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......