, Stazon ink, Sizzix embossing folder, WR Memory Keepers crop-a-dile and Corner Chomper, Tim Holtz distress stains, distress ink pad, alcohol ink and mini rosette die. Apart from the bling and metal packing tape, the rest is stuff lying around literally on my messy desk: Cardstock is packaging, acetate is Spellbinder's packaging, ribbon = snot.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This One's A Keeper

WARNING: Photo Heavy Post!

Thanks to Prima's Ustream channel I learned how to make a journal book by watching an online class led by Steff Miller over and over and over again. 'That is a cool idea' I thought and proceeded to make one for myself (or for a friend as it turns out). The original journal is 7.5" by 3.5" but mine is 6" by 3.5". The original was also made with 12x12 double-sided patterned paper but, of course me being me, mine was made with 6x6 single-sided papers as well. Makes it more difficult for sure. If you had 4 12x12 pieces of double-sided papers you could whip this up fairly quickly:

It's a little bit gorgeous isn't it? The large sparkly green flower is from Prima - part of my gift parcel from Mrs Frizz (I told you it was heading this way). The base paper for the album is by K&Co. The die cuts are Spellbinders and the journal card is from Making Memories. I purposely placed the journal card on the front cover so that the fold-around covers the second line on the journal card but still shows the first line, which stands alone.  I've added journal cards from Bella! and Websters Pages inside the album and popped a few extras in the back.

I've used PicFrame to compile the inside pages together into one picture to reduce the photo content. It may look like I have doubled up on pictures but it show the pages with and without the added journal cards. Here's the inside Pages: 

Here's the back page:

Amazing what you can do with a little time, paper and border punches isn't it? The border trim on the envelope is a bit I cut off the side of the journal card placed on the front cover. The colours and designs didn't work on the front but they certainly work here. I had to make the envelope by hand as I don't have an envelope die. I emailed a friend for help and she sent me links of the dies she has in her stash - love friends like that! Her dies didn't match my size requirements but the pictures gave me the basic design to try and have a go myself. For once my try-out actually worked out really well! :)

For my personal challenge of using items from my stash I have used here:
* an eyelet I bought for European Travel scrapping
* stamp sets x2 - new and unused
* Tim Holtz ink in a colour I thought I would never use again (from a class kit)
* Snot ribbon - which wasn't long enough but because I had two I had enough to use one for each side
* Journaling cards - new and unused
* DCWV cardstock sticker - new and unsed.
* K&Co paper pad - used before but definitely been around a while.

As I started to put this journal together I thought of a friend of mine who just happens to be having a birthday soon. I don't make a lot of gifts anymore as I have to carefully weigh my time and effort with the recipients enjoyment. The friend I am thinking of will truly enjoy the journal and will treasure the fact that I made it for her and the time & effort put into it. Just in case I have also bought her a present too! I see myself making a few more of these journals as it was really easy to put together and look fantastic even if I do say so myself. Basically, this little item is a keeper even though I am giving it away.

This little beauty is going to be entered in the Simon Says Stamp Challenge - Anything Goes
I know I posted mine a few days before this challenge opened but I needed to post it on my blog before their next challenge went up in order to make a deadline for another challenge. (which I didn't win btw - it's not about the winning; it's the joy of creating)

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Our friends in USA are celebrating Thanksgiving this week and I am getting in on the action! Sadly, not by partaking of a thanksgiving feast complete with pumpkin pie, but by joining in two Simon Says Stamp challenges. The theme is thanksgiving/thank you - no kidding! Here's my card:

I love using clear accents and acrylic. Wanna know where I got the acetate for this one? It's the flat part from Spellbinder's packaging. Total truth. No wasting here and I'm helping the environment (until the recipient throws this card out but seriously, who would!). I embossed the acetate with a new-to-me Sizzix embossing folder. The stamps and matching die are from My Favourite Things. Now, you have heard me announce my preference for rubber stamps before because acrylic stamps just don't stamp as clearly. Well, I have to say the MFT stamps ink up beautifully every time from the very first time with no priming. Total Truth (I think that's today's new catch phrase).

I love the typewriter; it is quite large so it was perfect for this card. I reverse die cut the typewriter for the inside to cover the backside of the one used on the front. I also cut another typewriter to use on the inside to say Thank You and leave room for the handwritten message. I ended up stamping the inside typewriter image on a whim because the front one looked faint enough to write over. I really should stop following my whims as it ended up darker than the one on the front! I told you the MFT stamps work brilliantly, e-ve-ry time.  I don't just randomly say Total Truth without meaning it you know. I'm sure you can still write over it with a dark pen and still see the message - or I might 'gift' it so it becomes someone else's problem :)

Do you think someone has been playing with the photo processing software/apps on their phone? Did you not even notice? I did stick with the ol' blue carpet background though. Can't advance to far too fast you know.

Here's the link to the SSS challenge:

I'm also entering it in the SSS and Show challenge which has the same theme of Thank You (how convenient!):

Finally, one last Total Truth for you: I am totally, without a doubt, sick of making cards! Total Truth! Ugh, time to make a layout but cards are easier to commit to and finish within challenge deadlines and life deadlines. All is not lost though people, I am working on a journal book for a friend for her birthday courtesy of Prima UStream channel. More stuff used from my stash and a handmade gift to boot. Some of Mrs Frizz sparkle will go on it too. Pictures to follow (as long as this friend doesn't read the blog).

Materials: DCWV cardstock, Quickutz Chipboard, MFT die and stamp set (typewriter and Thank You), Stampin' Up! stamp (gratitude),  Sizzix Embossing Folder, Tim Holtz Distress Ink + Marker , Stazon Ink.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

She's At It Again!

Yup, I'm at it again. I'm trying to win a really cool prize. This one is even cooler than the previous shares. I mean, this is huge. One word: Prima Art Venture. Calm down, calm down. Stop the squealing and jumping up and down ladies. Breathe.

Here's the details as far as I know them: Jan 18-20
Leeza Gibbons plus 6 of Prima's educators including, wait for it, the awesome and local, Nic Howard! (Heidi Swapp is on the list too FYI). We so lucky!

Calm down, I mean it ladies! Just wait until I give you the link to Nic's site so you can enter too. Good luck to us all :)

Thanks Nic for the chance to win a day with you all. I tell ya, once this link is up and running I'm off to do some jumping, squealing and researching too.

(I just realised that this is not a NZ event, it is in California. Just a little FYI before the NZ ladies get too excited by my post)

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Mullet Card

Remember the mullet haircuts of the 80's? Business in the front, party in the back. I've decided that the card I've made for a couple of challenges is a mullet card. Why? Well, it is elegant in the front and completely the opposite on the inside. Why? I hear you ask. The recipient of this card is elegant, refined and gracious. When I use the word grace in any form I mean it's full capacity and this lady is gracious and graceful. We are very different personalities and she decided to 'adopt' me as her sister many years ago and I, in turn, have 'adopted' her daughter as my little sister. I don't know how she has remained so faithful when I am not refined, elegant or graceful. I'm hoping a little bit of her has rubbed off on me over the past years. (You will have to wait and see what the party bit is)

A Blog Named Hero had instructions for creating embossed lines on card fronts using your scoring board. It is a simple, yet elegant technique that I wanted to give a go. I'm not sure if you can see it but it is definitely a keeper technique. The doily is from a card technique trial that went horribly wrong; I mean didn't quite work out as planned. It is quite stiff and a little shiny now after a few layers of modge podge but nothing says elegance like doily so on it went. As usual I did not have a plan in mind when I started other than it had to have something-I-am-not-telling-you-yet and the scoring plus a punch to fit the theme for A Blog Named Hero. The something-I-am-not-revealing-yet fits the theme for Southern Girls Challenge blog.

Here's the business side of the mullet card:

Elegant right? I'm sure there was a challenge using pearls somewhere so if I can find it again I will submit it there too - doesn't matter that there is only one pearl right? Actually, it was a purple jewel at first then I thought a pearl might look better. Off to the Bling container in my stash I went (I know, sounding too organised with the Bling container - it won't happen regularly I promise). The pieces in the centre of the doily were going to be punches but it didn't look right. They are reeeeeeeally old pieces from my stash. That's more older items used - yay! I've decided that the sheets/packages that they came from are really not going to be used so I might start a collection to donate to hospice. They will be fun for the kids there I am sure. I would rather things be used than sit there.

I think you can see the 2 scored lines near the edges which was the scoring technique I mentioned. Bonus: the lines are debossed on the inside of the card making a natural frame for that side too.  I also had enough for-thought to make a 1/8" spine for my card so that it would accommodate the something-I -am-about-to reveal. Are you ready?

Remember the chickies? Here's the last one. For those of you new to the site chickies have a history between me and this wonderful lady's daughter (the one I 'adopted' as my little sister). I decided that my friend needed the last one on her Get Well Soon type card. The chickie side - with punch out speech bubble for the Southern Girl's Challenge- is the party part of the mullet card. Don't you agree? Totally opposite to the front. I did try to bring back the elegance on the part where I write my note with the washi tape - new to me from Freckled Fawn. Truth be told, and I usually admit, I mean tell you the truth, it covered extra score lines. You see, I did have the for-thought to score in a spine but at 1/4"not 1/8' as previously stated. It ended up being just that much too big. I re-scored it but this friend is a do-things-right, especially for other people, kind of person (I told you we were opposites). I grabbed some washi tape and that's how the colour scheme became purple and teal. Another truth: the purple card is from the afore mentioned technique gone wrong card. I may be a hoarder, but I'm not a waster of my supplies people!

Here's the info for the challenges I am entering this card in:

A Blog Named Hero: Challenge #15 The Ol' 1-2 Punch-  use punch outs or die-cuts (speech bubble)
BTW the speech bubble was punched out twice and glued together to give it some depth and strength.

Southern Girl's Challenge: #56 Animal Crackers - have an animal on it
Chickies count as animals right? Even if they are on the inside and not on the front.

One card, two challenges - not bad in my book. But please, nobody tell/show Miss 3. I mean it people! If she sees that this card is purple she will want it as purple is her thing. I've just remembered so are chickies! Her #2 birthday cake was a ducky. I must get this mullet card in the mail and out of the country asap.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thank You Mrs Frizz

Mrs Frizz had a giveaway on her blog because it was her birthday. Hmmm, perhaps I should've kept that to myself in case any of you get ideas. I was lucky to win. It turns out I was more than lucky because when the parcel arrived I was surprised at how much she sent me! I was expecting a card or two that she had made and a few left overs from projects that she had made - there was not one scrap in there I tell you. It was chocka with unopened packages of Prima flowers and bling and Kaisercraft wood veneers. There was even a recently released Kaisercraft stamp set. I was blown away, just blown away I tell you. I will get to the picture of the goodies but first I will show you how gorgeously she had packaged it - very Mrs Frizz style I must say.

Isn't that gorgeous? Of course I set the trims and lace aside for another project. No wastage here. I've never actually seen the white feathery kind before so I look forward to reusing it elsewhere. I've just realised that the purple tissue will be perfect for wrapping things for Miss 3 who still loves all things purple. Thank goodness her mummy, the BFF, gave me a purple inkpad recently because the one single purple marker I had has been getting a work out over the last few years on all her cards. I digress so as promised, here is the picture of the contents. Be prepared to ohhh and ahhhh.

Some of the items, like the Prima swirls and flowers, are things I had seen, admired and drooled over but not purchased because of the cost. What a lucky, lucky girl am I. I was reflecting on this the other day as it has been a really challenging year for me this year. I won't go into detail but I've never had a year quite like it. Even though I have struggled and had my whole world turned upside down at times, some amazingly lucky things have also happened for me. Like winning this prize and a few others this year. I chose to look at the positive and believe you choose your attitude no matter what the situation. Thanks Mrs Frizz for being a positive moment this year and for brightening my day.

Mrs Frizz is on the contributing team for Kaisercraft and has her own blog. I am inspired by her work both on her blog and the Kaisercraft one. Here's the link for her blog because you know I like to give credit and thanks where it is due:

Thanks Mrs Frizz, you made my day :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mama Elephant

I've just heard about a new stamp company called Mama Elephant. It's two SAHMs so we gotta support that right!?!? I blogged hopped my way around the internet last week and now I want ALL their sets. I'm sharing the info here with you so I get one more chance to win! And so do you if you join in :)

Fingers crossed X and Good Luck if you try too!

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm So Happy I Could Zing!

Had a play today. It felt really good. And when I came up with this creation I was so happy I could Zing! Originally I was going to simply emboss the stamp in white on the black. Of course I changed my mind and decided I wanted to play with some items I have bought this year but not used: the chicken wire stencil and the perfect pearls. I have never used the perfect pearls before and wasn't sure about how to proceed. I remembered hearing people using them over versamark so off I went. I ruined a small brush in the process of applying the powder so I must find out how you are supposed to apply it. I am glad I went to the extra step of spraying it with Mum's hairspray as I later went on to add just that little bit of extra zing! Here's the first stage:


Do you get the idea that when life is closing in on you you need to breathe? I hope so. Well I thought, I could go one step further and add something else to express the pressures that close in on us. I grabbed a stamp (I won't reveal what just yet) and retrieved the mask from the bin where I had thrown it after the perfect pearls stage. Then I rummaged in the embossing powders for the right colour: red? brown? Grey? Grey was the winner and here's how it turned out:

Can you see the grey spidery lines running out from the centre? That's what I added and boy does it pop in real life! What stamp did I use? Why, a map stamp of all things! It was another stamp I had purchased and not used so I am feeling very smug. Here's a close up to show the detail:

If I may take [another] moment to brag, I would just like to say I love it! I loved it so much I wanted to zing! Why Zing and not Sing? Well, I used Zing embossing powder and I have hardly no voice after being sick all week :)

Tie A Ribbon Around It Southern Girls

The latest challenge at Southern Girls Challenge is to use ribbon.

I am submitting the second card I made with a friend recently - it's the one where I learned that EK Success and Fiskars punches aren't compatible. The ribbon I used was again lying on the floor when I was grabbing gear to go in my kit. Do you want to know where it originated? It is one of the ribbons sewn into tops and dresses to stop them from falling off the hanger (otherwise known as snot - don't ask unless you really want to know!). They really bug me (no, 'bug the snot out of me' is not why they are otherwise known as snot around here, but good guess) so I always cut them off. They are the perfect size for cards and 6x6 layouts.

{the story of the snot has now been added below: read if you dare}

I am a little embarrassed to submit it as I don't like it that much but I wanted to seeing as I missed the last challenge by two hours! Two hours! Duh!

What did I learn from making this card: Tim Holtz Distress Pens are not good with acrylic stamps! Stampin' Up! markers are only a little better. This all reminds me that I really prefer rubber stamps.

Note: I didn't think people other than family actually stop to read the long blurbs I write. I thought they would just stop in to look at the [pretty] pictures and leave a comment for the challenges I have entered. I really appreciate it when someone actually reads it. Does this mean I need to change how and what I write? Maybe. Should I spell check more, use correct grammar? Probably. Will I? Probably not :) Anyways, this prompted me to add a note about the story of calling those annoying, hold-your-clothing-on the hanger ribbons snot. It's not really an interesting one but here goes.

The Story of Snot:
The first time I encountered the annoying ribbon thingies, let's just call them annoying ribbons for brevity, was a while back when I noticed these clear, rubbery 'ribbons' on a new top I bought. I just remember when this story takes place: it was the first time I want to Crafting Connection and the last time it ran. Hmmm, no connection I hope. Anyways, I digress. I don't like them, use them or find them useful at all. The only tops I've actually used them on never stayed on the hanger any way. Ooops, digressing again. I was sitting at a friend's house and the annoying ribbons had worked their way out from under my top again - grrr. My friend, sitting to my right said: your thingies are out again. Now, as a woman when someone tells you your thingies are out you don't think of the annoying ribbons first do you? Once I checked that my body parts were still covered I worked out what she meant.  I started to pick up the clear 'ribbon' and pull the whole length out from under my shirt. When I pulled it out I had pulled it out at face level. Ok, I may admit that I was more slouched than sitting on the couch and may not have had full coordination - I don't know why (ahem). From side on (my friend's position) the movement looked more like a magician pulling scarves out of a hat except the ribbon looked like it was being pulled out of my nose! Being clear really didn't look good. Even from my viewpoint it looked like I was pulling snot out of my nose. And that's why they are called snot around here :) What are they called anyway?!?!?

Simon Says Stamp - Dies or Punches

The latest Simon Says Stamp (SSS) challenge is use dies or punches. Do I have dies or punches? Do I have dies and punches!

Here's a birthday card for a friend. I chose the paper but then realised I didn't have ink to match. It is kind of in between blue and green. This was the first time that I created an easel card. I didn't have any instructions which is typically me. I worked out in my head how it might be put together and that's the design I went with. It turned out fine-ish. I might just google instructions or dial a friend to see how different the real way and my way are.

Before I reveal the inside I will just warn you about the chicky. It is not what I would normally use and it doesn't go with the style but it is a running theme between this friend and I since she was little. She turned 25 recently and I can't believe I have known her since she was two and I was a teenager. This friend was the recipient of the chicky card I made early on in the year too. It was a pack of three so I have one left. Keep an eye out for chicky in the future ;)

The printed twill I used is from my favourite shop in Melbourne. I give it a new name every time I try to tell someone what it is called. It's from Typo (fingers crossed that is the right name). I visited every one I saw, bar one, when I was there in April. Why the one I skipped? I think I was typoed out by then as they all stock the same items. They just happened to have 30-50% off in every store too - bonus! Now you know why I really loved it.

Here's the challenge link:

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Spring and Yet There Is A White Out

It's spring here in New Zealand but there has been a definite white out around here. The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is White Out. You can only use white cardstock and no patterned paper. I pulled out my new favourite (Hero Arts/Studio Calico Lattice Background) and tried a new technique. Out came the red ink just because I love red. Here's my creation.

My original idea was to make a portrait orientation card but the embossing folder worked better this way. I inked the flat side of the embossing folder with red ink. The punch out for the gratitude stamp is from my punch out sample container. The punch is placed in the middle of the inside top page and the embossing is in the middle of the inside bottom page. I've started using both inside pages in my card embellishing. The gratitude stamp is from a definition stamp set that I haven't used much (at all). The embossing folder set may not have been used before this challenge either.  Are you sensing a theme in this post and the last one? You'd be right if you think I am challenging myself to use items from my stash - especially older items that may never have been used. (hangs head in shame)

This was a thank you card for the BFF. I came home from work one day recently to find a lovely "just because" parcel in my letterbox. The card she sent with it was awesome too! She puts my card making to shame.

Here's the link for the A Blog Named Hero challenge:

Let's hope I haven't missed this deadline too!

Show Us Your...

This weekend the BFF and I had a lovely time creating together. It had been a long time, something to do with her having 3 little munchkins. The oldest, Miss 4 1/2, joined us for most of the time. She looked so cute at her little table creating away. I was the lucky recipient of, not one, but two of her fantastic creations. Bonus - they each came with a picture of either her or her next youngest sister attached. I think we have a wee scrapbooker in the making :)

We challenged ourselves to undertake a challenge. We chose the challenge from Southern Girl's Challenge Blog which was: show us your spots/stripes. Here's the link:

This was particularly challenging for me as I had to try to decide what to bring. I had an idea in my mind and I wanted to use things from my stash that maybe haven't ever been used. I grabbed a very old paper pad, a fiskars stamp set plus a coordinating punch, two Tim Holtz distress markers, one small versa ink and two pieces of scrap ribbon that had fallen on the floor. Thanks goodness the BFF has a mighty stash like mine so I could raid her Stampin' Up! pens and foam tape (which I forgot). I'm not so proud of the card but I'm happy I survived my own personal challenges: scrapping with what I have on hand and using older items from my stash.

What did I learn during my crafting day? The punch I grabbed didn't match the stamp set :) The Fiskars punch is only for paper. EK Success punches go through cardstock but even though the shapes may be identical and the same size they don't necessarily match up. I learned the last one when I made a second card (not spots or stripes) and tried punching through cardstock with the punch. Stuck! My BFF had a matching EK Success one but guess what? The scallop edges don't match up. Out came the scissors.

Here's that link again if you want to give it a go yourself and show us your spots and stripes ;)

Well, I went to upload the link and the challenge expired 2 hours ago! Note to self: check expiration times more carefully. Fingers crossed for the BFF's entry

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Overdue Thanks

In August I was fortunate to win a blog prize from Artfull Crafts in Timaru. They sent me a wonderful newly released 6x6 Echo Park Everyday Eclectic paper pad. It is gorgeous and as a bonus the papers are double sided - double gorgeous :)

Then, in September, I tried to win a prize on their Facebook site. I didn't get the answer right (always go with your first instinct is what I learned from that experience) but they gave me a prize for answering a second question (there were only 2 entries). I was really touched that they gave me the opportunity to still win something and sent me a prize. They even tried to send me something that would match the Echo Park paper pad they had already sent me. Wasn't that lovely of them?

We should reward their generosity by shopping at their stores (online or in person). They are super nice to deal with and I always spend up big at SENZ when I see their store.

Now that I have finally got around to photographing the prizes I can create something!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Here's one I prepared earlier - minus the rant

I am trying out a new way to upload photos here. Don't worry, I promise not to go off in a rant like last time (but only if it works).

This was a birthday card for someone special. I got to play with a [then] new stamp + die set from MFT. I have only just discovered this brand. I must confess to adding the typewriter die + stamp set to my stash. The confession is a bit late because I used the die + stamp  on my last card. I'm sure you noticed my faux pas? I also got to play with colouring seam binding ribbon that has been patiently waiting in my ribbon carton for a time just like this. It came out more orange than I thought considering I used a couple of red ink pads! No, I didn't get the wrong ink pots like in the last post!

This card may very well be my most favourite card ever made - if I was the kind who enjoyed making cards that is. The lattice technique is one I learned on the Simon Says Stamp blog and it is made from a Deep Lattice border punch - believe it or not! I think this is one technique I will be using again.

Wait! I think I just fell over in shock! It actually worked!!!! Wahooo! And I didn't even mutter (or do anything else unladylike) in the process :). This is great news for you all as it means you will see a few more posts from me soon as I have a long overdue thanks to say, a new card to share plus maybe a personal challenge. I shall leave you in suspense......

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tag! You're it!

Tag! You're it! That's the name of Challenge #12 at A Blog Named Hero and I'm stealing it as my catchy title this week. For those of you who live under a rock I will just explain here that the super talented Tim Holtz is doing 12 Tags of 2012 rather than just the 12 tags of Christmas that he usually does. This month I decided to join in - mostly because I thought I had most of the supplies and it looked easy. Looking back and comparing his finished tag with mine I see his is better executed than mine but it was  my first time. The faux technique doesn't show off well in the picture because it basically didn't turn out well. Just kidding! It just isn't as pronounced as Tims. It's something I can work on for next time - if there is a next time.

Other than the faux embossed metal technique and wanting to use the Tim Holtz film strip I didn't have a plan for how this was going to turn out. The metal ended up being greener than I wanted. Might have something to do with the fact that I chose what I thought was a blue alcohol ink that turned out to be green. So green became the colour scheme from then on.I had to rummage and I mean rummage for the beaded trim. By rummage I mean tip everything out of my trims and ribbons box until I could lay my hands on it.The trim is from a lamp shade I altered and I knew I kept the little piece just in cases (not a typo). I thought it would finish the tag perfectly with the Karen Foster extra large word eyelets but.... I couldn't figure out how to set said eyelets with a cropadile or other tool. I tried using a way too small manual eyelet tool (the kind you bash with a hammer) but it munted it. I finally ended up setting a large eyelet in the back. Not a great job but it will do for now.  Anyone out there know how I can set them in the future?

This tag is submitted for the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2012 September:
It is also submitted for A Blog Named Hero Challenge #12 Tag You're It! Challenge:

I'm off to google how to set extra large eyelets.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog - The CAYG Freaks Got Me In The End

The trouble with participating in a challenge is that it's hard to have a catchy title without getting into trouble. At risk of annoying my regulars (cough, cough) I have tried to add one in today's title. Let's just hope I now don't get in trouble with my non regular SSS Challenge people.

As you might have guessed I have created a card for Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog. SSS people - I promise I will add the proper link this time :)

The challenge was to use the current trends on a card: hexagons, ziz-zags and neon. Here's my take:

This card came together really quickly (for me anyway).  Remember the blue 65 BDay card I made a few months back? Well, I made two card fronts as I was playing. This one was done with three tones of red/orange/brown inks (they were all Stampin' Up from memory). I pulled out my newly made cards container and pulled this one out where I stored it until I would use it. This is a new container I have where I throw in bits and pieces suitable for card making: free printables from magazines, celebration tokens like Happy Birthday, bits from commercial cards that I could re-use, pre-made pieces like this one etc. So today, instead of throwing things in, I started pulling things out and the card developed from there. The dress form die cut was from the first time I played with a MFT die+stamp set. Once I saw it I knew I wanted to use it. Then came the doily and the rest was history so they say.

Sadly, I have a use for this card as it will be sent to someone very extra special to me very soon which is why I selected that particular sentiment. On the inside I have embossed a stamp of the verse from Romans 8:28 For we know that all things work together for good. This is a verse which my very extra special friend has drummed into me over the years and now it is my turn to remind her.

I had a better, watermarked image that I wanted to use here which would've showed you the verse better....Just a word of warning here: I am about to break into an anti-blogger rant before I get to the catchy title bit. I am so over blogger! For some reason it has decided to not load my pictures any more from my laptop. Of course, lately I have been entering challenges which means I need to upload photos. To get around it I had to download and setup a Google+ account which I do no want!  Have you read the mobile Terms and Conditions? Have you realised what information they have access to when you use it? I was stuck so now I have it and 'they' are watching me. (I'm honestly not a conspiracy theorist, I just don't want people I don't know knowing goodness knows what about me that I don't even know about myself). Argh!

Rant over

For now...

So, if you read my post you will see that I mentioned a newly created container for card stuff that I throw random useful things into. It seems I am now more organised. I even occasionally try to put things away after using them. My desk is fairly clean. I don't know how it happened and I tried to fight it as long as I could but it seems that the CAYG Freaks have won. But don't worry there is still a portion of my desk storing items that need to be housed and if you turn around from my desk you will see that the office chair is piled high with stuff. Phew, it looks like I can be redeemed after all :)

[CAYG stands for Clean As You Go]

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Scrappin Patch Challenge #4


Note: If you are looking for my Simon Says Stamp entry it is the next post down - apologies, I put the main web address down instead of the individual one :(

While I am starting with an apology, I might as well aslo apologise for the lack of a catchy title again. I will try harder next time :)

I took up another from Scrappin' Patch this weekend which was base a creation on a recipe. The ingrediants in the recipe were:

1. One piece of cardstock
2. Two pattern papers (can be double sided)
3. Two Photo's
4. Use buttons, brads or Tin Pins (you must have at least 3)
5. Chipboard Title

And here's what I came up with:


Another apology: sorry for covering up yet another gorgeous face. The facial expression is priceless and really matches the layout (total teenage scowl).

I have used a brad to adhere two photos and a further journaling spot to the page so I could have two photos without overwhelming the layout (they are both 4x6) as well as room for extra (hidden) journaling.

O Boy, I am beyond annoyed at Blogger! For some reason it is refusing to load my pictures so you get stuck with a terrible webcam one. Sorry!

Today's post was brought to you by sorry and by the number 1 stink picture!

Materials: Papers by DCWV and American Crafts (I  know which LSS I bought the DCWV paper from and it has been closed for almost two years so I know it counts as old), Bella chipboard painted with silver paint pen, Rembrandt letters for XOX and @, Field Notes stamp by 7 Gypsies, Momento journalling pen, Pritt glue, cardstock and brads unknown. The jewels that I've put on the photo like a tiara are from a broken ring.

Friday, September 7, 2012

If you liked it then you should've put a......


If you liked it then you should've put a stamp on it! And so I did!  Simon Says Stamp are having a blog hop with a catch. You have to actually create something in order to be eligible for the prizes. Here's my creation:

I finally got to play with my new Hero Arts Studio Calico background stamp - I'm loving that lattice. I think you are going to see a few cards featuring it in the coming months. I also got to add twine for the first time.  The mini ruler was from my Maya Rd prize from earlier in the year. I wrote the sentiment around the ruler and it reads: I can't measure, how much you mean to me. When my Dad first saw it he thought it meant he was the rule. We have a long running Tui Ad campaign in NZ that says...Yeah, right! I think it fitted that moment.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Scrappin' Patch Challenge #1 AND A Blog Named Hero Challenge #10

Scrappin' Patch has a challenge going on that is perfect for moi - use your stash. I love my stash but I want to use it so I can add more things to it. Oh, let's be honest, I'm gonna add to it anyway but this should even things out a little bit. Scrappin' Patch had a sketch loaded to their blog and you had to create a layout based on the sketch using only older items in your stash - I love it!

A Blog Named Hero has a challenge too which is to incorporate Kraft cardstock into a project. Now, Kraft is not a colour I use often yet I admire it in other people's work. Sounds like a challenge to me! Unfortunately I used only a small piece on my layout (to anchor my ribbon) and I coloured the edges to make it blend in better - does that still count? I sure hope so. Here's my creation:

Because I used a picture of a small person I had to cover their face and name. It is a shame because it is a beautiful face :)

Shall I tell you a few things about this layout?
The journaling spot is actually split and used either side of the photo. I do this with patterned paper too - why waste precious paper?
The ribbon is only used on the ends also - again, why waste gorgeousness?
The tissue tape actually covers writing on the journaling card which didn't suit my theme.
The kraft is colored with ink to make it blend with the layout better. Ditto for the tissue tape.
The staples are coloured with permanent markers - this is my favourite tip! You probably can't tell how well this worked out. The pink was too bright and the brown just blended into the ribbon so I layered the two colours together and it's perfect! (according to me, anyway)
The matt paper had buttons printed on the top right corner. I cut around that edge and put the photo under it. I took the risk of adding real buttons later. I am glad I did. When I use pre-decorated paper like this I like to cut around the decorative items to aid cohesion in the whole piece otherwise it can look like you just slapped a picture and some paper on a pretty piece of paper. Here I have cut around the bird's beak and slid the journaling paper under it.

Something I always do, and I mean always, is ink edges. Something I did here was a first-time try and it worked - love it when it does that! The buttons (mentioned above) didn't seem to blend well with the layout so I inked the edges with a permanent marker - brilliant! But, wait, there's more! The big pink button had grooves in it so I took the risk of quickly and lightly running the permanent marker in the ends of the grooves. O how brilliant it worked in making it blend but still have it's own presence. Here's a few other things I often ink the edges of: photos (with Stazon ink) as I don't usually use a photo matt, the whole page as it helps it stand out (just with a brush marker instead of with Tim Holtz blending tool) and lastly, embellishments.

This turned out to be a long post. I apologise for the lack of a catchy title this time but I shall leave you now with the list of materials used and a link to both A Blog Named Hero Challenge #10 & Scrappin' Patch's Challenge #1 - give it a go then you can buy new stuff.......

Materials: Paper MME, notepad paper (behind photo), journaling paper Making Memories, Tissue Tape TimHoltz, Ribbon DCWV and Spotlight, Ink Colorbox , Punch EK Success, journaling and inking pens Momento & Sakura (plus unbranded permanent markers), staples, buttons, resin piece (?), kraft paper.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thanks CAYG Freaks

Did you miss me? As usual, or not so usual for me, I've been making a few cards. I got the  [what was then] *new* Tim Holtz seasonal spring distress inks. It seemed like as soon as I got them the summer ones were out. Where does  time go? It's August already people - how did that happen? Back on topic: they sat with my stash until I could finally get an afternoon to play. I had peacock colours in my head and wanted to try blending some of the spring inks with the winter inks. The colours didn't end up as vibrant as I wanted. The smaller two were done on watercolour paper and the bigger ones were on gloss paper (my first time using gloss). The darker one on the left was embossed with teal embossing powder - something I now regret. I didn't think they blended well when I misted them with water either.

Did you like the inky fingers? I then turned them into cards. I gave one away in the weekend and today I realised I didn't have a picture of the final products for this blog post. Sadly, you miss out on the one made with the smaller one on the bottom right. For reference, I added a big silver embossed brad in the middle with a number on it (it was for a birthday - go figure). I got to use the tissue and woven paper I had in my stash (I may have come across it while tidying - thanks CAYG Freaks!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Where Did That Lady Go?

The 65th Birthday card I promised you. There are a few things I wasn't happy with but left it all the same - don't ask me about coloring the chipboard numbers which were originally shiny and green. Ok, I'll tell you anyway. I had the idea of glossy, smooth, white numbers for the card. I will just white emboss some numbers in my stash I thought. My heart sank as I watched the embossing slide around and off the numbers under the heat gun. Next idea: I would peel off the coloured layer and colour them with paint. The outcome was chalky, lumpy numbers, not the glossy, smooth image I had in my head. Idea #3: add a coat of white embossing over the paint. It worked ok, but I had to add more than one layer and I just couldn't get it smooth. After a few attempts I realised it wasn't worth the level of my angst and decided to use them as they were. Not so sure about the happy birthday ribbon either - moving on...

On a happier, more content note; I discovered that I could use my Stampin' Up! half round punch to create holders for the coupon! Something was going my way, unlike the jammed square punch that is currently sitting on my desk. What happened, you ask? Well, I saw an online tip about cutting perfect notches on the ends of pennants by using your small square punch. Brilliant I thought and tried it out as I really dislike unevenly cut notches on my pennants. The only trouble is: I tried using it on ribbon that was kind of plasticy, not cardstock. Punch stuck and hasn't budged since. It's been two months or more. No exaggeration - it was used [unsuccessfully] on my Mother's Day card which I made ahead of time as documented in an earlier post. Those of you who read my blog regularly and commit the wisdom within to memory will know (just cracking myself up with that one).

On this card I got to experiment with my new Hero Arts background stamp and Tim Holtz distress markers. I've also been experimenting with new Tim Holtz spring distress ink and making cards with the results. I've also tried out another online idea and made them into cards too.  It unsettles me to note that I've been making a few cards this year, more than ever before even, and sadly few layouts. I have previously mentioned my little secret of disliking making cards and preference for layouts which begs the question: where has that lady gone?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Look, Look, Look

Look, look, look! Really, look at that clear (ish) desk. The CAYG freaks should be happy. Well, they would be more happy if I tidied it up again to that state after I have been creating. I did do a bit of playing after it was clear and I did tidy it up again. Wonders never cease.

Too busy clearing the mammoth sized pile on the desk to create. I do have a 65th BDay card I have been working on and will share it once it is done (and after I have tidied the desk up again after the card is finished - no promises though).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Where are the CAYG freaks when you need 'em?

The creative desk is a bombsite. The reason is shown in the pictures. As an aside; did you notice I tried to make an effort in the background of the photos this time?

I have finally managed to put together an album I started in a class last year. It may even have been the year before but I'm not going to look it up. Whenever the tutor, the very talented Kathy K,  asks me if I have finished it, I have to hang my head in shame. The reason why it sat for so long is that it is so beautiful that I needed the appropriate pictures to go with it. The opportunity came when I had some lovely photos of my Mum, my sister and I from a High Tea event. I don't want to admit it was from late last year (it takes time to upload, select, edit photos then actually get them processed you know). Also, you have to embellish every page before you put the book together so that's why it sat in pieces for so long. Those are my excuses and I'm sticking with them.

The trouble with finally completing something so gorgeous - I've already had one order for a duplicate one! I think I'll have a wee break first. During the break I probably should look at clearing my desk. I'd love to see a cleared desk to start afresh on but I must confess, It has gotten away on me now. Too much creating at the same time. I need one of the Clean As You Go Freaks to come help me out. Where are the CAYG freaks when you need 'em? Mind you, they will probably lecture me on how it wouldn't have got into this state if I actually followed their motto instead of mocking them. (hangs head in shame again)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

As promised; my Mother's Day card (made in advance I would like to point out).

 The card is based on the sketch mentioned in the previous post. This is the first one I made and it has the ribbon added; I didn't add the ribbon for the birthday one. I like it better without the ribbon. I like how the doily wraps around giving you space to add an extra sentiment.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The fastest card in the West

Why is it the night before that you remember you need a card? Better than the day after I guess. This was the quickest card I have ever made - under 20 mins. I don't usually use premade embellishments (especially ones as gaudy as the chickies) but I bought them especially for a friend as chickies have a history with us. We had to deliver a parcel to the aforementioned friend before she left on a trip; I decided to whip up a bon voyage card with the aforementioned chickies. The paper came from a Webster's Pages paper pack that came free with the latest Australian Cards Magazine. As I flipped through I thought that particular paper would go unused in my stack (putting it politely). That was until I realised it would go nicely with the chickies! A match was made and a card was created in no time at all.

To be honest the time would've been quicker if I had more space to work with and if I didn't have to clear a space on my overflowing workspace to create it in. I did clean the stamps and put them back in the boxes after (but I will admit to leaving them on the desk).  I don't know why I am openly sharing my disorder: I should feel safe as the clean-as-you-go freaks should know not to read my blog by now! :) Anyway, it's still the fastest card in the West in my book.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Credit Where Credit is Due

In the weekend I made a card based on a card I had seen on the Scrappin' Patch Blog. I thought I was on to it making my Mother's Day card ahead of time instead of the usual mad dash to make a card the night before an event. Then I remembered that a certain special lady had a birthday only a couple of days later. What a stroke of luck that I had enough of the same DCWV paper to recreate the Mother's Day card with a birthday twist! I even managed to break out some of the $2 Washi Tape (Score!) I bought recently. In retrospect I would've used the red washi tape on the inside of the rosette instead of the pale blue one which you can't really see well as it is too pale. I don't want to load my Mother's Day card until after the event so you won't be able to compare the differences. I might also be holding back so that May's blog post is sorted in advance ;)
Forgive the not so perfect photo shots and the messy background. I only cleared enough space on my desk to complete the cards - maybe I should've began this blog with a warning for all the 'clean as you go' people?
Credit where credit is due: I came across the original card on the Scrappin' Patch blog (sorry, I can't find the original post or the owner's name)
Let's hope that I haven't forgotten any other important events that need a card asap.