Saturday, 22 December 2012

Happy Christmas

It's that time of the year again and I thought I'd do a quick post to wish you all a very

Happy Christmas.   

I have so enjoyed having a crafty blog to show some of the things I've made during the year, and without which these creations would sit on a shelf somewhere gathering dust, and nobody would get to see them.

Thanks to all those bloggers out there who are so inspiring and don't mind sharing their creations for others to enjoy.   I love being on a papercraft journey that continually changes and evolves and is such fun!

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to look at the Bible passage, Luke 2:8-20 which tells of the birth of Christ, without whom we wouldn't celebrate Christmas.  He is truly the reason for the season.

I'd would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas, sharing all that this season has to offer,  exciting presents, yummy food and spending time with those we love.


Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas "Kitty" tags?

Today I thought I'd show a couple of quick tags using some different bits'n'bobs of techniques.

This tag is made from spritzing Ink Refresher onto the tag, scrunching it up to make sure the Refresher soaks in nicely, then blending Distress Inks together and finishing off with some Perfect Pearls and set with a quick spritz of water.  I've then added the words from Dylusions and "Kitty" from Stampotique, and gently gone around the edge of the words with Distress Ink to make them pop.

In this tag I've again blended Distress Inks together, stamped "Kitty", and used a dotty stencil and dabbed Stormy Sky Distress Ink through the dots to give the idea of snow.  The letters came from my stash and of course since it's summer here in Australia, there is no way it's going to snow, certainly not in Sydney!  To finish it off, I added some glossy accents to some of the dots (which are rather hard to see, sorry).

Have a crafty day!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Dylusions - Frog Princess

I can't believe how much fun it is to ride play (I've got Jingle Bells in my head lol) with Dylusions inks etc.  Each time I get them out, and with nothing concrete in mind, the colours and designs just flow somehow.  All I need is some more ink colours as I currently only have 6 of the 12 available, and you can never have too many stamps!  (Hint, hint, Christmas is coming ....)

I thought I'd like to do something Christmasy with this page using 'Christmas Words' from Dylusions but what other stamps would I use?  First up, I inked up the body from 'Pondering Petunia', changed her head, added an enormous hand, and gave her shortened legs/feet from 'Ruby Rainbow'.  I then added one of the borders from  'Around the Edge'.

On with the colouring - first the border.  For all the colouring on these pages I have just simply dipped a little paintbrush directly into the Dylusion ink and painted .... so easy.  The colours are really vibrant, I just need more of them!

I decided I'd go with "Kiss you under the mistletoe ......." words but what was I going to use for branches.  After searching through my stamp collection, I decided on a leaf from 'French Foliage' from Stampin' Up!  I inked it up, stamped it, and thought 'oh no, this looks terrible' but stamped it a couple more times anyway thinking 'what a mess'.  Then I painted it green and suddenly the 'mess' turned into 'hey that's actually ok'.  To connect the branches to the frog princess, I stamped the ink splodge from 'French Foliage' using Fired Brick Distress Ink across the page.  To finish off, I added dots of gold Liquid Pearls to the border and around the eyes, and lime green Stickles to the crown and randomly through the red splodges. 

Now I know these pages are primarily white, but I don't mind and I'm happy with how it all came together.  As I said earlier, you just need to start and somehow it flows and turns into a 'masterpiece'.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dylusions - Mela's Garden

My plan for yesterday was to start my Christmas shopping but instead I stayed home waiting for a delivery (of course you never know what time of day it'll arrive) and while I waited, well ... the housework beckoned.

After lunch I thought I should get some sample cards made for upcoming classes early next year, but after procrastinating, instead I played again with  Dylusions.  So come and have a look:

I wanted to do a page without the colour seeping through to the before and after pages, especially as the previous page was already finished.  So I started with the white pages and spritzed colour through the spotty and brick stencils, carefully paper-towelling before lifting the stencil.  Great result and as I hadn't spritzed water first, it didn't seep through, woohoo!  I like having some white space too.

Next I added the border along the bottom, with a few extra circles in the top corners, stamped "Mela" from Stampotique, and added the leaves and flowers.

The spider and web came from Graphic 45 "Happy Hauntings" and to give more depth of colour to the different images, I dipped a little brush directly into the Dylusions inks and painted the leaves, flowers, circles and Mela's dress.  

First thing this morning, I was off to start my Christmas shopping and was able to cross a number of names from my list.   I came home when I realised my 3 hours parking was almost up and I really didn't want to pay to get out of the carpark.  So after revising my list, I'll head out again tomorrow.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

From Old to New - The Driveway

A little over a week ago the tradies with their bobcat started work on getting rid of the old cracked and pot-holed driveway with the untidy garden (actually mess of plants would be more accurate) to create a lovely new driveway that would allow the cars to park side by side instead of single file.

So we went from this:
and this:

to 'it's starting to take shape':

The reinforcing wire went down next before the concrete was poured the following day.  Colour was added to the concrete and then a design was stamped into the wet cement.

Looking good, now that it has been sealed the colour is much brighter.

It was OK to walk on the following day, so now we just leave it to all dry properly for about a week and it will be ready for the cars to return to the driveway and no longer be parked on the street.  Next we need to tackle the edges and fix the mangled garden (whats left of it) at the bottom of the front steps.  It looks so different to how it was and has really opened up the front of the house and we're very happy with it.

Until next time, happy crafting!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

My Dylusional Journey continues ....

As yesterday was a stay-at-home day with the tradies busy outside on the driveway, what better way to spend some time then getting inky again with Dylusions inks and stencils etc.

After my first attempt looked a bit 'muddy' with too many colours together (although the second page was better), this time I spritzed with more water and the colours ran and blended beautifully.  It was such fun and I was really happy with how the next double page turned out.

The stamps are all Dylusions with added splashes of colour on leaves, birds and plants using undiluted inks 'painted' directly onto the images.  I love that you can use the negative of the stencils for a nice subtle difference on the opposite page.

Next I went pink and purple with just a touch of yellow and added the border stamps.  Because the pages in this book are only 6" x 6" the full image of this fascinating girl was just too tall, so I re-stamped her body on an extra inked up piece of card, cut it out and glued it back into place with a different pair of legs.  Next I added a border of flowers, the words and wings and although I was happy with it, it was missing something ...... so I added the legs that I'd cut off the girl's body and they filled the gap under the words.  I think it still needs a little something else but until I work out what, the page shall remain as you see it.  

The last thing I added on this page turned out to be a bit of a surprise - I outlined the flowers with a Distress marker "picket fence" and as it dries it leaves a white ghosty look behind.  So I gave the words and wings just a touch as well - and learned something new at the same time!

Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts, it's always a bit of a "buzz" reading comments.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Thank You cards

It's a stay-at-home day today.  We have needed a new driveway for ages and now that we have three cars and there is always 'the great car shuffle'  happening, today is the day.  Yes, the bobcat is in, the old carport is no more, as are the overgrown shrubs and soon the old concrete will be gone as well.  I've saved a few plants to replant elsewhere and a couple of tree ferns have been saved as well - not sure where they'll go but will need new homes fairly soon.  I'll show you some before and after photos when it's all finished.

So, today I thought I'd show you what I've been doing this week.  Time is marching on and I thought I really should get the 'Thank You' cards in the mail from all the notes of condolence that were sent following both my father-in-law and then my dad passing away.  

In total I've made about 90 cards, mostly with the design above (SU "Love & Sympathy", word from "Fresh Cuts") using SU confetti white cardstock (discontinued) and coloured with brush markers.   A few of the cards have a different flower stem as there are a small number of people who overlap and they will receive two thank yous, probably not necessary but it felt the right thing to do.

All that's left to do is get a couple of addresses from my mother-in-law, buy some postage stamps and then in the mail they will be.
Very shortly my DS#3 is off with a few friends to go camping/caving for three days.  He's all packed ready to go and is just waiting to be picked up - it's going to be a quiet house for the rest of the day.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

My Dylusional Journey Begins ......

I finally got there - I finally got to play with my Dylusions ink and stencils and such, and oh boy, it was great fun!  Hooked with the first spray ...... hmmmm sounds a bit weird but I can see this being quite addictive.  Now I understand what all the fuss is about.   I'm really hoping Dyan Reaveley would like to visit Sydney next year, 'cause I think doing one of her classes would be a real hoot treat.

So, this is my first ever page using Dylusion Ink Sprays ......

....... now I know it's not perfect, but hey, you've got to start somewhere.  The border stencil definately needs work as it looks rather blobby (or maybe that was the look I was after?).  The stamps are from Stampotique "Karin" and "Kitty".  I used these first up as they fit the page which is only 6" x 6", really a bit small but there was a blank book sitting in my stash un-used so I thought I'd give it a go.

 This is the opposite page using the negative of the border stencil, which looks a bit strange as it is so straight running down the side, but with the spiral binding in the centre, it was hard to get closer.  I'll have to work on that and come up with a better solution.  The word stamp is from Tim Holtz and the flower border from Dylusions.

On a roll now, I flipped a few pages and played with different colours and came up with my second double page ........

The odd green thing in the centre is a tree stencil, the black cogs and clock stamps are from SU "Clockworks"  with the leaves on the side from "French Foliage" and coloured with Distress Markers.

I love how the colours have splattered and blended randomly on this page.

I know it's going to be a fun journey playing with these inks, no two pages are ever going to be the same and I suspect there's no right or wrong way of how they turn out - just practice.  Oh, and I must remember to wear gloves when inking if I'm going out later, green fingers looked a wee bit 'grinch-like' and much as I used my craft scrubbie, my fingers were still coloured when I got home from "School Spectacular" at the Entertainment Centre hours later.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Origami Box

Just a quick post today to show you a great little origami box made from a 12" x 12" piece of designer paper.  I came across it when reading one of my favourite blogs and you can find all the instructions for it here.  The first time I tried making it I got stuck half way and had to go and watch the instructions again, but the second time was easy peasy!

This is my first attempt, including lid, made from SU "Candlelight Christmas" with a SU vintage brad which I've raised up on two pop dots.

I really like the contast this paper gives, one side red, the other chocolate.

This box is made from discontinued SU "Christmas Cocoa", but in this instance the contrast is not great and as yet there isn't a lid to pop on top.

These boxes would be great to use as a gift box (mmmm ...... chocolates?) or some little trinket and if you made them in different sizes they might even 'nest' together.

Happy crafting!

Monday, 12 November 2012


Last year I gave each of my Mother's Group girls one of these Lumiarias for Christmas, along with a couple of my other close friends.  The girls don't normally give each other any gifts, but sometimes I think it's nice to give each a "token gift" in appreciation of the 23 years of friendship.  We all met at the Baby Health Clinic when our first borns were only a few months old and even after all these years, we still try to meet on a fortnightly basis.  Next weekend we are all getting together (including the husbands) for an early Christmas dinner, and on the first weekend in December, we will all be together again to celebrate the wedding of one of the children (she is 23!).   This will be the 2nd wedding our group will have celebrated together.  Between us we have 17 children, so I can see there will be more weddings to come further down the track.

Anyway ...... back to the Luminaria.  Tomorrow at Alice in Paperland I am teaching some ladies how to make these little lamps which are lit with battery operated tealights.   Of course you wouldn't want to use regular tealights as there could be a disaster just waiting to happen - paper and flame just don't go well together.

For this luminaria, I have chosen to use some shimmer cardstock, vellum and silver snowflake stickers for decoration.   I have coloured the insides of the snowflakes with a brush marker (coloured from the back for a soft look) and the windows have been cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities - Labels Eighteen.

From above you can see the tealight sitting in the base which is made from a piece of leftover cardstock with all four sides folded 1/4" and a 1 3/8" circle punched in the centre.  This stops the tealight from moving around inside when it is being moved.

I'm sure the ladies will all have an enjoyable morning tomorrow.  I know when I am crafting with others I always have a good time.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Christmas Cheer

There is  a group of older folk at our church who meet the first Wednesday each month and go along to the "Friendship Service".  It is primarily set up for the older members of our congregation who are no longer able to attend normal Sunday services, so they are picked up from their homes and are able to join in a service, morning tea and a chat before being driven home again. 

When December comes around, they are treated to a lovely Christmas lunch followed by some entertainment.  The ladies who organise this lunch also make sure there is a little 'something' at each table setting, nothing big, just a token gift of some sort.  I started helping to make these gifts a few years back starting with a lovely bauble, followed by a little 'purse' filled with Smarties; and this year we are making each person a 'Tea for Two' (see previous post) and an M & M treat, made from SU cellophane bags (2.5cm x 20cm).  You can find these on page 161 of the Australian catalogue.

I was having a bit of a test to see what lollies would be best to fill these bags, as they are quite narrow, so the one on the left has a variety of M & M's, the middle one has little mints, and the right one has Jaffas.  The one in the middle was made by one of the girls on StampCamp in August, and I thought it would be just right for the Friendship Service folk.  Unfortunately I don't know where the mints where purchased from, so instead we are going to fill them with M & M's which are lovely and colourful.  Jaffas fit, but only just.

Instead of ribbon and a bow, I'm adding a topper to each bag, using the holly from SU Christmas Classics  and words from SU (not sure), both now discontinued, and coloured with markers.  The toppers are punched from the scallop and 1 3/8" punches, and finished off with a ribbon bow.

Anyway, must finish now as I need to collect my bits & pieces and head off to my friend's home to spend the morning making our 'goodies' for the Friendship folk.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Twisted Card

Hmmm, it's been a busy time here lately, you know, just ordinary everyday stuff that suddenly feels like there are mountains to climb over ......... anyhow, somehow not too much crafting has managed to get done but I'm hoping that will change shortly, and that this weekend should shoo lost mojo away.

From Friday to Sunday the annual Papercraft Show is on again at Penrith Panthers with lots of stalls to browse and of course, spend money (not too much I hope).  There will be demos to watch,  make and takes, and lots more ideas to gleen.  Alice in Paperland has been setting up the stall this afternoon, with demos each day.  I'm doing a demo on Sunday and thought I'd stick with the folding ideas I demo'd at Miranda last week, as they were quite popular.  So if you have nothing to do this weekend, head to Penrith for your 'crafting fix'.

I found this "Twisted Card" while browsing a forum on Splitcoaststampers recently and thought it looked interesting but easy  ...... and it is!  It has two pockets, one on the front and one inside, just the thing for a tag or gift voucher. 

The paper used is Kaisercraft "Twig & Berry" collection, SU cardstock, stamp is from Stamp-It that I've had for ages and ink pad was Tim Holtz Distressed "peeled paint".

The inside looks very much like the outside, just right for slipping in a gift voucher or even some money.

I tried this card using cardstock and while it worked well, I think it looks better using double-sided patterned paper.  All you need is some A5 paper/card, score diagonally from top right to bottom left, fold up bottom right corner (which will form two peaks), score from fold line to dip between peaks, fold in half and it's done, easy peasy!

Have a crafty day!

Sunday, 28 October 2012


In my last post I mentioned that last Tuesday the ladies had come to make a Back-Pack in class, so I thought I'd better show it before too much time goes past and it's forgotten.  My furry friend Jackson was the perfect model and he even brought a mate with him to the photo shoot!

Jackson is on the left modelling the Christmas version and Espresso has the blue one.  The pattern for these back-packs originally came from Liam at Stamp Camp a few years ago, and I've tweaked the inside a bit.

For the Christmas version, inside there are 4 tags and 4 gift cards along with a pen to write a message,

and the blue version has tags, pen and notebook.

The back-packs have a magnetic closure on both the flap and pocket, and are a fun little project to put together (and the bears enjoyed their outside picnic).

Thanks for visiting and always enjoy reading your comments.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Crafting in the 'alice-mobile'

What a busy week ...... Monday was off to work at Alice in Paperland as I usually do; Tuesday I was teaching a repeat of the Back-Pack class; and today I headed off with Alice in the 'alice-mobile' to visit a group of crafty ladies at the Uniting Church in Miranda. 

A few months back, Alice decided to offer a mobile service to craft groups who wouldn't otherwise be able to get to the shop in Rydalmere, quite often (but not always) retirees.  We headed off just after 8am and after driving through peak-hour traffic to get to the other side of Sydney, arrived around 9.10am, perfect timing to unpack and set up our tables of goodies.  I was demo-ing a couple of folds, 'Tea for Two' (thanks to Jenni for her instructions) and a 'Double Pocket Tag', both quite easy and also quite popular amongst the ladies.

And for those who may wonder, yes the paper is retired SU, but this particular sample remained at home and today I was using a variety of other papers.

This tag is perfect for popping in a gift tag and voucher, great for hanging on the Christmas tree.

I really enjoyed our morning with the friendly ladies from Miranda and you never know, we could be back there again next year.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Swing Card

October seems to be a very busy month for birthdays, I have 15 marked on our calendar and there have been a few more by way of friends of my boys.  So once again, DS#1 asked could I make a card for another of his friends, and reminded me that I'd made a Never-ending card last year so this years' would have to be different.  I have a spiral-bound book where I write down numerous things, including thoughts, ideas, quotes and patterns for cards I've come across on the net and in magazines, and over time it has become one of the first things I turn to when deciding on a card for someone.

The one criteria was "could it be blue?" and with a quick perusal of my book, I decided on a Swing Card.

I realise this is a bit of a hard card to photograph, but the middle section swings from one side to the other and so both sides need to be decorated.  I  decided to use Graphic 45 "Bird Song" papers again and fussy cut around the birds and blossom ('Bird Song'), popping them up on dimensionals and attaching to a background of chinese words ('Good Fortune').  When the card is closed this is actually on the back of the 'swing'.    The border ('Good Fortune' - [other side]) has mitred corners for a neat finish.

On the other side of the 'Swing' I decided the lovely blue background with the blossom ('Cherry Blossom) would work beautifully with the 'Tempting Turquoise' cardstock from SU, and this also co-ordinates with the tiny flowers in the border.

I was quite happy with the finished card, so was DS#1 and his friend really like it too.  With a handmade card, there is one thing for certain, the recipient wont get another one the same.

Enjoy the weekend and happy crafting!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Christmas Cards

Yesterday at Alice in Paperland, the ladies in the class made a start on their 2012 Christmas cards.  They made 6 cards from two sheets of designer paper from Hobby Fun Co., Ltd, two sheets of Bazzill and a piece of A4 white cardstock.

These papers are double sided, one side has glitter highlights while the other side has a co-ordinating plain (as in non-glitter) design.  The papers come in a big range of designs to suit just about every occasion.

I've just realised that the last two cards were still in the design stage when this photo was taken, so I'll update this post after I've photographed them, sorry.

On the home front, my DS#3 started his HSC exams this week, the two english papers are now finished, just the remainder of his subjects over the next couple of weeks, then his school life will be completely over.  He's hoping to study at uni next year, so we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Edited - here are the other two cards that were part of the set of six:

Happy crafting!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Techniques with Tim # 2

Brrrrrr ......... it's back to winter today and this morning it was snowing in the Blue Mountains.  The photos I've seen look like a winter wonderland, and to think this time last week we were basking in 30 C + .  In Sydney it's been raining most of the day although at the moment the sun is out - crazy weather!!

Yesterday I got to get inky again at Jenni & Kerrie's Tim Holtz # 2 class.  This time around we were playing with Distress Inks, Alcohol Inks and Distress Markers with some really pretty results.

We used gloss card stock for the alcohol inks, drying with the heat tool between colours to stop them running and becoming muddy, then overstamping using black Archival Ink.  We also used alcohol inks on foil which had been run through a cuttlebug.  This was a really colourful result.

I think my favourite tag in this class was scribbling a small amount of metallic mixative onto a craft sheet, then scribbling alcohol inks next to it followed by blending solution.  Then put down gloss card and twist to mesh all the colours together.  I managed to get two tags out of this method and both looked quite different from each other.

This one doesn't have quite as much colour as the first one, but I really liked the effect that the metallic mixative made, sort of a "fine root system" look.

Each tag has a sticker on the back with the method  included to refer to at a later date.

My BFF and I both bought alcohol inks when were in Brisbane back in June, after watching a demo, and I know Bev has used hers but mine are still in the bag - hmmmm I definately think it's time to bring them out and play some more.

Thanks Jenni & Kerrie for sharing Tim's techniques with everyone - you both ensured we all had lots of fun getting inky.  Oh, and to get the ink off your fingers really easily, soap your hands and grab yourself a Craft Scrubbie (made by Ranger), they work a treat!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Canberra Mini Break Away

My DH and I have just enjoyed the last three days away on a long overdue mini break.  Originally this was planned for about this time last year but then we suddenly had aging parents who weren't well and we really needed to be around for them, then mum died just after Christmas and after the last couple of months with losing both fathers too, we decided it was time for that break.

We headed to our nation's capital, Canberra, starting with a visit to the National Gallery where there was an exhibition on Australian artist Sydney Long.  We were able to join a most informative talk from the curator on this artist and so when looking at all his paintings and etchings afterwards, saw things that we may not have noticed had they not been pointed out.

We splurged on dinner that night at the revolving restaurant on Black Mountain, where the food was absolutely delicious, while enjoying wonderful night views overlooking the city.

This is a view across Lake Burley Griffin towards Black Mountain with the communications tower on top.  There is a viewing platform on the level above the restaurant which is open all year round to visitors.

On Friday morning we went to visit Floriade, a wonderful spring garden display that has been an annual event for many years, and something I've wanted to see for a while now.  I can honestly say I've never seen so many tulips before.  Each garden bed has a particular design which on ground level is a bit hard to see (you would need to ride the ferris wheel for an overall view of the gardens) and there are all sorts of other spring flowers planted in and around the tulips.

There was a huge bed of poppies which I think had a stiletto shoe design formed from low growing annuals.  Poppies always remind me of my grandmother, who planted annuals in her front garden each season and had vases of flowers including poppies and pansies inside as well.

We spent a very pleasant morning wandering around these beautiful gardens before heading off to Cockington Green, a miniature village at Gold Creek, Weston.  Each building has taken hours to construct and there are all sorts of funny little things around each display, the crocodile in the lake, nessy in a canal, the person thrown from a horse and landed head first in a bush.

On Friday evening we went to the cinema to see Hotel Transylvania, lots of fun!  Yesterday, we woke to grey skies and drizzle and so visited The Mint, quite an interesting place showing all the processes in how coins are made as well as the history behind how Australian coins came into being.  We finished our trip to Canberra by lunching with my Aunt and three cousins who I rarely see.  It was really lovely to catch up.

And so we are now home again feeling refreshed from our mini break away.

Have a crafty day!