Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Esty-inspired challenge # 81

So much for an early night last night... I visited the delightful Virginia's blog and saw what she did for the Esty-inspired challenge #81.  So I popped over to their blog.  I too was inspired by this bag on Ponder and Stitch site.
I started by stamping Hero Arts Outline Flowers (S5135) in white Stazon onto the blue card,  I used my colouring pencils to add red and yellow to the flower centres. I had the Pure Innocence ( from Heather Ellis - sponsor for the challenge this time) image printed awaiting colouring... so coloured in Yellow and red to tie into the flower centres.  I used the Card Patterns Sketch  #57 as a basis for the card ( just turned my oval up the other way) - Added the striped ribbon and the yellow ribbon and a double bow ( courtesy of my Bow-Easy) and a couple of red gems.  This was a fun challenge and even if I didn't get the early night I planned I had a great time making this one.

thanks for stopping by.  I do appreciate it that you all take the time to visit.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Goodies from Germany....

Recently the lovely Vanessa ( Wings of a Butterfly) recently had some blog candy she was giving away and I was lucky enough to get chosen to receive some lovely 12x12 papers ( as well as some die cuts, a lovely ATC and a super awesome card).  Last week they arrived on my doorstep and here they are:
Wasn't I just the luckiest.  Thanks so much Vanessa.  I will get lots of use from the papers as they are a nice mixture with some lovely male images...

Yesterday hubby and I joined some of our "Family Group" friends and went out to a West Auckland vineyard to listen to Jazz.  Every Sunday Coopers Creek Winery have Jazz on the lawn in front of their tasting room.  Yesterday was a spectacular day - quite warm and sunny and around 100 odd people turned up to listen to the music.  It was a lovely afternoon spent with friends having a picnic lunch and a few drinks.  While we were talking away I realised I had forgotten Vivienne's birthday had been on Tuesday.... so when I got home I quickly made a card for her

Inside I wrote..". i missed your birthday!!!"  I posted it off to her today.  I used the sketch that Clean & Simple had on their blog (here).  This is a digi image I got from Motivet site has as a freebie.  Super cute.

That's it for today... I'm feeling a bit blah ( getting a cold I think) so tonight I'll just read some new crafting magazines that I got at lunch time and have an early night... Take care everyone and hope this is a great week for you all.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Creative Saturday.

Yesterday I spend a very creative day with 5 other lovely ladies at Helen's place stamping.... and chatting and eating!!!!!  We had a great day and the time just flew by.  Despite all the eating and talking I did manage to get a few things done...
 A number of these were similar to ones I had done earlier in the week ( but either sold or posted off) so were quick and easy to do second time round.  The bluebell resist I did to show the ladies how it was done.  The final red card with the lovely Sugar Nellie image ( from the lovely Sarah) has a bit of a story to it... I had cut the red card using my Victorian blade on my trimmer and was busy trying to measure up where to make the crease on my Scor-pal as it was a tiny bit smaller than usual... well missed the mark completely and one side was nearly 1 cm shorter than the other.... Luckily found some PP with me that had the scallops on it so cut them out and used them to make up the difference!!!  A good mistake in the end!!!

and this is what our table looked liked
Notice there were some very special goodies... mini Toberones.... yummy.  Helen had been overseas last week and got them duty free....

So a fun day was had by all .... and I got home in time to change to go out for drinks and dinner with my husband's touch rugby mates and their wives..... so an even better end to the day....

Thanks for stopping by and I must say a big thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post.... I really appreciated all your thoughts and good wishes....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An agonising decision....

No crafting post today... just a grumble.

Things at work have progressed... maybe in a different way to what I expected.... Currently I am a team leader of a team of debt collectors - have 11 staff.... and due to a restructure in our organisation, the current 10 team leaders had to apply for 8 new positions..... So went through the process... CV completed, application sent off, interview held.... then on Friday afternoon I got a call to ask me if I would consider a different role - as an advisor for Community Relationship team as the manager felt I was not "resilient" and she had some concerns around my health and stress levels...oh and the Team Leader job is still on the table.... so all weekend I stewed on this.... talked to my current acting manager and the new one... who felt I was not emotional resilient, had issues with my communication skills, and would generally have to make major changes to my leaderships skills if I wanted to continue in the role.... not once in the past 8 years has any of this been mentioned to me... quite a kick in the guts... Any way to cut a long story short... I was not prepared to change the way I lead majorly,so I did some gut wrenching, soul searching and took the advisor role.... only to find out about an hour or so later that I did extremely well in the interview and the panel ( which did not include either of my managers) thought I had good vision for the new directions of the organisation and articulated myself well....  Monday I was totally gutted... but now realise that moving forward a change might just be what I need.  The stress of not having staff control will be good for my health, and as it is a big year with our European trip and our daughter's Wedding, it will be great not to have to worry about work.  As one door closes another one opens..... I know I made the right decision for me now....

thanks to all of you who have decided to continue reading this whingy post... but I feel better getting it off my chest.....

Onwards and upwards.....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bunnies and Hydrangeas.

Yesterday I managed to start a couple of cards that I finished off this afternoon.... (came home early - things got a bit stressful at work... more about that later in the week)

First off I won Boris the Bunny from Jane's Doodles on Squiigglefly.  He is really sweet and just right for Easter.  I love these digital stamps as you can print them out whatever size you want very quickly.  I decided to do something little...
 Isn't he cute!!!!  I coloured him in (not that you can see the white) and added Kindyglitz over his nose and ears.  I added a bit of glossy accents to the flowers.  The whole card is 3.75 inches square.  Just a perfect little Easter card.

Next I inked up another new Hero Arts stamp - The Hydrangea.  It is a delightful stamp, so easy to colour.  I choose purple for my flower - although the ones still flowering in my garden are pinks.... but I love the deep purple/blue ones the best.
I used watercolour pencils and a Tombow clear blending pen to colour in the flower. I used the biggest of my Label 1 nesties to cut the flower out and sponge some Momento Sweet Plum ink round the edge.  I then traced round the outside of the nestie to cut out the matting.  Added the sentiment in the plum ink. I found some bigger cream cards in my stash and cut one down to 4 3/4 inches square.  I love how this turned out.  I'll be making some more of this one in different colours - I'm even going to try Nancy's trompe-l’oeil technique using this stamp.

Thanks for stopping by.. hope you week goes well..... Take care

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Flowery fun

Yesterday I had a busy morning doing the housework but when I got into the craft room (aka The Office) I got a bit side tracked...  Last week I had bought some Darkroom Door stamps - not realising they were unmounted rubber.  So finally got some tacky stuff and added it to one of my acrylic mounts so I could use the stamps.  The set is called Viva La Flora and has 4 really nice stamps - 2 silhouettes with writing backgrounds and 2 with sentiments.
I decided to do a resist technique with one of the silhouette stamps.

I started with a piece of pink spotted paper with a touch of lacy look in the corner ( 1/4 of a 12x12 page) and stuck it to my card base, distressing the edges with Tattered rose distress ink.  I stamped the flowers in Versafine Onyx black and quickly embossed with clear EP. I then used some shabby shutters for the stems and Tattered rose for the rest of the piece.  I also added a touch of Dusty concord to the flowers.  I layered onto the blue, distressing the edge with my fingernail. Added some variegated brown crochet cotton threaded through a blue Fimo button ( my first attempt at making buttons) and added to the card base at an angle.  Added the sentiment by Hero Arts.

Then last night while hubby was watching Super 14 rugby - I broke out another new stamp.  This time Silhouette Bells by Hero Arts.  Got a bit of a thing going with silhouette stamps at the moment.  Again used the wonderful resist technique that Tami and Jennifer used a few weeks back on the HA Blog. 

I started by stamping the blue PP with Old French writing in Broken China Distress ink then used Versamark and clear embossing with the Silhouette stamp. I then used Shabby shutters and Peeled paint for the leaves and Faded Jeans for the bluebells. Turned out really good. Embossed the sentiment in silver embossing powder.

Thanks for taking the time to look...Hope your weekend is going well... we are still enjoying lovely late summer weather so I can still get my photos taken outside on my outdoor table.  Long may it continue!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Daffodils for Easter

What a week so far... my interview for the job was Monday afternoon and so now it's over bar the wait for the outcome on Monday.  So to take my mine off that... I've been crafting...I saw a number of wonderful cards that people had made with Jane's daffodils ( available here) that I just had to buy it.  This is what I came up with


Normally I paper piece by adding coloured papers to white card, but for this one, I did the opposite.  I printed the main image on the yellow paper and then again on plain copy paper. I cut out the white parts and used my Xyron mini to stick them to the yellow.  I highlight the trumpets with an orange pencil and added glitter glue down the veins on the white.  I layered three times with my nesties and added to a cream card base that had been embossed in the CB with Swiss Dots.  I used a photo of my own daffodils taken last Sept as my inspiration.
I also made a couple of male birthday cards.... soon to be Son in Law is having a birthday next week
Had another go at the Cling Wrap technique for the browns and reddish background.  I used 4 Memento ink colours to make it.  Good ole Three Ferns ( just great for boy cards!!)  The teal-blue card is one I CASE'd from Jenn here.  I stamped the background with versamark to create the tone-on-tone look.

Thanks for stopping by.  Just think the weekend is nearly here.  Only half day at work for me as I have a follow-up appointment with the specialist ( and any excuse for a half day!!!) at lunch time.  I'll just potter on home and make a start on the weekend's housework.  Take care

Monday, March 15, 2010

In the Junge, the mighty Jungle....

the Lion sleeps tonight.... I thought of this song when I saw the photos of the latest cupcakes my DD (Emma) made.  She and her friend made a heap of cupcakes for a 1 year old's party.  you guessed it- a Jungle theme.  All her photos had wonderful little quotes from "Madagascar" under them which also made me giggle.

 Under this one she put:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March CCC - Easter wishes for Nancy

This card is what I made to send to Nancy as part of Deborah's card chain challenge. It was also for Anne's "case me" challenge.
Anne's card (here) used a stamped background where as I used some patterned paper. My butterfly I stamped twice - once of the card and once on white card. I coloured both with distress inks and added some white dots and a bit of Glossy Accents.  Nancy tells me it has arrived safely in California so I am now happy to share.   I also included a little book mark for Nancy and a New Zealand note pad to stick on the fridge.  If you haven't joined Deborah's challenge yet.... keep a look out on her blog towards the end of each month.  It is so much fun getting a card in the post... for me it's always from overseas!!!!  I have had cards from Canada, USA, and two from different people in Denmark...  How cool is that!!!!

Today was Stamp Group.. a very fun and productive day... there were only 4 of us there today but we had a great time... photos tomorrow!!!!  if I get time after the run...

Thanks for stopping by... hope everyone's weekend is going well. 


Friday, March 12, 2010

I never know what to take....

when I go to Stamp Group.... will I need that punch or that colour ink or that piece of paper.... so I tend to take too much.  2 or 3 trips to bring everything into the store.  I make sure I get a seat towards the back wall - so no one can trip over all my stuff.... then I hardly use any of it!!!!  I try and have a few ideas in mind.  Tomorrow I have to make a card almost identical to the one I just made for a friend's wedding....I showed the girls at work today and one of them wants it but with the Kindness saying on it. 

I've already embossed the black background so tomorrow will just do the rest and put it together.  I did have a bit of a disaster with it.... as I was pulling the stamp off the backing sheet, I pulled  from the happiness end and tore off the last "s" :-( and had to write it in by hand.  Then did the same thing with the one of the other sentiments.  Can't find the receipt and can't remember which shop it I got it from, so not sure what I'll do.

Wednesday night I went to Stampzone's coffee group.  Only 3 of us turned up ( but it was the first one!)   We got to make this card

It was showing us how to do a water colour technique.  You emboss the image, spritz it with water and add the tip of a re-inker to add the colour.  I was very pleased with the outcome - not bad for $5 and we got 3 extra flowers!!!  It was a rush to get there but I enjoyed it and was home by 8.30 in time to watch a favourite TV program so even better.

Well better get back to packing the bag... ( I have quite a decent sized one but still end up with boxes and bits to carry in separately).  Hope your weekend is great.  Mine is rather busy but that will stop me worrying about my interview which is at 2pm on Monday.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A new computer .....

After last weeks fiasco with the internet, I decided I need to update my computer so I could go totally wireless.  My modem is wireless but was hardwired to my desk top so in the weekend went out and got myself a laptop - a 16 inch one so I could use it like my desktop on the desk - with printer attached  I was going to use my other monitor but that turned out a bit of a mission so have just stuck with the laptop screen.  Not as good at viewing colours for the photos but getting there as I get to know my way around it.. but oh so much faster at connecting to the internet.  Slowly getting used to the keyboard - but did go buy a wireless mouse as I HATE the little swipping thing.... (excuse the technical term there)  Have most of my programmes reloaded, still just a few to go.  Tonight though I went out to a Coffee group that has started at Stampzone... only three of us turned up.  Made a nice card... but not sure I'll go again.  Too much of a rush as I go for an hours walk from 5-00 till 6-00 and by the time I get home from one, have a shower and get off to the other... there was no time for tea :-(
This is a card I made for my little grand niece who is 4 next week, I used Club Anya's Saturday sketch #9.  The two green papers are from a digi kite by Vinnie Pearce called Weathered Papers.  Just lovely. Thanks to Lucy for linking it on her blog.

And look what I got over the last few days... cards from Virginia and Sanne.  Just wonderful.  I am totally surrounding in all these amazing cards from all round the world.
 Well thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate all your comments.  Just to let you know my job application went in today... so now it is in the lap of the Gods as they say!!!  Next week interviews... doesn't help that it's a busy weekend.. stamp group all day Saturday and I'm doing the Round the Bays Fun run on Sunday.... with about 70,000 others~!!!
Take care

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spring has sprung in the Northern Hemisphere!!!

I was reading my niece's face book and she was saying how pleased she was Spring has come to Canada.  She lives in Toronto with her husband who is a Canadian.  So when I saw Caardvarks photo inspiration challenge - a lovely set of birdcages - I decided to combine a number of challenges and make a Spring card for Rachel.  I recently bought the Hero Arts Digi kit " and your bird can sing" and this is what I came up with
 
I started by resizing and printing the birdcage onto the cream cardstock.  I then used a negative from a nesties oval as a mask/template and sponged over the birdcase in Antique Linen distress ink.  I then overstamped the Hero Arts Old French writing in Sahara Sand Versamagic ink.  I added the "Happy spring" in black to stand out.  I matted onto the bright yellow and added the yellow butterflies (cut with a Martha Stewart punch) with some Kindyglitz on them.  Finished iwth the pale yellow ribbon.  I am also entering this into PaperPlay Challenges "Just Because" as I am sending it off to Rachel.  Plus it fits the Spring theme at Hero Arts...
I am dying to make some more bird-cage cards now I have this kit.  I have seen some wonderful examples using the stamp... 
I'm not sure what happened but I lost my lovely blog template last week, so decided a change was needed so I hope you like my new blog look.  There are so many lovely ones out there but Shabbyblogs.com have some really pretty ones as well as the headers.
Well thanks for popping in for a visit... I'm off to make some more cards - lots of birthday's this month.
Take care and have a great weekend all.




Thursday, March 4, 2010

Internet Issues....

 Finally I'm back on line after two nights of frustration.... Tuesday night I decided I NEEDED the Hero Arts Birdcage digital image after seeing all these wonderful cards from Virginia here and here and here. So off I went to 2peasinabucket... and bought it.  Paid for it okay, but the moment I tried to download it.... well the internet threw a spazz... it kept disconnecting me...and on it went all evening!!! Thank goodness you downloads stay at 2peas or I'd have been stuck... okay thought to myself.... will try again Wed night... guess what - same thing kept happening so onto the phone to my provider... ( call centre in India....so could hardly understand the call centre rep..). he kept saying the same thing over and over and I must admit to losing my cool.... as I kept saying the same thing over and over to him and he obviously didn't understand me.  When he went to put me onto a technical person, the lines were all busy so he said he'd call me back.... well that was 8.30pm so I said not after 9.30pm... anyway about 10 past 9 a techie rang.... Yay he could speak English!!!!  so for the next half hour I was moving the modem all over the house to see if it was a problem with the incoming line.  He then did something at his end which at least meant the internet wasn't dropping out.  He even said he's call back this afternoon ( I was home doing my CV) and he DID... right on time.  Thank goodness I'm back on line albeit a bit slow... all to do with the fact I have to run my phone line from the jack point in the bedroom into the room next door - about 12 feet of extension.  Now have to either get a longer Ethernet cord or a wireless USB for my desktop box.   Very frustrating for two nights!!!!
Today I was planning on coming home at lunch time to finish off my C.V. - just too busy at work to do it... but I woke at 3.00am with a mini migraine.  Pain relief didn't do much to help so stayed at home in bed till nearly lunch-time.  Much better... then did a bit of the C.V before heading off to Stamp Zone for a browse.  Didn't get much - just some stamp cleaner - but had a good chat with Jackie.
So now for a couple of cards I made over the past few days.  First the Motivet image I coloured the other night and the card I made using Mojo Monday # 127 sketch.
 
 
I was very pleased with the way the colouring went with the kitty.  I used 2 different greys and a white pencil.  When I finished colouring it, I watered down some Liquid Pearls (White Opal) and painted it all over to give the shimmery look of H2O's.  I am sending this to my friend Sue who has cancer and is not at all well.  Just to cheer her up and let her know I am thinking of her.
Next is a card I was asked to do for an 80th birthday.  Inside it says " the more candles the bigger the wish"
 
 Well thanks for reading this rather long post tonight.... but I feel better getting the frustration of my internet issues off my chest!!!  Wishing you all a great rest of the week... the weekend is nearly here!!!
PS... still haven't made any bird cage cards although finally downloaded.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mojo Monday challenge # 127

Over the weekend I didn't get too much crafting done -  way too nice weather and spend most of Sunday at the beach... but I did get a bit of a play on Saturday.  I surfed the net for a good challenge and found the sketch on Mojo Monday interesting
 
I had found this image at Motivet blog.  It was a freebie ( the best kind of image!!) so thought I'd use it.
 
  I coloured it with my watercolour pencils ( a big fav at present), used a nestibility to cut it out and the card base.  Again Purple seems to be on a roll at the moment.... plus I wanted to use some of the lovely ribbon that Lucy sent me.  I am very pleased with the result.   I have printed the image a bit bigger and am going to make a square card ( have missed the deadline for Mr Linky but like the sketch anyway)  It is quite an adorable image.  I have left off a sentiment as I can then use it for any reason.... 

Well thanks for visiting.  As usual I really appreciate all your lovely comments.  Hope you all have a great week.   I'm going to be concentrating on updating my C.V. as I am going through a restructure at my work and have to reapply for my job.  Currently there are 11 Team Leaders and in the new structure only 8... have to have the C.V. and covering letter in by the 10th March and interviews will be the 15-17th and the appointments on the 22nd... If I'm unsuccessful, they will try and find a suitable position.... Here's hoping I'm successful.... but what will be, will be!!!