26 November 2008

Christmas cards 2008 – ahead of the game!

I finally found time to finish making this year’s Christmas cards, and, believe the hype, they are nothing short of sensational (alright, I’m exaggerating a bit here; they are just OK).

It’s always a strain coming up with ideas, and this time was no different. Especially since 2008 was the year I discovered online scrapbooking shops (hence lots of unused purchases) and my friend Lin Mei became a Stampin’ Up demonstrator (pressure to make something presentable). Which is why I motivated myself with a Ferrero Rocher chocolate after completing every 3 cards.

I settled for the same basic idea for all the cards: stamping on acetate using stazon ink, then embellished with cuttlebug card, ribbon, and stamped image. I didn’t end up using much of my scrapbooking paper (hello Doodlebug velvet embossed, you are still pure and uncut), which begs the question, what the heck am I saving it for??!! (that’s a rhetorical question, no response required).

05 November 2008

The Perfect Weekend (part 2)

Here is the craft and cards part of last weekend, when we visited the Sydney Paper Crafts Festival, held at Canterbury Racecourse. Obviously, all the horses were resting up for the Melbourne Cup, so the track was deserted. Not so inside the function centre where the usual crowd of ladies and their fed up men were milling around the paper crafting stalls.

This was a smaller fair than, say, the
craft fair at Darling Harbour, which was a good thing, since I only had limited time to visit all the stalls before getting back on the bus to the Zumbo cafĂ©. I also wanted to see my friend Lin Mei, who doing demos was at the Stampin’ Up! stand. The SU! stand was the most enticing, with the demonstrators’ creations adorning the wall. It looked really good. LM also did a great job showing off her wonderful stamping and colouring skills.

My highlight was finding some of the new KI Memories Sheer Delights transparencies, which are semi-opaque thick plastic sheets in modern prints with die cut edges. They are lovely enough to use as placemats. I think I should have bought more. I also got some Doodlebug Designs flocked paper (red design in the photo) which will work well on Christmas cards, and a Hambly Screen Print transparency.

And then we topped it off with hot chocolate and dessert at Zumbo. What more could I ask for? (Maybe a win in the office Cup sweep, but that was not to be).

26 October 2008

One weekend, 3 festivals, 2 cards

In the space of this weekend, I did 2 loads of washing, semi-cleaned the house, made 2 dinners, visited 3 festivals, and made 2 cards.

On Saturday, we went to the Nicholson St Public School Halloween festival, which was filled with creepy vampires and skeletons in trees. And also lots of children dressed as witches .
On Sunday, it was off to the Norton St Festa in Leichhardt, which had lots of cute Fiat cars and coffee stalls. The fine weather really brought out the crowds who were appreciative of the Italian cooking and concert in the Pioneer Memorial Park.
Then, it was off by bus and train and mini-bus to the Danks St Festival in Waterloo. This had lots of dogs and art galleries, topped of by long queues at the many food stalls (I ate a great lamb souvlaki followed by a palmier and a bit of blood orange meringue). It also had a mini design mart that sold textiles, jewellery and artworks. By the end of it, my feet were killing me.

So where are the photos, you ask. Well, I accidentally deleted them from my camera card before I copied them to the computer. D'oh!!!!

In order to keep the post colourful, here are the cards I made. They were made at the request of my aunt, to give to a friend celebrating a birthday, and for a couple who are having their 50th wedding anniversary.

The birthday card features a Stampin' Up stamp in Real Red ink (it worked real well on the Whisper White card), and lace cardstock.
The anniversary card has a 'medallion' made from about 8 layers of ink, gold embossing powder and heat embossing that was then stamped with a double happiness stamp. And good ol' cuttlebug Swiss Dots on the red cardstock.

Hopefully next weekend is as productive. And hopefully I won't accidentally delete evidence of it!

24 September 2008

a last-minute baby shower card

So Mum phones up saying: "When you come over tomorrow, can you bring a baby shower card?".
Me: "What? What for?".
Mum: "I'm going to a baby shower and don't have a card".
Me: "What? Why?".
Mum: "I thought you'd have a card".
Me: "What? Why would I have a card?!?"

You get the drift. I spent an hour coming up with a card design that matched Mum's exacting specifications: 'not too big', 'not too small', 'no white', 'not for boy or girl' (?), 'a baby on the front' (I ignored this last one).

Postscript: Mum liked the card. I love the Threading Water hole punch!

20 September 2008

Not a chook raffle, but better...

I was - lucky /fortunate /in the right place at the right time /all of the above - to win a prize in a Hero Arts challenge. Titled ‘about me’, you had to present a page about yourself that featured Hero Arts stamps. This was my entry.

I hardly ever win anything, so I was thrilled with this. Thank you, randomizer!

15 September 2008

Christmas cards through the ages

I've made a start on this year's Christmas cards! I'm at least 2 months ahead of schedule, so that gives me time to reminisce a little...

Here are some of my cards from Christmas past. At least, going back to when I started taking photos of them. Photos are good, because I usually make too few cards and forget someone and have to use my leftovers to give them a card and don't have any left after Christmas. Phew!

The polar bear card is a favorite because it is a shaker card filled with holographic glitter. The polar bear stamp was a gift from a dear late friend who brought it back from Spitzbergen in Norway.

This year, I may do an acetate card, maybe something like this. But hopefully better than this first attempt. Ask me in December.

09 September 2008

Some more spring-inspired craft

It's been a productive weekend craftwise, because I finished these 2 pictures and also put them into frames (the finishing touch). They are chipboard trees and birds (Maya Road) and a strip of flowers (Buzz and Bloom) that I painted with chalk ink and acrylic paint or covered with patterned paper or stamped. They are mounted onto black cardstock and are hung, I like to think, so they add an air of 'class' to the upstairs landing.

03 September 2008

...a mini Travel album...

I enjoy doing scrapbook pages that are smaller than the usual 12 inches because a) I can never think of what to put on such a large page and b) it allows me to cut those gorgeous patterned papers so that they can be used on more than one page.

This is a mini album that I made using chipboard covers cut to size and a couple of pages strung together with jump rings. It is 17x17 cm and it was a lot of fun to do because I could experiment with different looks, including ripping off - sorry, 'scraplifting' - designs from magazines. I stopped when I ran out of ideas, which was after about 10 pages!

The album covers our trips to Melbourne last year, so it's mainly of eating and shopping. I still have heaps of photos from these trips, so another album is in the wings...

30 August 2008

...a Hello Spring card

I made this spring-inspired card using almost all Stampin' Up! products. The stamps are from the In the Spotlight set, on Whisper White, Certainly Celery (I think) and Kraft notecard and the green Palette o' Prints paper. The ribbon is my favourite, Old Olive. Ink is Versamark, Colorbox chalk queue and Tombow markers. The little squares are clear heat embossed (though I should have inked the stamps a bit darker...).

I am hoping that this burst of inspiration will be the start of my Christmas card preparations. Will have to wait and see if Xmas cards eventuate in the next few weeks or (as usual) about 2 days before Xmas.

26 August 2008

More from designboom

Just the rest of the things I got at the designboom / young blood designers market:

This is actually a table centrepiece from Millicent and Frank, but looks good as a wall hanging, I think. It is made of black acrylic.

18 August 2008

Design market goodies and a big dog

designboom marts are staged at design festivals around the world, in places such as New York, Tokyo and Seoul. This year, for the first time, there was a mart in Sydney at the Powerhouse Museum, as part of the 12th International Sydney Design Festival.

The marts are kind of like an upmarket market, showcasing the work of designers in the fields of lighting, furniture, ceramics, homewares, clothing and fabrics. Any shop at the end of an exhibition is a good shop, just point me in the right direction….

The range of goods for sale at the Sydney mart (promoted as Young Blood: Designers Market) was fantastic, quirky, beautifully designed and made. I picked up some things, and only my slender wallet stopped me from getting more.

My favourites included these adorable magnets from Korean designer Daniel Jo. The range (called ‘Promise’) includes salt and pepper shakers and candle holders.

I also got a length of owl fabric by Saffron Craig. Not sure what to do with it since I don’t sew much/at all, but it’s too cute to pass up.
Other things I got: some of the moss pencils (lead pencils covered in green ‘moss’) and a black acrylic table centrepiece by Millicent and Frank – again not sure what to do with it, maybe use it as a wall hanging. Pictures later, when I put it up.

I also wanted this dog, but he was not for sale.

30 July 2008

Statistical analysis of monetary spending

Theory: That the relentless purchase of scrapbooking supplies has a positive effect on creativity.
Analysis: As the graph below shows, there is some correlation, but not in the anticipated direction.
Spend is trending in a positive direction while Creativity trend is slight negative with a tendency towards an indefinite plateau.
Action: Spend more. Creativity has to go up eventually…

It hasn’t all been bad, though. In a rare one-night window of artistic imagination, I made a page with a photo taken at the KISS concert. I tried to make it a little bit grungey and rough, in keeping with the event (or, rather, the crowd), but I couldn’t get away from being kind of naturally neat and structured.

15 June 2008

Spending on the weekend

The Craft and Quilt Fair is in town (well, it finished today)! I haven’t been for years, because last time, the bf said that it was the most worthless 1 hour he’d ever spent (or words to that effect). This year, however, we decided to have another go at it, and I’m glad I did. Normally, I just whiz through the exhibits going ho-hum, more stalls selling beads, thread, sewing machines and mysterious things I don’t know what to do with. But this year, with my newfound interest in stamping and scrapbooking, I was looking at things with new eyes – a set of ‘what can I buy, what can I buy’ eyes, that is.

So, yes, I did buy lots, and it’s all good stuff. Can’t wait to get craftily inspired, but in the meantime, I can just sit and stroke my new pretties.

With the AUD doing pretty well against all major currencies, it means that online shopping (ie. spending) is also the way to go. So, to allow me to use my Cuttlebug more often, here are some embossing folders and die cuts I bought from the US. And a Crop-a-dile, of course – just love the purple handle and storage case!

05 June 2008

Red means good luck!

This is a card I made for my aunt’s tai chi teacher, who is turning eighty-something. I ran the red paper through the Cuttlebug using my one and only embossing folder, Bloom Dots (I noticed that paper can crinkle a bit whereas cardstock works better).

Inside the card are a couple of Chinese characters, for Longevity and Prosperity, stamped on gold paper and cut into circles and tied with red ribbon. The card is quite large, by the way (A4) because it is to be signed by all the teacher’s students.

30 May 2008

Not religious icons

Have you seen those $2 bookshops? They are just like normal $2 shops but sell books and art supplies instead. That’s where I pick up a couple of canvases, ‘just in case’. Just in case of what, I don’t know, as I’ve had two 50 cm canvases sitting on the floor of my living room for the past 18 months, and I still don’t know what to do with them.

Anyhoo, for some weird reason, I got a few more smaller ones recently. And this is the result. They remind me of those pre-renaissance icons with the Madonna on them. You just won’t find mine in the Louvre, though.

The heart and felt birds are from Maya Road, and the chipboard scrolls are from Buzz and Bloom. The paint is just gold acrylic (sorry, I know you were expecting gold leaf...).

28 May 2008


You should have heard the squeals of delight when my colleague Mandy and I took delivery of an order of scrapbooking supplies at work this week. Poor Jon, who sits between us, commented that he had never heard the word ‘gorgeous’ used so many times.

But really, it was too lovely for words, so here is the picture that paints a thousand of them…

27 May 2008

Getting a start on Christmas cards

What do you do on a sunny Sunday afternoon? Why, go to into the office, of course. Actually, I’ve never been so keen to go to work on a weekend because a group of us had organised for our local friendly Stampin Up! demonstrator (Lin Mei) show us some products and to make a card.

As usual, it was so much fun (with a dash of frustration when things went awry). We were shown how to stamp using a two-step process, and (best of all) how to make a bog/bax (don’t ask, just look
here). This is a card, stamped with a design and folded into the shape of a bag. Too clever.

Then, we each made a Christmas card. See my attempt below.

Thanks, Lin Mei, it was great. You can check out more of Lin Mei’s work

25 May 2008

Kids of the world - all coming together

Here is another take on the international kiddies, this time with a far eastern feel. I used these clips because the picture will be a present for my mother, who has a few oriental-themed things in her house, so this frame will look good amongst it all.

I had a lot of fun deciding on the colours and backgrounds for this piece, not to mention the embellishments, because the frame is 12 x 12, so lots of room for bits and pieces.

I tried to match the girls’ nationality to the boys, but as you can see, they are a bit of a multicultural mix. The Japanese dude with the cup of tea seems to be chillin’ in his yukata, while his compatriot is ready to take on the Last Samurai! The girls are taking it all in their elegant stride…

The clip art (thanks again to Stampinwhenican) was coloured using Tombow markers. The lace cardstock is from KI Memories, and the metallic bronze paper (Lincraft) was embossed using a Cuttlebug (Bloom Dots design) - doesn't it look like pressed metal?. Felt flowers from Maya Road, brads from Kaisercraft and Queen and Co, rub-ons by Cloud 9. Crane stamp (on China girl’s dress) from Hero Arts. The ‘sword’ is a toothpick covered in aluminium foil (making do with limited supplies!).

24 May 2008

Gentleman callers

To complement the adorable girls of the world, Allison from Stampinwhenican has provided some more clip art images, including boys of the world and also some delightful ‘everyday’ children (the little vampire boy is real cute).

So, I made some matching partners for the girls.

20 May 2008

...the Cat Handover Card

What do you say to the former owners of your new cat? ‘Sorry’? ‘Thank you’? ‘Goodness gracious, we have a cat’?

I just settled for ‘hi’. This is a card I made to give to Tabitha’s former owners on the occasion of her signover to us. The felt bird is from Maya Road (love their stuff) and the velvet ribbon is from Stampin’ Up. Unfortunately, I placed the ribbon crooked the first time and had to redo it, so some of the flock came off. Don’t tell anyone!


17 May 2008

Crafty Girl Power!

As soon as I came across these super cute clip art pics I knew I had to do something with them. The pictures are from Allison at stampinwhenican and they are just begging to be made into something vibrant and lovely.

I coloured the girls using Tombow markers, added some glittery rub-ons and mounted them on cardboard over some scrap paper. They are set into shadow box frames that will eventually be placed up my staircase (when I get around to putting some hooks in the wall).

Here is a closer look...

09 May 2008

Cat finds new home

Manky cat has officially been signed over to us! It’s probably best that we no longer call her Manky, so I’ve renamed her Tabitha (‘Tabby’ for short. And yes, after the little witchy daughter in Bewitched).

We love you, Tabby!

30 April 2008

...a paper (chipboard) heart

Here is a card I made for a wedding RSVP. It was my first ever attempt at covering a piece of chipboard (the heart) and it won't be my last because I'd bought a box of the things. It wasn't too bad though.

The spotty circle stamps are 'Seeing Spots' from Stampin' Up!, as is the ink. I'm glad I'm getting back into the stampin' (up!).

27 April 2008

...being artistic pays off

I'll admit I didn't think of this on my own - it is 'scraplifted' from an idea by Polly Maly in Scrapbooks etc. magazine Feb 2008. But I hope you'll agree that the effect of the lace cardstock set into a shadow box frame, with red accents, is pretty special. It didn't take long to do, either.

Just the thing to brighten up a rainy day (of which we have had lots of lately).

09 April 2008

...black and white daisy card

Here is a quick card I made with some scraps of cardstock I had lying around, and some new stamps (thanks Lin Mei!). I suppose I should do the usual crediting of suppliers...

Daisy by belle. Supplies Cardstock: Paddy's Market; Stamps: Friendship Blooms by Stampin' Up!; Ink: Versamark and Memories; Flower and brad: Target
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