Friday, December 31, 2010

Playing with new stamps....

it is always such fun playing with new stamps.   My order arrived Christmas Eve - 3 new Hero Arts stamps.   I have used two so far.... still thinking about what to do with the 3rd set ( the cling bicycles) but have had fun with the Classic Fabric design and the Small Striped Flower cling.

I was mucking around with some distress inks and pearlised gold water - trying different techniques and papers and came up with a couple of lovely backgrounds.
My first one was watercolour paper which I completely wet with the pearlised water and then I put some red distress inks on my craft mat and picked up the ink with a water brush and painted onto the wet paper.... it feathered out lovely.    My second piece was normal card which I then use to sop up the remaining ink, again spirtzed with the pearlised water.

I took this lovely photo of the Hibiscus on my deck and it was the inspiration for my first card ( made with the watercolour background)
Hibiscus flower

Enjoy every moment.

I stamped the Small Striped flower cling in the Barn Door. I highlighted the centres with gold metallic ink pen. Embossed the sentiment. I edged the piece with the gold pen and layered onto the black card.

Thank you

This card used the other red piece.   I over-stamped with Classic Fabric design. I then used a white gel pen to highlight parts of the design. Added some scrumpled netting and a bit of black card. Sentiment is embossed with black EP.  I layered onto some grey Bazzil that I made into a card base.  I like the grey with the red and black.

The first card is going to be a house warming card.... we are off to stay with our friends Michael and Yvonne, at their new bach ( holiday home) up in Mangawhai Heads.  The house was specially built for them as they needed some special access for their daughter who is a paraplegic and in a wheelchair.  I can't wait to see it... I saw the plans but seeing it in real life will be different.  We are staying 3 nights with them.   So no blogging for a few days....

Wishing you all a happy New Year's celebration and happy crafting for 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A fabulous day in Paradise....

Yesterday was a stunning day... after a couple of days of wet weather, yesterday dawned warm and sunny.  I spend part of the morning pottering here on the 'net, catching up on blogs, checking out some new videos on Copic colouring, and generally relaxing.  Then I popped over to my friend Susan's place for lunch.  Sue ( aka Srcumplescrunch) got a new toy for Christmas... a Cricut, so I had to go see.  She was in the middle of making a "Leftover Tag" for Lousie's challenge ( here) and so I watched her creating.... she took some part circles for the base... bits that didn't turn out right in her practise with the Cricut, added some iridescence medium to the image, inked up the words... and this is how it turned out.
Isn't it wonderful.  Go visit her blog  here and have a look around. 

Once I left Sue's place, I went to physio.  I have an ongoing issue with a degenerative disc in my lower back that is not progressing as well as I hoped and I am undergoing weekly physio which I hope will help.   When I got back to the car I noticed my temperature guide was saying the outside temp was 28 degrees C.... very very warm, so home and into the swim suit and a 1/2 km walk to spend some time lying, reading, at the beach.  Just magic.  Finally made it back home at 1/4 to 6 to think about something for dinner.
No cards were made yesterday, but got some lovely distress backgrounds made, stamped a couple of images at Sue's so plenty of inspiration.  

this morning I came across this wonderful post on my friend, Nancy's blog... Top Lists for 2010.  Great reading.

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Top 5 Christmas Cards

Well I hope you all had a great Christmas, spending time with family and friends.  I certainly did.  We started the day with a breakfast BBQ with our son and his girlfriend before heading 1 3/4 hours drive to Hamilton for lunch with hubby's niece and some of her extended family.... ranging in age from 2 to 94.  14 of us sat down for a scrumptious lunch.  As usual ate way too much.  In fact no one ate anything for dinner as we were all so full.  Next day we ended up back at Nicola's for a second go.... think I ate just as much again, before driving home.

Am now just smooching around being lazy.  Hubby is back to work tomorrow and I am off to have lunch with a friend at her place.  It has been raining today so made some cards... for my parents anniversary and my Mum's birthday.... but as I know she reads this.... no reveals till after she gets them!!!!  Had fun using some new stamps.

On my "travels" today I came across this site by Debbie.  She is having a little give away - just post your 5 favourite Christmas cards of 2010.
so here are the 5 favourite cards I made this year.
Wonderful time of the year


this one I was so pleased that I finally got a rose to work.


Pink Starry Night

I loved my Starry Night stamp and did many variations this year.

Wintery Starry Night

Another of the variations I made with my Starry Night stamp...

Deck the Halls - Orange Moggy
Just love this Fluffles stamp... he is so cute.

Gold Christmas  ( wmc#35)

and this one is just so elegant.  I love the monochromatic look.

That was a bit difficult as I was very happy with all the cards I made this year.....
Hope you all were happy with yours too....

Cheers for now

Friday, December 24, 2010

last minute tags, new stamps and a winner....

I decided to make a couple of special last minute tags for some gift baskets I purchased yesterday and thought I'd enter them into Louise's latest challenge... to use gold or silver on your tags.
Last minute tag

this is the first one ~  the second is very similar... a bit different distress round the edge and a different flower.  The vintage image was a freebie on Joy's (aka dustypenny) blog.  I resized it in word and printed on 140gm cream printer paper.  I added glossy accents to the birds and the holly berries and some glitter glue in gold round it.

Now for the new stamps.... my parcel from Simon Says Stamp arrived this morning... I got three new stamps... the Cling Bicycles, Small striped flower and Classic Fabric design.  Plus the wonderful staff at Simon Says Stamp added a set of blue rhinestones as a little gift.  How sweet.  Can't wait till I can play.... maybe next week.... too busy today.

And yesterday I was stoked to find out I made the Fab 4 at the Play Date Cafe challenge ~ a touch of Yellow with this card.  Quite excited.

Well that's it for me for a few days.... I just realised I forgot the avocado when I went out shopping the morning... so need to see if I can get one now.....:-(  at least the fruit and veg shop is only a kilometre away.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to my on-line friends.

Almost time for Santa to come visit.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone by.... On the whole a much happier one than the previous year... a big holiday overseas, a wedding and another year of meeting new people via the internet.  I think that the influences of being inspired by so many lovely people over the year has improved my card making.  So a BIG THANK YOU to all my on-line friends.

I have finished work now till the 10th January.  Tomorrow I have a busy day though, getting last minute things like the fruit ~ strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, melon, cherries ~ that I am taking as my contribution to the family gathering in Hamilton.  We were going to have our own little Christmas - hubby and me- but his niece took pity on us and we are heading down after breakfast with our son and his girlfriend on Christmas morning.  I also have to take down the Pavlova.  I have just put one in the oven.  For those of you who have not heard of Pavlova, it is a meringue type dessert.  The link is to the one I make....  includes 12 minutes of beating the egg white and sugar.  I did a test run last weekend and it is good.  I will make another one tomorrow.  I will put whipped cream and strawberries on mine, rather than the peaches.  Then of course, we go to Mass in the evening.

Now for another birthday card.  Another friend celebrating a birthday very close to Christmas.  Jasmine like unusual and quirky things, and one of the TGF stamps I got from Kelly, seemed perfect.  It is from a set called Sweet and Toxic
I bought some new Copics after seeing this tutorial and this one.... on hair and skin colouring.  Plus found some Neenah card as well.... what a difference that makes.
So here is the card.
Toxic but Sweet Birthday

I used some Bic markers as well as Copics to colour the rest of the image in. I added some Black Enamel Accents to her shoes and the skulls in her hair.  The sentiment is computer generated using Travelling Typewriter font (available here) and cut out with a Spellbinders tag die.   Inside I typed " Have a wicked birthday" 

Well  that's all from me for now.... if I don't get time tomorrow to post, I wish you all a Happy Christmas and God's blessing to you all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Birthday card and an Angel.

My friend's birthday was today (21st) and I decided it was time to make a birthday card for a change!

Recently I won some lovely The Greeting Farm stamps on Kelly's blog so I decided to ink up this little lady and this is what came about.
Birthday Girl


I stamped Anya onto some watercolour paper and coloured her in with Distress inks.  I added some stickles and Glossy Accents and then die cut her out and matted onto some green PP.  The PP I used for the background is from Rosie's Studio.  I randomly coloured in some of the daisies with Peeled Paint ink, added some cream lace and a couple of paper flowers.  The base is kraft from Stampin' Up!

Christmas Angel

My angel came about after some surfing the net a few weeks ago and finding this tutorial on Paper Angels.  I didn't have some of the items.... namely an ornament for the head, but did have some polystyrene balls that I painted white.  I still have to work out how to put the halo on.... but meanwhile it is sitting in my lounge.

Tonight is another very muggy night.... all the doors and windows open but still way too hot and I have to make some little cards for my work colleagues to go with the home-made chocolates I have made for them.  Plus I have a couple of candles I want to make for a gift as well.... so onwards..... till next time, take care

Monday, December 20, 2010

A splash of Yellow

The challenge at the moment over at The Playdate Cafe is to use a splash of yellow with Black and White.   My SIL in London is currently undergoing an intense regime of Chemotherapy for her cancer, so I wanted something cheerful to send her ~ something to give her hope and this is what I came up with.....

PDCC60= A splash of yellow


The flower collage is from Darkroom Door and lends itself well to a splash of colour.  I used watercolour pencils, a blender pen, and a Marvey Marker in yellow to colour in.  The flower centres are black Enamel Accents- really shiny.  The sentiment was stamped with Versamark and white EP added.  It is one from Hero Arts.  Perfect for what I wanted.

We are sending lots of love and prayers heading to Helen as she is stuck at home in really really cold snowy weather and is feel frustrated.  Until this struck, she was a marathon runner.... in fact she took part in the New York Marathon not so long ago... and now not being able to train or even jog is really upsetting her.

Well that's me for tonight.... still suffering from rather muggy weather.... had some much need but annoying rain over the weekend.... lots of it!!!!!  Take care everyone

Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Elegant Christmas Card

Browsing through some English card making magazines this week has given me a bit of an elegant inspiration for some last minute cards.  I have shown one I CASE'd directly.  And this card I made was inspired by one other I saw... mainly I stuck with the colour scheme and partially with the design.

Red and Gold Christmas


All the stamps on this card are by Inkadinkado.  I recently purchased the flourishes as they reminded my of a Hero Arts flourish, but for a lesser price, I got 4 different sized flourishes.
I embossed it in gold on a piece of burgundy card.  I used a scrap of white to matt it.... yes white- but I used a trick I saw on Stamp TV with Gina K - embossed the edges of the mat with gold EP as well.... a neat trick to ensure your gold matches.  I stamped the sentiment and holly leaves in gold EP as well.  The ribbon looks a bit bright in the photo but in reality, it looks good.

I like this design that I got some red card and did another one tonight, but used a smaller sentiment.   As I had a bit of blank space I stamped very subtlety the Magical Background by Hero Arts in a Gold Versacolour ink.  It hardly shows on the photos ( which I have taken at night under a normal dining room light~  must make a proper lightbox)


I used a Marvey Metallic pen in Gold to make the matting edge this time.   I have entered the second card into the Hero Arts Challenge for December as the EP really makes it shine.

I am just waiting up tonight as my son has asked me to go pick him up at 11.30pm...  at Titirangi, which is a good 40-45 min drive from home.... and somewhere I have only driven to once and that was in the daylight..... Aren't I a good Mummy!!!!!  I hope he appreciates it!!!!  Still give me some time to create.  I want to try a technique with bleach painting... so this might be the time to do it.


Hope everyone is having a great weekend.... it is HOT and STICKY here as it has been raining but still up to 25-28 degrees Celcius.  Yucky tropical weather.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hero Arts Flickr group Christmas card swap

The lovely Anita organised a Christmas card swap via the Flickr Hero Arts group and I just had to take part..... I SO LOVE getting mail from all round the world.  Being here in New Zealand means that anything I take part in means overseas mail arriving.....

My recipient was Marijke ( aka Pippa67).  Here is the card I made

I used a small musical stamp for the centre which I stamped then distressed.  I layered this onto the blue card which I distressed with inks and my fingernail... then the whole panel was added to a kraft card base.  I then stamped three trees from an old Hero Arts set, cut them out added some glitter and glossy accents - and then after I had photographed it and before I sent it to Marijke I added some red gems.


I received a wonderful card from Ivy ( Ishouldbesleeping) but due to the Neighbourhood Barbeque being at our place yesterday and the constant rain today, I haven't taken a photo of yet.

Talking about the barbeque.... what a beauty.  We had rain on Tuesday with hot sticky weather and the same again today, but yesterday afternoon it cleared nicely and we had a lovely evening.  Every year we host the houses around us to a barbeque.  It is BYO and we invite the 8 houses nearby, this year adding a 9th as we recently meet Noeline who lives 2 houses away... She has lived there longer than we have ( 18years for us) and this year was the first time we had actually meet her!!!!!!!!!  Last night we had 10 turn up from 6 houses.  Plus a couple of little ones... all in all a great night with most everyone not leaving till 10.30pm.  It was such a lovely evening we were able to eat outside and stay out all night. ( apart from some of us having to resort to bug spray for the mosquitoes)  Totally enjoyed but by the time I tided up and got to bed it was late and this morning I struggled to rise on time....

that's it for me for now.... off for an early night.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gold and Silver Christmas cards.....

I still need a few more Christmas cards and have just picked up the latest copy ( or at least the latest here in NZ) of Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine.  It is the Nov 2010 issue and in it was a lovely card by Karen Watson that used Krylon webbing and silver ink.  I decided to CASE the card using what I had to hand... namely a crackle stamp that looks a bit like the webbing, and using some Hero Arts and Papermania snowflake stamps.  This is what I came up with....
I wasn't entirely happy with the snowflake.  Realised I should have embossed both the crackle and the snowflake.  So embossed the snowflake and replaced the panel

Silver and white Christmas  WMC35


Much better!!!!!  in fact I so liked the design, I decided to do it again, this time in gold and white.
Gold Christmas  ( wmc#35)

I embossed both the crackle and the snowflake on this one and was much more pleased with the results.

As both used a Hero Arts stamp, I have entered into the challenge for December - under the shine part, and as it was a CASEd card, both have been entered into the Wee Memories challenge this week and I have also entered both into the Caardvarks final challenge as they are monochromatic.

One last little tidbit.... one of the guys I work with, Mike, created this little ditty of the 4 of us who work together..... it's a bit of a laugh.  See if you can recognise me
Elf yourself



Take care all.... While many of you are suffering the cold weather.... I am SWELTERING in very humid conditions.... so stuffy here tonight.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Early Christmas Present.... and a great bargain.

My husband has given me my Christmas present a bit early..... He tried to keep it a secret.  He and my Dad told Mum and I that they were off to Bunnings ( hardware shop) but I was a bit surprised they didn't get anything.... but thought it might just have been a reccie... as they were looking at an irrigation system that Dad was going to put in for us..  The only reason I found out was that Hubby needed me to transfer the money from our joint internet only bank account - and only I have the access. A wee bit of a surprise when he said he needed over $8000 for my present!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And this is what it is~

Isn't he just the best!  It is a Peugeot 307 and real cute.  I've been driving it around and love it. 

And now onto my bargain.... I went to Scottie's last week ( one of my local stamp and scrap stores) and they were having a big sale.  I saw the Tim Holtz Tattered leaves on sale and so were Spellbinders - so bought a set of tags and the Tattered Leaves as well as few other bits and pieces.  When I was checking out, I queried my loyalty points...as I knew I must have had some.... Some turned out to be $50 worth....so I got all my goodies for nearly half price in the end.... well worth it.
Craft wise I have been doing a few more of my Starry night cards, using up some of the colour combos I stamped off over the past weeks.

The first card turned out a disaster all round.  I started by creasing the base card in the wrong place and had to added a portion to the bottom to even it up.  I stamped my new Magical background on a scrap piece of card and added it.  Covered the join with some red card.  Matted my focal piece onto red card and added some Kindyglitz which reacted with the ink and splotched everywhere.  Was extremely disappointed in that.... but once it dry, it looked semi-okay....

More happy with the second one.  Again used my Magical background, some patterned paper.  This time I stuck to glitter - worked much better!!!!!!

Christmas is now just round the corner, so hope you all have done your shopping.... I still have a few little bits and pieces to get

Take care

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maim Doodle challenge - Anything goes

I saw on Deirdre's  blog that Maim Doodles challenge this time is Anything Goes.  You can see it here.  Well I still have a few Chrissie cards to make, so as I had downloaded some time ago this wonderful freebie,,( MDoo Angel) I decided to make a card for the challenge.

Christmas Angel -

I resized the angel and printed it directly onto the card.  I then reprinted on copy paper and cut out to make a mask.  I masked the image and then sponged Broken China distress ink onto the card and stamped a large Papermania snowflake onto the background.  I then removed the mask and stamped the Merry Christmas ( from a sparkle clear set by Hero Arts) in the centre of the star.  I then coloured the image with distress inks and iridescence medium for some shine.  I used my paintbrush to put some Stickles ( Frosted Lace) onto the wings.   Added some silver stickles to the snowflakes and my one-layer card was done.

Because it has some shimmer and shine, I am entering Hero Arts challenge as well.

I see some of my American friends are feeling the cold a bit(!!!) I thought I'd let you know we are having a wonderful weekend of hot sunny weather.  Walked down to the beach today, Hubby swam ( but it is still toooo cold for me) I just lay on my towel and read my book!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take care

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I've been soooo busy.........


that I haven't had much time to craft, or visit blogs and leave comments....  with my parents here, I have wanted to spend as much time as I can with them.  Plus I was addressing all my Christmas cards...which took ages I must say.  Then work was busy ~  out on the road for a couple of days and we had our Christmas Day.... started with team building and ended with Lunch.

We started the day by Lawn Bowling.... we were put into teams and played against each other.... hilarious as only one of the 20 odd of us had ever bowled before.  My team of me, Fiona and Abdul drew one game and lost the other....



We followed this by coffee at the Naval Museum nearby in Devonport and then onto North Head for a Scavenger Hunt.   North Head is an a headland overlooking Auckland Harbour that was a strategic defence area and has lots of old tunnels, gun emplacements and other interesting things.  Our hunt involved a looking for a number of clues and writing them down,.... my group ended up just wandering around the site as it was such a beautiful day and there was just so much of interest to see.  We did however get most of the questions completed as one of our members went straight to watch the video in the info centre while the other 4 of us meandered around.





A few hills to climb, but as you can see the sights were lovely.    The place down on the beach is where we went for lunch.  It is called McHughs.  It has the most amazing food.

A fun day was had by all but everyone commented the next day how tired they were that evening...  More so for me as I ended up going out to dinner with my parents and my son and his girlfriend.  A spur of the moment thing but great fun.  Hubby was at his touch rugby so we got takeaway for him.

Well my parents are now winging their way home to the Gold Coast after 3 weeks with us, - back to normality for us.... I will miss having them here.... loved it Mum and Dad!!!!!!!!!  )
( know they will check this when they get home!!!!!)

Enjoy your weekend all.... hope you did the Hero Arts Blog Hop.... a great showcase of the new stamps coming out!!!

Cheers for now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Operation Ruthie ~ Reveal.

Back in October 2009, Deborah let us know that one of our Hero Arts Flickr group.... Ruth.... was struggling with cancer and undergoing chemo and she( Deborah) had come up with a great idea.... that we could send Ruth a card or two.... totally anonymously and 55 of us took up the challenge.  Deborah even thought up some wonderful names for us.... mine was Oak Goblinglitter...
Now that Ruth is doing better, and it being Secret Santa time of the year, it has been decided to reveal all....

Here is the first card I sent
a special card for a special lady


Unfortunately I did not take a photo of the second card I sent... but I hope Ruth enjoyed it.


A big thanks to Deborah who organised this mammoth task.  It was fun to design something inspiring for Ruth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Some crafting at last.......

seem like forever since I did some crafting..... what with the wedding, having my parents here, working and addressing Christmas cards......as well as worrying about my hubby's sister in England - her melanoma has returned - this time metathesized on some of her organs and bones.  A few prayers would be appreciated as this is his 3rd sister to get cancer!!!!

I have some cards to show you that I made with my Mum a few days before the wedding... and then a couple I did recently.  I did make one for the Hero Arts Flickr group - for Pippa97 ( Marijke) but till I hear she has received it, I'll not post it.....

So to start, Mum and I got a bit of a production line going for some cards for her.... Using my favourite Starry Night cling by Hero Arts - using lots of different colours of ink and many different sentiments.....
Production Line


and this one I did was inspired by a picture in a shop magazine

Blue Wreath

( visit my Flickr for details)

Today's make was a very quick and simple card made following the instructions in my latest Papercraft Essentials magazine.  It is usually a couple of months behind England where it is produced.... but it is a mag I enjoy.  This issue had some lovely papers and decoupage sheets from CraftuPrint  a website that has wonderful images, sheets etc that you can purchase.
Quick card

I was pleased with the result.  It made a slightly smaller card than usual, but it looks sweet.  I added stickles and a gem and layered the centre panel on pop dots.

Oh well... I still have a number of cards to write in and address, so back to it.... plus I still have the annual Turley Family letter to write...
take care

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A sad day in New Zealand

Today was a very poignant and sad day, as New Zealanders grieved for the 29 miners who died in the Pike River Mine disaster of Friday 19th November.  A memorial service was held in Greymouth ( the town nearest the mine, and where many of the miners lived)  As yet, their bodies have not been able to be recovered.  At 2.00pm today, the country stood still and quiet for two minutes to remember.  At my office, we all gathered round together and stood in silence then our team lead, read out the 29 names.... very emotional.  This amazing poem was written by Sean Plunket - and I'd like to share it...

THE MEN OF PIKE
They came from near and far away
The men of Pike to work that day
The afternoon shift way down deep
Beneath the mountains oh so steep
A long way in but further out
The afternoon shift sets about
A job not flash but hard and trying
A job that holds the risk of dying

From seventeen to sixty two
They start their shift to see it through
For one his first, for all their last
How could they know there’d be a blast?
For all at once no siren whining
Suddenly the worst in mining
Dust and rubble fill the air
A loader driver thrown clear
Just one other finds the light
The rest are hidden from our sight

And so we learn as news is spread
The news that mining families dread
It’s up at Pike there’s an explosion
Faces drop and hearts are frozen
Who, how many, where and why ----
Will they make it ---- will they die

Fathers, husbands, brothers, sons
Coasters, Kiwis, Aussies, Poms
Mates and friends who we are seeking
Methane gas from coal seams leaking
Vents exploded, phones unheeded
Level heads and strength are needed
The world above unites as one
To bring the missing to the sun

Rescue teams are standing by
As holes are drilled and experts try
To find a way that’s safe and sound
To rescue those beneath the ground
Could robots work where men are mortal
To pierce the dangers of that portal
But alas all effort fails
The darkness of the mine prevails

A second blast of rock and thunder
Hope and prayers are rent asunder
A nation weeps and Coasters mourn
Pike falls silent, dark, forlorn
A hole remains within the ground
Devoid of joy, of life, of sound

Another hole within the heart
Of those forever set apart
From those they loved who went to toil
Digging coal beneath the soil
Those who gave their lives that day
To work a shift for honest pay
They wait at rest within their mine
The men of Pike, the Twenty Nine

Sean Plunket 
RIP 

thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I pray for the families of the lost miners and ask you to do the same.