Saturday, 31 December 2011

Willow in blue again

I don't know why this delightful image of Willow with her shopping bags almost always ends up getting coloured in shades of blue. Well, by me anyway. It just suits her, and my Copic blues go so well together.

The papers were sent to me in a swap and I'm afraid I have forgotten what I was told they were - if I was told. The snowflakes are a Cuttlebug die, liberally adorned with silver Stickles, and the greeting is from Lili of the Valley. The blue glitter card was from a $ store here, cut with QuicKutz nested scallop dies.

Charisma Cardz: anything
Colour Create: blue, silver and white
Simon Says Stamp: anything
Whiff of Joy: sketch

Friday, 30 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #113 - Colour

This week at Scrap Whispers we have a colour challenge for you:

I'll admit I was a bit eye-brow-raisey, sigh-ish and arm-foldy when I discovered that. But this was another case of "don't knock it till you try it" for me. I think that one of my New Year's resolutions will have to be to embrace challenges mentally as well as physically. Because look at this.

Isn't it pretty? And not in-your-face garish either, as I feared. Basic Grey's Green at Heart collection, well distressed, together with the new to Australia (yeah... I know... it's been out for ages everywhere else but we're back in the 70s in some ways here) Kraft saved the day. I used sketch #187 from Creative Scrappers, which is quickly becoming one of my top favourite sketch sites. I tried blotching ink spots for the first time, and I love the effect - it's one I will definitely use again, with more confidence next time. I finished it with QuicKutz scalloped flowers and Spellbinders hearts with some buttons from my stash and some twists of brand new baker's twine.

We have pink Easter lilies back in the UK, but they aren't cacti and they smell quite different. These beauties bloom for just 12 hours. The bud appears from the pin-cushion plant and takes several days to grow to maturity. It blooms after dark, is spectacular all night and fist thing in the morning, and by mid-morning it has wilted and fallen over like the other three buds in the photo.

OK over to you. Link us up to your creation, and link your blog post to the Scrap Whispers site, and check out the yummy prize!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Scrap strips!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas - much, much better than ours!

Ours was a wash-out, with poor DH working from home all over the break - literally all over. He took 2 hours out for Christmas dinner, and another hour to call the family in the evening on the day itself but didn't stop work till about 1am. Then the 24-hour party next door kept us awake all that night. He has worked through most of his week off until today when we had a wonderful time at the WA Aquarium with Glad, and he didn't get a single "help me" phone call. Well, we'll just have to have another go at Christmas next year.

Back to crafting, when I made the green and purple Christmas card for my niece, I found myself staring at that rather beautiful Bo Bunny paper with all those different patterned stripes. A little germ of an idea was growing in my head, although it wasn't big enough to see the light of day yet. That didn't happen until I was reorganising my ribbon collection so that my new goodies fitted in, which meant moving a pile of paper and a couple of boxes containing strips which I'd been saving all year. I opened the boxes up and tipped out the strips all over my table. And suddenly the idea blossomed, right there in front of me.

3 days later, DH is still working from home, the dirty dishes are piling up and the house looks as if a dust bomb has exploded. But look what I made - 40 Christmas cards for next year! AND an empty box of strips for me to fill up again.

I used my $2 store star and flower (for the bows - good huh?!) punches as well as Fiskars threading water and and EK Success square punch. The greeting is Studio G, and Stickles features prominently. As usual!

Less Is More's "one word"
Simon Says Stamp's and Basic Grey's (there's a strip from the Bittersweet collection right there, and I've peppered practically all of those cards with Basic Grey scraps) "anything goes"
Bizzy Bec's "Christmas"

Isn't that just nutty, to have 40 cards for next year done just 4 days after Christmas? Haha! Maybe I'll find a craft fair to sell cards at when I'm back in the UK and have access to such things. I just love them, and I'm going to make a bunch more as my pile of scrap strips grows again, as of course it will.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

Here is our Christmas tree corner, the last time we'll have this tiny tree. Next year we'll be back in the UK with our proper tree and this one will be back to a table decoration again, but here in the heat it seems out of place to have a big tree. It still looks pretty though.

The advent calendar is a Kaisercraft kit that I got a couple of years ago in a clearance sale, and began decorating after last Christmas, with beautiful Bo Bunny papers. Then it sat all year and I finally finished it the day before Advent this year. I made the little village last year at a class with the same papers, so they go really well together. I just love those muted reds, greens and creams - very traditional. My candle fetish is well satisfied at this time of the year - those little votive jars make the prettiest flickering colours on the walls at night. Better than lights on the tree.

I used the same gorgeous papers to make DH's special Christmas card this year, and I also had my first go at water-colour painting using Distress and dye inks. Thank you to Heather (Rica) for nudging me in that direction years ago.

So, House Mouse, friends and a squirrel for my man. Definitely "warm and fuzzy". Also "Christmas" at Bizzy Becs, "anything goes" at Charisma Cardz and Stampin' for the Weekend, "Christmas lights" (candles) at Creative Card Crew, "bingo" at Simon Says Stamp (ribbon, gems and sparkle), Stampin' for the Weekendand the sketch from Cute Card Thursday.

Have a wonderful Christmas everybody!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #112 - Technique

We had a bit of a DT meeting at Scrap Whispers last week about blog hop tutorials. We decided that as preparing them takes so very much time, effort and coordination, and as so few people are actually doing them, we would stop for the time being. If we get deluged with requests to bring them back then we will reconsider! Instead, Georgina has come up with an idea that is just as interesting - techniques. And this week's technique is CLUSTERING EMBELLISHMENTS.

Hmm. That got me thinking. I mean, it's pretty easy to layer shapes on top of each other to make interesting embellishments; Georgina produced a tutorial on that only a few months ago. I thought I'd try to cluster them without actually layering them too much, and see what happened. I quite like it. Maybe layering has more depth. But contrasting them on black is effective. These little guys were sent to me as a thank you gift when I placed an order with an Aussie scrap-booking company. What a thoughtful gesture.

I used last week's sketch #186 from Creative Scrappers for this. I'm really getting into sketches. Have a look at the Scrap Whispers blog for the full details of this challenge, and for inspiration from the rest of the DT. Link your blog up to the Scrap Whispers site with your entry, and link to the site in your blog, and you will go in the draw for this month's prize. Now wouldn't that be a great late Christmas present?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Koalas rule!

Today my dear friend Glad took me to the Zoo! How about that? I was like a child in a sweet shop, and she was gurgling like a drain at my enthusiasm over it all. I think marsupials are amazing creatures. And have I mentioned how much I LOVE kangaroos?! They are gentle, docile, soft, warm and loving. They don't smell and they don't bite. Of course they get cranky if you bother them, as any animal would, but on the whole I'd rather have a kangaroo around than a dog any day. I want a kangaroo to take home with me!

Today I didn't get any kangaroo shots, but I did get these:

And I made these, along with 2 more koala cards and 4 kangaroo cards in a box set as a Christmas gift. The top one is Basic Grey Kioshi paper for their "anything goes" challenge, and also Charisma Cardz with the same challenge. The second one is for Stampavie's "red" challenge.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Just a note

I meant to enter Less Is More's "let it snow" challenge last week, but the days just flew away from me. This week's challenge is "music" though so I HAVE to do this one, since I never pass up an opportunity to make a music card. They get used up quicker than everything else in my life, since most of my friends and relatives are musical. Here is my first. Stand by for more!

So here we have House Mouse Amanda with her darling friend coloured with Copic markers for their "warm and fuzzy" challenge (music never fails to give me the warm, fuzzy feeling), which also fits Colour Create's "blue, white and silver", and the sketch from Simon Says Stamp.

The notes stamps are from Papermania, the greeting from PortaCraft, the music from Hero Arts, and Spellbinders deckled ovals dies also embossed. I double stamped the bottom of the House Mouse stamp and then stamped the music over it, and then added the die cut, coloured stamp on raised foam on top.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #111 - sketch

Hello and thank you for joining us at Scrap Whispers for Challenge #111 which is a sketch:

Now that's pretty simple, so you can let your imagination go wild. Those panels could be photos, or photo strips, or patterned paper. You can make them different shapes, different sizes, or rotate or mirror the design - whatever you like as long as the sketch is recognisable. I stuck to it, because I had a photo which worked just perfectly. I used paper, stickers and alphas from the Basic Grey "Jovial" collection pack, as well as a Fiskars ribbon threading punch and Glimmer Mist.

This is our 7th (and probably last) Christmas spent in mid-summer or tropical heat, away from the UK. The novelty has not worn off in all that time, and the concept of paddling in the sea on the way home from a Christmas party is to me still completely "far out", to quote my dear friend in the picture.

What will you do with our sketch? Please show us - we would love to see! Link your blog post up to the Scrap Whispers challenge #111, and link to Scrap Whispers in your post, and you will be in with a chance of winning December's delicious prize.

Good luck!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #110 - anything goes!

We're having a week of giving you free rein to do whatever you like! How about that? No pressure, no rules, just fun. Well no rules other than having to actually DO a lay-out, post it on your blog and link Scrap Whispers to it, and it to Scrap Whispers of course. AND if anyone from my team is reading this, don't forget that there is a special prize from me for the teamie who enters the most challenges before the Big Reveal. One of our teams is a week behind I believe, so you have at least one more week to enter.

I decided to play along with Creative Scrappers' sketch #185. It has a doily pattern which I did last week, but I took this one down a different route with lots of doodling. I'm having a definite glut on hearts at the moment, but I'm sure normal service will be resumed soon!

The background paper is from the Echo Park "Life is good" collection, and everything else is scraps so old that I can't remember what they are. In fact, I think the pink stripe was bought at my first ever scrap booking lesson nearly 4 years ago. I've been making lace out of my scraps again, courtesy of my Spellbinders nested heart dies, Martha Stewart border punch and Cutterbee scalloped blades.

I'd love to see what you come up with this week. You can enter as many times as you like, and with as many LOs as you make between today and midnight GMT next Thursday. So ready, get set and..... GO!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

And yet more green!

That's all for this week for this over-achiever, I promise.

Why is it that once the pressure is off, it's so much more fun to create? I think I made most of my Christmas cards this year way back in the Australian winter when it was truly chilly and mildly Christmassy feeling. Then once it started to heat up, the job was done and I didn't need to spend hours stewing in my oven-like little room. Or not for cards, anyway, just for scrapping. That worked for me. Next year we'll be back in the UK and goodness knows what I'll be doing. I may not have any time at all for crafting, although I really, really hope that's not the case.

For my final batch of LIM cards, I took my inspiration from Mandi's delicious bauble card to make 3 of these using my Cuttlebug, Hero Arts stamp, Studio G greeting stamp and lots of dye ink:

And 6 of these using an Inkadinkado Peace stamp, Copics and Stickles for the bauble. The bauble tops are punched using a tiny balloon punch.

That really is all. Tomorrow I'll be working at the church most of the day, so no more cards till the next challenge which I'm really looking forward to.

Bizzy Bec's Stores: Christmas
Creative Card Crew: Christmas
Cute Card Thursday: anything goes
Less Is More: green (you knew that LOL)

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

More green

I was on a roll after those last cards. I went leaving the love on my favourite LIM submissions and found a beautiful one by Sarita. I haven't got her stamp, but I had a go at making my own version using one of my new purchases from Stamp-It. It's not up to Sarita's standard, but I still love it.

This is my second entry of this week for Less Is More's "green" challenge. I could probably carry on working with green for ever without getting bored actually. Come back on Friday for this week's Scrap Whispers challenge and you'll see what I mean!

Other challenges:
Bizzy Bec's Stores: Christmas
Creative Card Crew: T'is the season

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Family Christmas cards

I've had a wonderfully crafty weekend. It's been hot as Job's boils here this week (any advance on 37*C anyone?) so DH and I have had a good excuse to stay in with the air-con. He's caught up on odd jobs, work and a little much-needed shut-eye, and I've been gluein'n'stickin'. We did pop out to the church food fete yesterday for some yummy Burmese chicken biryani, and to church and a Robo-Fair at the local university today, but they were kind of timed around the "you overheated yet? Me too, let's go" rather than the relaxed weekend amblings of the winter.

Before I show you me on a Segway at the RoboFair ("wheeeeeeeeeee! I'm a Mythbuster.....") here are the fruits of my weekend fun.

For Basic Grey "lost and found" (Eskimo kisses papers from 2 years ago which I thought I'd used up), Colour Create "red, green & white" and Simon Says Stamp "anything goes":

Creatalicious "Christmas and sparkle" and Charisma Cardz "spots":

And for Less Is More "green" (LOVE this!) and Stampavie's "easel card":

Don't you just love that koala bauble stamp? I've been so excited about using it ever since DH got it for me last weekend from Stamp-It, our local LSS. Just adorable.

Oh OK OK, just because you've been waiting so patiently.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #109 - Colour combo

Hi everyone, and welcome to another challenge at Scrap Whispers. This week we're all about colours - and they are:


This photo is the one which began my whole scrap booking addiction nearly 4 years ago. I took photos for mother-in-law's and father-in-law's ruby wedding anniversary. The trouble was that the lighting inside was not the best, and my little digital camera and photographic skills struggled with back-lit subjects. So because I had so many not-so-good pictures but I still wanted to include them, I decided to make them a scrap book album rather than a photo album. Brand new hobby. A whole 14-pager. In 10 weeks. Yup, that was how new I was to this whole game. I'd never put myself through that pressure now. But saying that, I wouldn't make lay-outs like those old pages I made way back then again either!

Here is the first page of that album, which wasn't the first page I ever did, but wasn't far off.

Ah, bless. I was so pleased with myself for framing the vintage photo with red from the colour one, and the colour pic in scratchy black and white like the old photo. The other pages are more exciting, honest. Thank goodness MIL and FIL loved the album and showed EVERYONE, otherwise I wouldn't have had the confidence to continue.

So here the same photo has been scrapped again, and that's the first time I've ever done that. This page is for me though. The photo may be the same, but my scrapping "style" has changed quite a lot!

It's based on a sketch from Creative Scrappers, but I fell down the crack between the deadline for this contest and the next one which hasn't been posted yet, so I can't enter this. Never mind. It's a great sketch and I got past my paranoia about using heavily patterned papers. I still think it detracts from the photo a bit, but it's a strong enough picture to get away with it.

I used my new Tim Holtz alphas die - the first I've ever bought. I love it. I have a little square punch which exactly fits the letters, so I can punch out the right number of squares and waste virtually no paper at all. Very happy. The papers are a combination of scraps, Kaisercraft, American Crafts and Cre8tiv card-stock. My Studio G red glitter glue also makes an appearance (that stuff is sticky) as well as my Spellbinders nested heart dies, brads from the $2 store in Singapore, and a doily inked with Tim Holtz distress ink in Broken China and a spritz of Creative Notions gold mist. I spent half an hour hand-stitching that blinking circle too. There's a lesson for me. Get the design sorted first before wasting time sewing the two thirds of a circle that is hidden! D'oh!

OK now it's over to you. Have a wander over to the Scrap Whispers blog and see what the rest of the DT have done with this.

Oh, and the DT call is still open if anyone fancies joining our select little team!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Creative Crew's challenge this fortnight is one of my favourites - monochrome. There is something about tone-on-tone which presses all the right buttons for me.

DH took me to Stamp-It on Sunday, one of the LSSes near where I live. I went a bit Christmas stamp crazy! They make their own stamps, either wood mounted or cling which it much better for storage. They will actually make a stamp for you. You just have to give them a black'n'white jpg file and the size. I treated myself to a personalised stamp for the backs of all my cards, showing that they were handmade by me. It's the cutest - they did a really good job.

I used one of my new stamps for this card - a corner adorner. Our priest is having minor surgery this week and I made a get well card for him. But he's going to have to work a bit to get the sentiments. :-)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #108 - Tutorial

Welcome back to another tutorial Blog Hop week at Scrap Whispers! This tutorial is one of mine, and I'm really excited to see what everyone does with it, because it provides a solution to one of the little irritations of scrapping - those dratted left-over alphas. So please have a go at it yourselves, and link your creation up to the Scrap Whispers blog? Not only because there's a wonderful prize, but also to humour me? Hehee!

Have a look at the Scrap Whispers blog for the full tutorial, and meanwhile, here is the LO I made using my method. I stamped the background paper with woodland stamps from Kanban, and red and blue dye inks from Dew Drops and Tim Holtz's Distress Ink in Seedless Grape by Ranger. The journalling is tucked behind, and is actually lifted directly from my blog entry - and why not? LOL The title technique worked especially well for this, because it is somewhat camouflaged - which is exactly what the little frogmouth thought he was. Bless.

OK folks, now hop over to the rest of our wonderful DT's blogs and get some more inspiration from them. Leave them some love, and then have a go at making your own title, and show us how it turned out. You don't have to use it in a LO or card, but if you do then that's even better!

Scrap Whispers

Friday, 18 November 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #107 - Sketch

G'day, g'day, g'day!

This week at Scrap Whispers, it is the lovely Nilsa's turn to provide us with a new sketch. It's a simple one, but I actually found it quite challenging. Yes, I know, that's the whole point, to be challenged! What do you think? Interesting huh?

I used photos of some dear friends in the UK. It's a sweet story. 20 years ago I worked with A, and S and I shared a flat. Then I met DH (as he became) and we moved into a home of our own. A and S were both invited to the house-warming and things went on from there. I was a bridesmaid at their wedding, and S was maid-of-honour at ours, and we've kept in touch ever since. They came out to stay with us for a couple of weeks in June and we had a whale of a time.

I have a pile of quality pics to scrap from that trip, but these are from when we met in the UK the year before. We had a wonderful meal in the Globe Inn - a perfect opportunity for me to make another dreadful title pun. You have my full permission to groan. :-)

The papers are from Basic Grey's Porcelain collection, which had been saved in my "too pretty to use" mental compartment for far too long.

I feel that I've moved quite a long way from the original sketch, although it's recognisable when you see them together. What will you do with it? Show us on your blog, put a link in your post to the Scrap Whispers blog, and then link us up to your post to be in with a chance of winning possibly my favourite Echo Park collection pack yet. Good luck!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #106 - Scrap-lift

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another challenge at Scrap Whispers. This week is our week for scrap-lifting - on top of the scrap-lifting that our teams are already doing in the main game. So if this is your week, well, we'll let you off from this one, unless you're so fired-up and inspired that you can't wait to have another go!

Look at Nilsa's pretty, pretty page! Isn't it lovely? This is what we want you to scrap-lift this week, to be in with a chance of winning November's fantastic prize, which you can see in last week's post.

I stuck to it quite closely, as I loved the design and the dramatic BIG embellishments. I used almost the last of the Echo Park pack:

So, what are you going to do with it? Keep the same design, the same shapes? Or maybe use the colour scheme as your inspiration? Link us up on the Scrap Whispers blog site to your lift, link back to the blog in your post, and maybe it will be YOUR NAME that comes out of Georgina's hat.......!

11/11/11 11:11

In remembrance of all the brave people who have died in service for their country.

My great-grandfather was killed during WWI in 1917 in the muddy trenches at Ypres, Belgium. I am thankful that my great-grandmother never knew what he must have gone through. My great-grandmother was sent this card in 1920. See the little arrow in the top left showing the location of the grave?

Here is the cemetery in 2004 when his surviving family (all but one) went on a "pilgrimage" to Ypres.

My grandmother was five when he died, and her little brother was less than a year old. My great-grandfather never saw his son. He sent back this delightful hand-drawn postcard to my great-grandmother, showing what he thought his baby might look like.

He will be forever talented, young and fun-loving in my mind. 

"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them."

Friday, 4 November 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #105 - Colour

Good morning everyone!

Well that was a dramatic start to the day for me: half an hour before the alarm went off, I drifted to consciousness to the whooshing crescendo of a vigorous rain-storm as it raced across the city before crashing against my bedroom window with tropical force. I drifted off again to the white noise, but before long there was a mighty crash of thunder and that was it. I was awake and up. I won't have to water my marigolds and pansies today - if there is anything left of them.

The jacaranda trees are just loving this weather, and as Australians love jacarandas, our whole neighbourhood is purple upon purple at this time of year. Just beautiful. We have one on the boundary between our house and next door, too large to get a good photo, but look at this from just up the road. Stunning, isn't it?

At Scrap Whispers this week we must have Western Australia on our minds, because our colour challenge is:
How about that?

I indulged. Mostly I try to match my embellishments to my subject, which means I don't get much use out of these trendy bird-cages or steam-punk, but occasionally I allow myself to have a flower'n'flourish fest and just go pretty. This truly beautiful photo that I took of our niece who is now 8, deserved the indulgent treatment. Bless her, what a darling kiddie she is.  

If anyone wants to know what I used or how I did things, then please ask. There is far too much on there to list and keep you awake.

Now, you'll have noticed that it's November. That means that October's winner has been announced, and she is on my team! Go Chelsey! And there is a new prize for November. Georgina is working her way through the entire Echo Park collection range I think - you lucky, lucky people. Here is what you could win this month:

My mouth is watering. Isn't it pretty? Do you want a try at winning it? If you enter any of the challenges at Scrap Whispers during November, each separate entry will get you a chance of winning. You can be anywhere in the world. You can enter as many times as you like. You don't have to be also playing our main Scrap Whispers game - although if you get bitten by the scrap-lifting bug then you can sign up any time to play the next game which will start in the New Year. Pop over to the Scrap Whispers blog for more info, and to enter this challenge - and tell all your scrappy friends!

Good luck and have fun!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Scrap Whispers Challenge #104 - Tutorial

Hello and welcome to our October Scrap Whispers Blog Hop!

Thank you for joining us again, this time for another great tutorial from our wonderful Georgina on how to use up scraps. And I personally LOVE this one. I'm always looking for new ways to make the most of my supplies, and this really appeals to me. You can read all about how to do it on the Scrap Whispers blog.

Here are the embellishments which I created using Georgina's technique. My sewing machine is an antique, so I wasn't surprised when it struggled to go through my multiple layers of card-stock and paper. Rather than destroying it, I decided to go with faux stitching which I think has actually worked really well.

And in place on the final LO:

Now it's over to you to make your own embellishments using the tutorial on the Scrap Whispers blog site. Please share with us what you make! Link us up on the Scrap Whispers blog to your masterpieces, then hop through the DT's blogs and leave some love for everyone.

Scrap Whispers

Finally and possibly the most important, we're having a DT call on Scrap Whispers! Please send your details to Georgina (address on the blog site) if you'd like to join our team.

Polka dots and a sketch

Here is a quick card for a wonderful cyber-scrapping friend which I'm entering into these challenges. How lovely that I can do a quick card again, without having to improvise on almost everything!

Basic Grey: autumn (the green mat is BG Boxer, Hipster paper - you'll see some more of this soon)
Colour Create: burgundy, green, cream and white
House Mouse & Friends: autumn
Less Is More: polka dots
Sketch Saturday: sketch

And the card: