Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The packaging counts

When we were in Bali, we got the cutest little turtle wooden carving as a present. It's only small - about 2 and a half inches long - and when I unpacked it from the suitcase I couldn't help thinking how much less remarkable it looked wrapped in newspaper than in the shop. I was quite disappointed.

I spent the next few days thinking about boxes. Searched through my little hoard of saved packaging and couldn't find anything that fitted. On Christmas Day my brother gave me a Graphic 45 Renaissance paper stack - yay! thanks bro! - isn't it lovely?

That gave me an idea to add some class to the little gift. I sat on the train and in Starbucks with my little notebook making sketches, designs and plans, to people's great interest.

And when I got home, I made this:

I'm so pleased with it! The little hand-carved turtle suddenly regained his importance.

I'm going to have such fun with those papers. I love how they're perfect for men and they're more grown-up than most of the designs, which of course are intended for scrap-booking photos of children. I think they'll be ideal for scrapping some of my photos of beautiful buildings as well, not to mention the red-green-and-gold potential for Christmas 2010!

Tomorrow (31st December) is our 15th anniversary of meeting, 14th anniversary of getting engaged, and 10th anniversary of when we should have been married. I can't believe how the number of years has suddenly got so high. We haven't decided what we're going to do yet. Hopefully a quiet evening in, which just goes to show that we're getting OLD! (Oh OK then DH, I'M getting old!)

Happy New Year to everyone. Enjoy your celebrations, whatever you do, and I hope that your 2010 is a wonderful one!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

A Christmas Eve altered item

We just got back from Bali after a few days' pre-Christmas break with my brother. At 3:00am after a 3 hour delay when we finally landed and got through immigration, we were all obviously a little tired and useless. I was amazed when our cases came through first on the conveyor belt - that's never happened before, ever. DH grabbed his, and I stepped forward to get mine, and the lady next to DH pulled it off the conveyor. Oops! Now I must say here, that this has also never happened before. My case is a sludgy greeny brown, just the way I like it, and the complete opposite of all fashions for years.

So I decided that it needed some customisation, so that nobody would ever mistake it for theirs again. :-) Oh the wonderful thing about Stickles, is Stickles are wonderful things! These are my favourites: copper, lime green and diamond.


We're staying up tonight because we're going to midnight mass at the local church. The presents are wrapped and arranged around our beautiful twinkling tree, Christmas breakfast is made, the house is clean (DH took bro off for an afternoon's shopping so I could do housework) and they're now enjoying a Christmas cameo episode of Doctor Who which I'm half-watching while I post.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are and whatever you're doing. Be patient with your families, keep the Christmas goodwill uppermost in your minds, and above all - have a great time! Merry Christmas, one and all!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Published - ScrapJazz Card Sketch Challenge

This is a scheduled post, because my brother is visiting us and we'll be taking him out all over the place.

Back in October I volunteered for a card sketch challenge, which I forgot all about! It was for ScrapJazz and this was the sketch.

Well whether I read the challenge wrongly, or whether I just didn't notice that this sketch has no sides I have no idea. I suppose I saw the line at the top of it, and my brain added the other three in all by itself. Anyway, I made this neat little anniversary card.

I squashed the design into a landscape orientation for added interest. I wanted to have the birds facing each other, but I only had one stamp. I got over this by stamping and embossing onto vellum, then turning it over and stamping and embossing onto the other side so that the image showed through. Not easy actually! But then it just needed tearing into shape, matting, adding ribbon, greeting and the cutest little padlock charm I've seen in a long time, mounting onto Basic Grey Indian Summer paper, et voila - a rich, romantic little number.

Two months later I checked out the ScrapJazz articles as I do periodically, and there was the December 2009 Sketch Challenge. Yay! What a lovely surprise! But I read it through with growing disquiet, because everyone else had cut an oval-shaped card. How embarrassing! Had I overlooked something obvious? I mean I had checked with Louise, the author, whether my contribution was OK, and she replied with a diplomatic "it's great, thanks!"

But no, I rechecked the directions, and nowhere did it say that the card itself had to be shaped. So it's fine really, because a sketch is a sketch is a sketch - you can muck about with it any way you want as long as it's recognisable at the end. Phew.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Published on ScrapJazz - Colour Combo

A while ago now I put together a LO for the ScrapJazz December 2009 Colour Combo Challenge - which of course I couldn't post! But now it has been published, so I can show you the LO.

ScrapJazz have brought out this new colour coordinating tool called Scrap by Color. It's clever - you upload a photo, and it shows you the colours which will go with it the best. To showcase its launch, we were asked to produce a LO based on this colour combination, which is an interesting one.

Well obviously having been given the colours first, I did it the other way round. I chose a photo that I thought would work with those colours and uploaded it into the tool. To my amazement and delight, the colours it suggested were almost exactly right! So the software works backwards too, hehee!

You can see everyone's LOs in the article by clicking on the link at the top of the post. But just in case you're only interested in mine ;-) here it is!

I used scraps for all of this, so I don't know where most of the papers and card-stock came from. The green is from the back of a Hamblys screen print, and the blue is Scenic Route. The sticker lettering came from my local grocery store children's department and from an EK Success kit. I cut the circles using my Cuttlebug and QuicKutz nested circles dies, and used white pen to draw the reflections on the bubbles. The edges were all inked and I doodled around the edges of the "bricks" with gel glitter pens.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Laine's cards

I've been working on Christmas presents this last week, so of course I can't show them to you! Every year I make personalised calendars for DH's and my parents, and I have a couple of other little crafty projects on the go - mini-books for various friends. Maybe after Christmas I'll post them. Also my brother is coming to stay with us this weekend for Christmas, so I've been rushing around getting everything nice for him of course.

The Christmas cards have now been sent (yes, I know it's only the first week of December, but Royal Mail has not exactly proved trustworthy lately, you must admit!) and so I can post some which have gone to people who don't read this blog. Remember I mentioned the Laine's card class? Well here are some of the cute designs that we made.


All are made with Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses papers and chipboard shapes, with ribbons and cord, stamps, ink and card-stock from the class added Stickles of course. Christmas cards like these just aren't complete without a bit of glitter!

This may be the last post for a while now, as things get busy for Christmas. Crafting fun will be sparse until after the holidays, and then we'll be packing up for our Australia move. Enjoy the season, and enjoy the shopping!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Booking Christmas dinner in Singapore

Me: Good afternoon, have you got any places left for your Christmas dinner?
Hotel: Ah yes lah.
Me: Oh good, is there a traditional British turkey dinner?
Hotel: Yes, it is all a seafoot special.
Me: (pause while I work this out) So is it only seafood?
Hotel: Yes lah, seafoot special lah, prown, shreem, smoke sal-mon, crap.
Me: Oh, I don’t think my husband would like that. Will there definitely not be any turkey or other meat at all?
Hotel: There is also a carvery with turkey meats.
Me: Ah! Oh that’s all right then. Can I book two places?
Hotel: Yes lah, wha' time you li'e?
Me: Would 12:30 be OK?
Hotel: Ah you wan' the Champagne Brunch no' the dinner? I thot you set dinner?
Me: The bru….? Oh I see, that’s what it’s called here is it? I’m sorry! Will there be turkey at the brunch?
Hotel: Yes lah.
Me: (triple-checking) So it’s the same menu as the dinner is it?
Hotel: Yes lah.
Me: Fine, can I book two places for the brunch then?
Hotel: Ah no places lef for brunch lah, all fooly book.
Me: Ah, OK then, thanks for your help, goodbye….