Thursday, 31 December 2009

Inky fingers and more book-marks

This week the weather has been so nice I had to take my crafting outside..... with my parents here I didn't want to shut myself away in the craft the mountain came to Mohammed....I picked up my inks, scissors, papers and stamps and headed out into the sunshine.... what a fun afternoon.  I showed my parents how I make background cardstock - used alcohol inks, Kaliedacolor inks, distress inks.... and then turned some of them into book-marks for Mum to take back for my SIL and nieces.  Still a whole pile of backgrounds to use up!!!

I also printed out some images I purchased from Heather Ellis  (Thanks to the inspiring Donna who showed them on her blog).  I did some really tiny ones - like on the book-mark and some bigger ones.  This one is for my Mum's birthday on Monday 4th ( don't look Mum!!!)  As Donna says - fun to resize the images with digi stamps.

I used one of the alcohol ink backgrounds I made and one of the Pure Innocence images I coloured in.  Just wish I had used white Stazon to stamp the sentiment or some EP in white to make it stand out a bit...
It was just wonderful sitting outside colouring in.  Managed to make the card when Mum went for a snooze in the afternoon. 
Well I'm off for a few days to Papamoa - where hubby's sister lives.  We'll spend New Years Eve there and maybe the next day.  Just playing things by ear.... so Happy New Year to all.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

And the winner is......

Well it wasn't me....  Boxing day is traditionally the day we go to the Races... We had a fabulous day though even if none of us made a fortune.  The weather was spectacular, the fashion fabulous and all in all a great day was had by all.

Emma and Brad went with some friends.  The girls got all dressed up and wore wonderful hats. Quite the thing to do. We caught up with them on and off during the afternoon.  She took these photos of me and hubby and my Mum and Dad and I took the one of her.  Just another wonderful summers day in Auckland.  Today has been just as lovely.  Lots of sun and warm weather.  Hubby is off to the beach for a swim right now.  We are rather lucky to live half a kilometre from the beach in either direction.... Murrays Bay one way and Mairangi Bay the other.  Still not quite warm enough for me to swim... maybe by the end of January the water will have warmed up enough.
Hope Christmas was great for you all and thanks for stopping by.
Take care

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

One last post before Christmas...

I had a great afternoon yesterday, spending time with my daughter.  We bought some interesting material to try out an apron pattern she has.... She has an amazing idea for a photo of her and her bridesmaids - that involves retro aprons... but can't say any more yet... ( NB Wedding isn't until 27 Nov 2010 - but this is one totally organised woman!!!)

Anyway we made a couple of aprons ( to give away to some special people ) and had a ball all afternoon. We also managed to make a garter band for the wedding as well...

I managed to get a couple of cards done this week.  One for my parents who celebrate their 53rd wedding anniversary between Christmas and New Year and one for my niece who's birthday is on the 2nd January.  She will be 13.  I got some amazing image from the lovely Deborah Nolan that were from The Greeting Farm - the most amazingly sophisticated fairies.... I was rather pleased with the outcome  (BTW  visit Deborah's blog for the most amazing cards and the best posts ever.  She is just so clever with words)

I used my watercolour crayons and a Tombow marker pen to colour it in.  Don't have enough Copics to do it justice.  I attempted to use the techinque of cutting out the oval nestie with leaving some bits hanging over the side.... didn't quite work, but still happy with the result.   The one for my parents is very simple but I liked the elegance of it.  The Peelcraft flourishes were changed from silver to green with a Copic marker.

Well I should be finishing the housework and baking for Christmas.  I head off to the airport after lunch to pick up my parents so am very happy and excited about that....  I haven't seen them for over a year now... Sept 2008 when I went and visited them for 5 days over on the Gold Coast of Australia.  We are heading off Emma and Brad's for dinner with his parents as well... so an early Christmas get together for the two families.

May everyone have a great Christmas.
Best wishes to you all.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 21 December 2009

It's Holiday Time...

I'm officially on HOLIDAY!!!!  No more work till Monday 11th January 2010.  Now if the summer weather would improve all will be well....  My Mum and Dad arrive on Wednesday afternoon... I'm really looking forward to that... and then Christmas morning... our family tradition is a BIG breakfast - bacon and eggs and little sausages cooked on the barbeque, with croissants, avocado, tomatoes, bubbly wine and strawberries.... all after we have opened the presents.  As the kids have got older and got partners...they go to lunch with the other half's families so breakfast is the big thing for us.  Then around 2 - 3pm we ended up having lunch and then about 9.00 it's ham and tomato sandwiches...for anyone who is hungry after all the food earlier in the day.

This week I've made a few cards.  I bought the Holly Ribbon CB embossing folder a couple of weeks ago and finally managed to use it....  Maybe it will get a bit more use next year.  These two cards were both made by inking the folder with Versamark, running the black card through and then brushing on Pearlex Iridescence Green over it.   The tri-fold card was inspired by one I saw at Stamp'n'create made by the talented Sarah.

I also had a play with a Hero Arts digi kit and Photoshop and created this card.
Not quite sure how I got to here.... but as I rather liked the results, I printed it out and layered it onto the base card and added some ribbon and it was done.  Just something a little different.

Well I have a busy few days leading up to Christmas so not sure if I'll get anything posted... so I wish all my friends and followers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all the very best for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Take care all of you.

Friday, 18 December 2009

A few last minute Christmas cards

As usual.... I got a card from someone I hadn't sent one to.... so thought I'd better get a few last minute cards done for just this reason...  I was trolling the web as I usually do of an evening and came across the Penny Black website and saw a lovely card there with a flourish tree.... so thought about the stamps I had and adapted the design.  These are what I can up with.  One I used a Stamp-It tree and a Hero Arts greeting stamp and the other one I used a Inkadinkadoo tree and a computer generated greeting.  The bottom flourish is a $2 stamp by Kaisercraft.  For the brown tree I used a watercolour pencil and some distress ink to colour it.  The other tree was all watercolour pencils blended with a Tombow colourless marker and a bit of distress ink round the edge of the panel. 

Tonight I am making another Christmas card with one of the new Cuttlebug folders that I just got... the new Holly Border one... I saw a card made by Sarah at Stamp'n'create and am using it as my inspiration.   It is really lovely... uses black card and Pearlex powders.  Hopefully I'll get it finished for photographing tomorrow.  It's the BIG clean up tomorrow ( my Mum is coming on Wed to stay for 2 1/2 weeks)
Thanks for stopping by.  I really appreciate all the wonderful comments. 
Take care
PS make sure you visit Hero Arts blog tomorrow.... the BIG blog hop is on....

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

December Chain card Challenge...

I took part in Deborah Nolan's chain card challenge for December.... and was extremely lucky to get a card from Deborah herself...... and what a card it was....

The card has an opening in the front to see through to the ornament inside.  It is so richly coloured, the red looks like velvet.... I will keep it as a card then next year it can hang on the tree... Awesome card thanks Deborah. 

I have also been having a bit of a blitz on bookmarks again....they went down well at the Hospice fundraising and I keep getting asked to do here we go.....I've made a mosaic  of them all...  I used a Hero Arts stamp on everyone.... did lots of different techniques.  The orange on is a background I did with distress ink ( spiced marmalade and aged mahogany) on a cream card and spritzed with water.  I then stamped the butterflies and added a second one overtop. The next one, I used some new Die Cuts with a View matstock.... La is a pad of 72 4.5" x 6.5" heave paper that is mainly creams and blacks with flocking on it... Beautiful  papers.  I add a sentiment from HA and it was done.  I got two the same out of one piece of card... Next is one of the Japanese dolls.  I paper pieced the kimono in gold paper, used a nice background paper and layered it.  I did another Japanese doll in a similar technique for the next card.... and the same again for the following card.  The final card was using another DCWV paper mat...this time from the Blossoms and Butterflies stack.  Have a look at some of the other stacks in these pictures.  You can get the papers also in 12"x12" - but as I don't scrapbook, the smaller size is perfect for cards.  I can see I will be using them for a while to come... with 72 sheets in each pack... there is 3 of each pattern and they are quite heavy - really cardstock weight.

Well thanks for stopping by... I'm off to get the salad done and the house set up for the neighbourhood barbeque that is happening here in about 1/2 hr..... 8 families have been invited... so will see how many turn up.  Hope the lead up to Christmas isn't getting too stressful.  Take care

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Oh Christmas tree , oh Christmas tree....

That's how the song goes.... well today we got the Christmas tree and decorated it.  Just love the smell of a real pine tree.... nothing says Christmas more than that.... It is a great tree...quite tall though... so tall we had to lop off the top to get it inside.  As you can see - no themed tree for us... we have quite the eclectic lot of decorations... but each one has it's special meaning.   I have now got a whole pile of presents under it just waiting for the big day.

Yesterday was my Stamp Group at Stamp'n'create - our last one for the year.  These are held every 2nd Sat of the month and we take a shared lunch... well two of the ladies (Sharon and Ann) made the most amazing cupcakes for our lunch.  Ann used Mellowpuffs to make mini Christmas puddings and Sharon did lovely green and red sprinkles on her cupcakes.  Just wonderful.  We did do some card making ( not all eating)  I did a few cards using designs I already had done, plus I took two digi images I had printed to make into cards.  I used  the Seasons Greeting Collage from Hero Arts and made two cards with it.

So now I finally have all 12 cards completed, inserts typed, envelopes addressed and all set to take to the Post Office tomorrow lunch time.

Time for me to head off to my bed now... it's been a busy day and an busier weekend.  Only 11 more days and then Christmas...... don't you just love it!!!!
Take care and have a great week.  Thanks for stopping by and many thanks to all of you who leave such lovely comments.  It really makes my day.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas on my mind....

This week I suddenly realised that although I had my overseas cards done... I still needed to do some more for friends and family living here... so Thursday night I got into "the office" as my craft room is known, and put the head down and the bum up and created.....

I started with some quick and easy cards which mainly used Patterned papers as the focus of the card with just a little stamping and embellishment...

thanks goes  to the lovely Linda who send me the sentiment stamp amongst a whole pile of other things including a fantastic ink pad... one of the famous Garden Green inks she uses in her video's  (Highly recommend you visit her blog and watch her videos) 

Next I did a black and white version of a white and black card I did a few weeks ago.  Really pleased how it turned out... ( Notice that sentiment yet again...)

 Finally I did a reasonably quick one - the Joy stamp is by Stamp-it and I embossed with Copper EP onto a very dark brown piece of card, layered it onto a gold patterned paper and then onto the chocolate brown square card.. 

I can tell you by the end of the night, I was pooped!!!!  But felt so much better that I had a few less cards to do now....   and got a few more done today at Stamp Group...  mainly duplicates of ones I had already done - so I knew what was needed.  Did do another digital one  - which is currently waiting for the Kindyglitz to dry so will photograph tomorrow and blog about the day I had...
Take care and thanks for stopping by....

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Caardvarks Digi challenge

I seem to have come full circle..... when I started making cards for my family's birthdays many years ago I used to make them on the computer, using a program called "American Greetings" - the cards were very one dimensional - simply choose a design and print it out.... then I found stamping..... the cards got a bit better... more dimensional, better designed etc etc..... now I'm back to using the computer.... but oh how different it is now!!!!!
Caardvarks together with Hero Arts are having a challenge to incorporate some digital into your card, layout or other paper project... even if it just using the computer to print out a sentiment..... ( which I do heaps as I don't always have an appropriate sentiment stamp)
For this card I used a Hero Arts digi kit ( Snowman stamp) I printed it out twice ( from Word so I could easily resize). One image got layered onto the red cardstock and the other one got cut up and layered back on the image ( sort of decoupage) I added Liquid Appliqué round the edge of the hat and on the pompom. And I put glossy accents on the hat, the scarf and the buttons and heart. The sentiment here is stamped - a Hero Arts set from last Christmas called Joyful Greetings...
I have been using my computer for some time to download free background papers from all sorts of places - some of my favourites are the English Magazine sites: Cardmaking and PapercraftPapercraft Inspirations, Crafts Beautiful and Papercraft Essentials.  Now I have added 2 peasinabucket - as they have a lot of digital kits... some free, some pay to download....Hero Arts have now got 134 kits - and then there are all the others!!!!   So if you haven't tried digital - have a go..  I have to admit I do not do full digital.... I still love the feel of paper in my hand, but I am making use of the computer to help me make real cards - with just as much fun as stamping.
Thanks for stopping by... Only 18 days and it's Christmas Day!!!!!  Done all your shopping yet?

Monday, 7 December 2009

It's Chritmas Time in the city....

I just love this time of the year.... the radio stations have started playing Christmas songs and carols....What's your favourite?  I love Silver Bells, Silver Bells.... I don't even know who sings it but it just lovely.  Now it's December I start getting the decorations out ... getting the tree this weekend coming.... but last weekend I put up the Christmas Wreath on the front door.  This year I made a new wreath... ( the old one was looking a tad sad :-(...)  A few months ago I went with a friend to the Heirloom Christmas Shop and got a few bits and pieces to make myself a new one and here is the result....

I was very pleased with the result and it looks awesome against the white front door.  

I have also done a few more tags.... I now have enough for the presents.... but not sure I can stop!!!!  I really am enjoying making these.    

Well thanks for stopping by... Have a great week. 

Saturday, 5 December 2009

More tags....

I'm really starting to enjoy making tags - albeit that the ones I have been doing are rather simple... not much layering etc.  I have done these two over the last couple of days.

The one on the right was very simple... I used a Hero Arts Collage stamp that I simply inked up in 3 different Memento inks -  Rich Cocoa, Rhubarb Stalk and Potters Clay and stamped directly onto the tag.  I added some red gems to the snowflakes and then added a sparkle snowflake and gem to the bottom.  I put some Kindyglitz on the Santa and it was finished.
The one on the left was a bit of trial and error.... I started with some practise of my blending tool for the distress inks. I always have trouble trying to get it nice and even. I started with Worn Lipstick and then added some Dusty Concord on the edges. It went a bit dark in the lower corner. Next I inked up the flower only on the Sparkle Poinsettia stamp and used Rocket red Brilliance and clear embossed it. The bits of silver are actually alcohol ink mixative that I stamped onto the tag - I had been playing at covering a piece of acetate with Plum and silver alcohol inks and this was what was still on the felt pad.  It left bits of silver and the plum on the tag which looked rather cool. I used red and green ink on the sentiment from Stamp-it to finish off.   I had to add a bit of thin card stock to the back of the tag as I always seem to get them messy when I use distress inks and my teflon sheet.  I will be writing on the back of the tag for the person who is getting this added to their present.
No more crafting tonight though... Hubby's work Christmas function is on.  We are going out to dinner at one of the local bars.  Should be a fun night, so am off to iron the top I want to wear.... HATE ironing but needs must!!!
Thanks for stopping by.  Hope your weekend is a great one.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas Tag a la Oz.

This weeks challenge at Hero Arts is Holiday Tags. At quite a number of the blogs I like to visit, talented ladies make amazing tags... Jacqueline and Suzanne but to name a couple. I have been amazed by what they do, so thought I'd give tags a go. I went to the office supply store near where I work thinking I might be able to pick up some tags.... but sadly unless I wanted to buy a box of 1,000 for $60 I was out of luck... ( just trying to imagine how many years they would last was mind boggling!!) So stopped into the stamp store on the way home... yes I could get 8 tags for $1.50 - now that made more sense.....
For this tag I decided to try out Linda aka Oz's 4 stamp background technique. Visit her blog here to see the video she did... it's like being in the room with her doing it....I used my new pine bough stamp from HA's together with the sentiment from a Sparkle clear set from last Christmas. As I was trying for a bit of a vintage look ( don't think I quite got it) I dyed some white lace dark brown by putting Rich Cocoa Memento ink over it. I added a fawn flower with a dark green snowflake and a brown pearl to finish it. I am reasonably happy with the result.

Last week I bought the Spellbinders Tags die so over the weekend made a tag or two to put on my presents this year.  I ended up getting an order to do 10 of the little white and blue tags.  I used a snowflake stamp from the HA set Joyful Greetings I got last year.  For the red tags ( made 1/2 a dozen of these) I simply used the HA's digi kit - Snowman stamp resized and printed out.  I cut them out and placed on the tag.
Tonight I made another tag - This one is called my Kiwi Christmas as I used the Pohutukawa as my inspiration for it.  The Potutukawa tree is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree and has the most amazing red flowers that come out around this time of the year. The pine bough stamp reminded me of the flower. 

Well this has been a bit of a long post...thanks for taking the time to read it.