Thursday, July 31, 2008


Whenever I've gone to catch the bus the last few weeks, I've seen this stunning magnolia tree. It constantly astonishes me that the magnolias here are blooming right now, because in chilly Armidale where I've lived for the past few years, they don't bloom until September...from what I can remember anyway!!

I want to make a card, inspired by this beautiful tree, but I'm having a bit of a hard time working out exactly which SU colours I should use....might have to *borrow* a flower later and try it against all my card stock! {ETA: Ok, I went and picked up some petals off the ground - I couldn't bring myself to take a flower off the tree- and wouldn't you know it, with all the colours SU has, there's not one that matches perfectly! Pomegranate is the colour that comes the closest to the deep colour at the base of the petals, which then gradually fades to a creamy off-white at the tip. So, I'm suggesting Pomegranate, Pretty in Pink and Very Vanilla....but you don't have to stick with the colours....go with whatever the tree evokes for you.}

So, wanna play with me? Make a card inspired by this beautiful tree and post a link in the comments here so everyone can see.....I might even pick my favourites and post them on the blog, a la Kristina Werner, seeing as she's not doing a colour inspiration challenge this week.

I'll even give you all til Sunday to do one...come on, you know you love a challenge...right?

Have a beautiful day wherever you are

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Recently I participated in a card swap with Alisa's group. The cards were all made with stamps from the new mini catalogue and we had two groups. I was the coordinator for the swap, for the purely selfish reason of getting to see all the creations first....yes I'm like that, comes from being the eldest of 5 kids! There were 2 groups of 6 and I was initially intending to only participate in one group, but due to one lady having to pull out, I ended up being in both groups. In the end I was really happy about it, because it meant I got twice as many lovely creations!

Now that the cards are on their way to their new homes, I thought that I would post my creations here. I think that Mad is the only one of the ladies who regularly reads my blog, so I don't think I'm spoiling any surprises (cause she's already seen them). And even if the others do lurk around, well the cards always look better IRL than in my crappy pictures!
***{ETA: I didn't mean that Mad is the only person that ever reads my blog....I know that there are a lot of you...well 5 or 6 at anyway...what I meant was of the ladies that are participating in the swaps. This edit was prompted by Kristy noting in the comments that she regularly reads my blog...I know that honey and I thank you for it!!!}

This first card was for group one:

The stamp set was "One of a Kind" and I also used the matching Boho Blossom punch. Strangely enough, the Berry Bliss DSP co-ordinates perfectly with this stamp set...actually it's not really strange at all, but rather one of the things I really like about Stampin' Up! is that a lot of the stamps, punches and papers are made to match one another, not to mention the colours in the DSP matches CS. It just makes life so much easier when you don't have to stress over finding things to match. Anyway, I've used Pretty in Pink, Close to Cocoa, Purely Pomegranate and Whisper White CS, Pomegranate and Choc Chip ink, and finished it off with a Cocoa button threaded with hemp twine. I really struggled with this one for some reason, and had made about 4 different samples before deciding on this. In the end I quite liked it....but not as much as I liked my card for the second group.This card uses my favourite stamp set of the moment, Bloomin' with Beauty. I love that pot of flowers and it's heaps of fun to colour. I've gone with in-colours for this one: Purely Pomegranate (again! can you tell I love this colour?), Wild Wasabi and River Rock for the CS and inks. The Blossom sentiment is stamped in Wasabi and the flowers are coloured with Pomegranate, the leaves Wasabi and the pot in River Rock using the aqua painter and ink on the lid on the ink pads. There's some Pomegranate stitched ribbon and a couple of Antique Brass brads to finish it off. And look....I tore the paper again and did some distressing!!!

Hope you all have a fabulous day wherever you are! This sun is actually shining here today and so I'm feeling much more cheerful! Still have to go do some work though :(

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some flowers for you....

Well, they're not actually for you really, they're mine....but aren't they pretty? The little shop around the corner always has fresh flowers for sale and they had these stunning roses for only $10 on Saturday, so I bought some for myself! I love having flowers in the house, especially when it's so cold, wet and miserable outside, they really make me happy!

On to the craft.... I did have another attempt at Kazan's sketch and this time it actually turned out more like it was supposed to:
We had unrealistic fish last week and this one I like to call the 'unrealistic flower and strange bee'. I am finding that I'm really drawn to the bold brights when it's grey and miserable outside and that's what I've gone with here. The stamp set is Bloomin' with Beauty, the cardstock is Very Vanilla, Orchid Opulence and Lovely Lilac. I used watercolour paper for the flower panel. I've also used the corner rounder to make the scallops, the 1 3/8"& 1 1/4" circle punches and the scallop punch, as well as the spiral punch for the bit in the top left corner.

I think it would be cool if bees really were purple, it would make them easier to spot and I could get away faster!!!

Anyway, tonight I am going to try and do Laura's sketch for the Caarvarks challenge...but it's been cold and wet here again today and I might just go to bed and watch tv!!

Hope you have a great day...or evening,

Monday, July 28, 2008

So many birthdays....

This first card is for my friend Helene, whose birthday is on Sunday. I know that I said that the other card I made was for her (in the unrealistic fish post), but I forgot I needed to send a card to my SU 'sister' Tanya, so that one ended up going to her. Yesterday I sat down and made a heap of things, and this card was one of them.I used Purely Pomegranate, Blue Bayou and Very Vanilla cardstock, Pomegranate and Blue inks and Blue Bayou double-stitched ribbon. The background is the swirls and small flowers from 'Baroque Motifs' and the sentiment is 'Happy Everything'. The sentiment panel has 4 little gold brads and is popped up on Dimensionals. The inside is prettied up too, with the scallopy flower from Baroque Motifs in Blue on Vanilla CS. It's pretty simple but they're 'her' colours and I think she should like it.

This next card is for my Uncle Des, whose birthday is on Saturday. I know that a lot of you (me included) struggle with making male cards, so I went with a nice masculine combination of browns and the least 'girly' stamp in my collection.
The cardstock is Chocolate Chip (yes Mad this colour really is growing on me), Close to Cocoa and Creamy Caramel. The shell was first stamped on watercolour paper and coloured using Choc Chip, Cocoa and Caramel markers and then blended with the aqua painter. I cut out the shell and then stamped it again on the Caramel CS in Choc Chip ink before sticking the water coloured shell on top. This was to give it some dimension, as well as to get those little sticky out bits on there, because I'd cut them off the coloured image. The Caramel panel was then matted onto some Choc Chip and then stuck onto the Cocoa base. The small shell was stamped in VersaMark all over the Cocoa base first, then I stamped 'Celebrate' from 'Wonderful Words' in Choc chip and it was done. I really wanted to stick some ribbon or something on there, but my uncle is NOT a ribbon kinda guy...LOL, so I just left it the way it was. I'm loving the way the shell turned out, it looks almost colouring skills are definitely improving!! Yes, I do love myself...PMSL!

In other birthday news, Anastasia LOVED her present. She thought the little gift bag was really cool and loved how everything matched. She's very taken with the Le Jardin paper, so it was a good choice....she even told me it wasn't too 'girly' for her, and that the soft blue was perfect. I think she was worried that she was going to get one of my extravagant pink and purple creations, which she has seen in the past, and so ended up being pleasantly surprised!

Ok then my friends, I had really better go and do some work....there's been too many distractions this morning and I've been trying to get this post done for an hour and a half! Needless to say, there is a pile of work awaiting my attention. I'm going to try and get back later to post my second attempt at the Kazan sketch for the Caarvarks'll be happy to know that this time I actually managed to stick to the sketch!!! I know...I was impressed too!

Have a great day,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today's post brought to you by....

...the extraordinary Terry Pratchett! This, my dear readers, is actually quite lucky for you because it was almost brought to you by the Secret Grammar Police (SGP) and would have contained a rant about the incorrect usage of homonyms, the prevalence of saying me & someone else (rather than someone else & I) and an absolutely appallingly bad usage of the word *whom* in a published scrapbook layout (which also had the aforementioned incorrect use of me etc). But I thought that I should refrain from inflicting my grammatical snobbery on you all and instead share with you some of my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes:

God does not play dice with the universe. He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
'Good Omens' {this is my all time favourite}

Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time might start to think.
'Small Gods'

He says gods like to see an atheist around. Gives them something to aim at.
'Small Gods'

An education was a bit like a communicable disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
Terry Pratchett

I hope you enjoyed them. This may become a regular feature to amuse you when I have nothing to show you in the way of crafty eye candy. I have made's just that they can't be posted here at the moment for reasons of don't want to spoil the surprise!!

Hope you all have a fabulous day


Saturday, July 26, 2008

This one's for Treez

My lovely friend Miss Treez {you can find her blog over there to the right} is always waaay too hard on herself and her card making abilities. She sees flaws where I see only beauty. So, today I am deliberately showing you a very flawed card that I made yesterday at our team meeting. Please note the smeared black ink from the cherries on the background, the exceedingly wonky hole punching in the rather dodgy scallops at the bottom of the card and the less than perfect alignment of the sentiment. What you may not immediately notice is the fact that the scalloped circle should be up on dimensionals, but isn't. It also should have white gel pen dots around the scallops as well. The real reason that this card is soooo badly constructed is that I was having way too much fun talking and laughing with Tracey, Leonie and Ness to pay proper attention to what I was doing. But hey, it's all about having fun...isn't it????
Now, I'd like to show you an example of Treez's work. This gorgeous creation was awaiting me when I got home yesterday.....
It's a belated birthday card and this photo does not even begin to do justice to the beauty of it. So, Miss Treez, let me just say here for all the world to read (or at least the 5 or 6 people that regularly read this blog) that I think you are totally awesome!!! Your cards are even better in real life than the pictures on your blog, and you seriously need to just put your big girl panties on and deal with the fact that you have TALENT!!!!!

Right, now that's out of the way I'm off to make some Secret Santa goodies and a couple of birthday cards.
Hope you have a great day,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Anastasia

Tomorrow (Saturday) is my landlady and good friend Anastasia's birthday. When I moved here to Sydney 6 months ago I didn't know a single person! I was so incredibly lucky to phone Anastasia about a room for rent and to be able to move into the house where I now live. Anastasia rents out the rooms in the house, mostly to grad students, and she takes such good care of us. She looks after the lawns, cleans the house, and always brings me milk or other grocery items if I email her. When I first arrived, she knew that I was all alone in the big, bad city and stopped by every day to check on me. She took me to the local shopping centre, and out for coffee, and was really so kind and compassionate when I felt homesick. I feel truly blessed to have been so lucky to find someone like her.
Ok, enough blathering, onto the craft.... Seeing as Anastasia is such a special person, I wanted to make her something nice for her birthday, but I also knew that it couldn't be 'too much' or she would be embarrassed. So I made this cute little gift set, consisting of a card, a little gift bag (with some Body Shop shower gel and moisturiser in it) and a little post it note holder. Naturally they all match!
I've used Le Jardin designer paper and River Rock, Very Vanilla, and Bashful Blue CS. On the card I have added some Pretties flowers, coloured with Bashful Blue and Sahara Sand markers, a rhinestone brad and some half-backed pearls. I've used wide Vanilla and thinner Bashful Blue grosgrain ribbons as well. The sentiment comes from 'Happy Everything' and is stamped in Bashful Blue.
This is a close up of the little post-it note cover. You can find info on how to make it on Sarah Gough's blog here. This was such a cute idea and I knew Anastasia would love it, as she does essay editing and uses alot of post-its. This was done with River Rock CS, Le Jardin paper, Vanilla ribbon, the 'flower' is the five petal flower punched out twice and the scallop punch with a blue rhinestone brad for the centre.
This awesome gift bag...or box-in-a-bag as it is known came from the talented Diana Gibbs, and you can find the tutorial here. It is super quick and easy to do, and looks fantastic! It was just the perfect size to pop in the two little bottles of Body Shop goodness that I got for Anastasia, but would also be perfect for chocolates or any other small gift item.
Basically it has the same 'ingredients as the card and post-it cover, with the addition of some flowers punched with the Boho Blossoms punch, Bashful Blue buttons and Jumbo Antique Brass eyelets that I set with my crop-o-dile. Oh, and the little flower in a circle done in white craft ink around the scalloped bit at the bottom. If you check out the tutorial you'll notice that I made a few changes, mainly because I don't have the tab punch (yet) and I put the eyelets in to make sure I didn't tear the CS when I tied the ribbon....I'm a bit clumsy like that!

So, my housemate Caren thought the little post-it cover was cute and she wanted one too...but in Chocolate Chip to match her room. So here's the one I made for her. The paper for this one is Berry Bliss, the CS Choc Chip and Close to Cocoa and the button is Vanilla. The Choc satin ribbon is from the 'Theatre' ribbon originals. She loves it!
Of course, after making one for both Caren and Anastasia, I thought I should have one for myself....'cept in PINK. And while I was making it I had this piece of left over CS and thought it was the perfect size for a bookmark.
These both use Rose Red and Regal Rose CS, Rose Red DSP and Regal Rose wide grosgrain ribbon. There's my very last pink rhinestone brad in the centre of the flower on the post-it cover, and the big pink flower comes from my stash of Smiggle winnings. The button in the flower centre is one from Mama's stash...who knows where it came from! The two things took about 5 mins to make and certainly help cheer me up when I'm wading through boring texts!!

Wow, that turned into a really long post, didn't it! Anyway, I was going to wait to show you Anastasia's gifts tomorrow....but I couldn't make TwistyKristy wait that long ;) Hopefully I'll make something new tonight to share with you tomorrow instead.
Hope you are having a fabulous day, wherever you are!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Completely Random Weirdness

As mentioned before, there are a lot of really odd things out there on the's another one:

How will you be remembered in history books

Kristie shot a gun into the air and killed god.
... afterward, Kristie woke up beside a horse.
'How will you be remembered in history books?' at

Those of you who know me might find this one a little spooky....freaked me out, that's for sure.

There are a whole bunch of funny quizzes you can do on this site....I also did 'What is your theme song?'
Your Theme Song:"Paint It Black", The Rolling Stones' What is your theme song?' at

There are a whole heap of hilarious quizzes....some of which the results are inappropriate to share with you here! Go on check it out if you need a laugh...kept me entertained for a good 20 mins!

Have a great day

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kristina's Colour Inspiration #17

It's that time of the week again, another colour inspiration challenge from the awesome Kristina Werner. This week the inspiration is from this amazing 50's dress {I would so wear that!}, and the colours are Rose Red, Regal Rose, Sage Shadow and Whisper White - definitely my kind of colour scheme!
This is my card:
As soon as I saw the inspiration I thought of this cute flowery dress from the retired "Bloomin' with Happiness". I stamped the dress in Sage Shadow onto Whisper White CS and coloured it in with markers in Rose Red and Regal Rose. I left some of the flowers white and dabbed them with Crystal Effects and sprinkled on some Dazzling Diamonds glitter. I mounted that onto a piece of Regal Rose and stamped the "Celebrate" sentiment from "Wonderful Words" in Sage onto a White card base. I used some of the wide double stitched Rose Red ribbon from the 'Fairytale' ribbon originals behind the image panel to set it off. It's really simple, but in real life it's super pretty and sparkly, and I thought it would be nice as a wedding card or even a girly birthday card.

I really love these colours and might even have another play with them.

Hope you have a great day, wherever you are.


2008 Officially declared best birthday ever

Yesterday when I got home there was a parcel in my mailbox.....I knew immediately, without even looking at the return address, who it was from....the pink birdie was a dead give away: was from the fabulous Miss Lauren. Inside this glorious parcel...well, if any of you went to the Caardvarks site after my post yesterday and looked at the design team cards for Kazan's sketch you may recognise it:
Isn't it beautiful...and even more so in real life let me tell you!!! I was definitely doing the happy very own Lauren creation and one that I had admired immensely only two days ago...and now it's taking pride of place on the little window sill above my desk where I can give it suitable admiration all day long!
But that was not the only thing in my parcel....there was also some bubble wrap...or should I say BUBLE WRAP.....
Those of you who have been visiting me for a while will know that I am madly in love with Michael Buble...and to find him "lovingly protecting" my goodies was almost too much for me to bear :) So, I VERY carefully unwrapped the parcel to find a cornucopia of goodness inside. First up there was the ribbon....check out that zebra stripe would ya....AWESOMEThen, there was the bundle of vintage goodies....including some very cool cards that will soon find their way into some collage style creations that I have wanted to experiment with:

Then there was buttons.....I love buttons almost as much as I love ribbon...and check out the cute little sticker on the packet.....very Aussie:
I must confess that there was also chocolate....Ghirardelli milk chocolate squares with caramel filling....I say was because it is now gone.....and it was totally delicious....mmmmm caramel.....

So, I feel like I've had weeks of celebrating my birthday. I've been thoroughly spoilt with beautiful hand made cards and lovely pressies.....I didn't even show you the way cool snake bracelet my Mama got for me....I think she was trying to prevent me getting the snake tattoo that I've been talking about...but it's gorgeous....another weird trait you should know about me - I love snakes....yes, not very girly of me, but they are just so cool, and feel really nice when you touch their skin!

OK, that's probably enough waffling on and bragging about how spoilt I've been. I'm going to go have a nice lie down with an awesome book I got yesterday...VAMPIRES...woohooo!
Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with something to show a card that actually sticks to the sketch!!!! LOL
Have a great day,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Not quite what I intended...

Caardvarks is having another challenge and this time the prize is a spot as a guest designer! The challenge is to make cards based on two sketches exclusive to Caardvarks by the awesomely talented Kazan and Laura from 2 Sketches 4 You. I sat down last night to make a card based on this sketch by Kazan:
And this is what I ended up making:
Mmmmmm...doesn't really follow the sketch huh? I honestly intended to make a card closely following Kazan's fabulous sketch, but as I went along it took on a life of it's own and turned out rather different! I will have another try later I think.

As for the details of this one....I've used Regal Rose, Rose Red, Mellow Moss and Whisper White CS, the background paper is the So Swirly wheel in Mellow Moss and the heart {from 'Always'} and the Thank you {from 'Wonderful Words'} are stamped in VersaMark and embossed with Silver. The flower on the bottom left is made 2 of the little flowers from 'Always' stamped in VersaMark and clear embossed, then cut out and mounted onto a five petal punch flower in Mellow Moss for leaves and held together with a silver brad. The wide Rose Red ribbon is from my favourite 'Fairytale' ribbon originals. Oh, and I pierced around the heart using the mat pack and piercing tool.

I actually really like the way it turned's just not very much like the sketch and I'm not sure whether I should enter it in the challenge....I'll have to see if I can come up with something better!

Have an awesome day,

Monday, July 21, 2008

MORE birthday cards

This morning the mail man came with another four birthday cards for me! Added to the one I got on Friday, that's another 5 on top of all the others....I have never gotten so many beautiful birthday cards in my whole life, not even for my big 18th birthday party!!!! The gorgeous Garden Whimsy card is from my SU! 'sister''s actually her birthday today...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TANYA!!! The other 4 are from some of the wonderfully talented Utah Divas. This special {and awesomely talented} group of ladies really know how to make a girl feel special on her birthday. I must admit I've been a bit slack with sending out the cards, but after receiving so many myself I've decided to make a special effort to get some out for the August birthdays, as well as thank you cards for the ones I've received. Hey, it's a great excuse to do some creating right?

If you want any info on these fabulous creations leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer your questions.


Totally non-craft related post

The last time I posted a lolcats pic referring to Schrodinger's cat Lauren asked me what an Ancient Historian was doing messing around with quantum mechanics. I thought that I would clarify the issue by stating that my BA is in Studies in Religion and I did a bunch of Philosophy units...just for fun. Yes, I am warped and twisted. The Schrodinger's cat thing is a "thought experiment", and as such is discussed in Philosophy when you study what constitutes knowledge, how do we know what we know....and consequently encounter quantum superposition and quantum decoherence. For those of you who haven't been completely freaked out by the random weirdness of this post and are interested in the details of the thought experiment you can find them here.

Anyway, I saw this one this morning and laughed til I cried....told you I was weird...right?

Hope to be back later with something craft related to show you...until then, have a fantastic day :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My First Award!!!

My beautiful, amazing, kind, and super talented sister Madonna has given me my very first ever blog award...'cause she thinks I'm BRILLIANT...right??? Well actually she says it's because I've come so far in such a short time!
The rules that accompany this award are:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

OK, this is the hard do I choose? I just can't pick....I have about 150 blogs on my Google reader and I enjoy all of them! So.....I am going to have to think about this for a bit and save my awarding privileges until I can decide!!!

However....if you are reading this and think that YOU deserve the award, leave a comment with your blog details and I'll come check you might just make my list...LOL :)

Unrealistic Fish & Pretty Flowers

Is it just me, or do other people have trouble coming up with titles for their blog posts?

Anyway... on to the cards. Both of these cards are for friends who have birthdays coming up soon. I really have trouble making cards for men, I mean I have plenty of 'girly' stamps, but very few that are suitable for men's cards! I really should do something about that....but there are so many pretty stamps sets that I want first....mmmmm. So, when I needed to make a card for my friend Rob I decided to use 'Fishy Friends' again. He has the most enormous fish tank with amazing Lake Malawi Cichlids...Electric Blues, Electric Yellows, and a whole heap of other ones that I can't remember their names! I had thought of trying to make these fish realistic, but then when I got out the markers to colour them I was just having too much fun to do that, so.... "Unrealistic Fish"......The card stock is Yoyo Yellow, Gable Green, Tempting Turquoise and Brilliant Blue. The same colours were used on the fish, with the addition of some Green Galore, which was also used to stamp the jellyfish "seaweed". The Happy Birthday sentiment is from Cheery Chat and was stamped in Not Quite Navy to make it visible under all the Crystal Effects that I used on the "bubbles" and the fish to make them super shiny! I hope he likes it....but at least I know the kids will think it's cool!

This next card is for Rob's wife and my best friend, Helene. Now, she's not really a girly girl, and I had originally planned on making her something different, but I'd been playing with the Le Jardin Designer Paper for another project {which I will show you next Saturday...until then it's TOP SECRET} and I just had to use it. I may change my mind and make the card I had originally planned, but this one is so pretty I thought I'd show you anyway!

The card base is Very Vanilla, topped with So Saffron, Bashful Blue and the DSP. The sentiment and white flower are rub ons from 'A Perfect Day', which are in the new mini catalogue. The big blue flower and small circle are another cute thing from the new mini...die cut Blooms. They come in 4 colours and there are heaps of different flower shapes...too cute! The other circle is some Vanilla CS and it's all held together with a blue rhinestone brad for some sparkle. The ribbon is the most beautiful So Saffron with little embroidered flowers, from the 'Fairytale' ribbon originals that Madonna gave me for my birthday. This one took a lot less time to make than the fishy one.... NO STAMPING!!! But it's so pretty in real life....I just love that DSP.

I have been very creative this weekend, and plan to play some more lots of cool ideas to try out and lots of new stamp sets that haven't seen ink yet!!! I hate having uninked rubber, I think those stamps might be feeling a bit why did she buy us and then not even use us??? Yes, I am a little odd...but I'm ok with that! :)

And I'm feeling very virtuous, because my swaps are all finished...a whole week early!!! So I have time to do some fun stuff. My back has been naughty the last few days and playing with my 'toys' distracts me from thinking about how miserable I feel....I'm considering writing to the Health Minister to recommend that they introduce Stamping as a treatment for chronic pain conditions and have it subsidised by the you think they'll buy it?

Have a great day whatever you are doing,


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Challenge Complete!

The final challenge from Alisa on Wednesday night was to make a dahlia fold and use it on a card. Well, let me just say that my 'tea bag fold' technique needs a little work! However, in the end I did manage to come up with something half way respectable....

I needed to make a get well card for my SU! 'sister' Cath, who had surgery on her back this week! She had to have some disc removed at L4/5 (for those of you who know what I'm talking about), and having had the same surgery myself 2 1/2 years ago, I know how the poor girl is feeling!!! Plus she sent me an awesome handmade birthday card so of course I needed to thank her for that as well. So I decided to use the dahlia on a card for her and in the end it turned out rather nice...if I do say so myself.

The paper for the dahlia and the background is the gorgeous 'Fall Flowers'...this paper is soooo yummy in real life, even though it's not really *my* colours, I like it! The card stock is Sahara Sand for the card base, Really Rust and Old olive for the layers. In the middle of the dahlia is a large green Rhinestone brad and the corners of the sentiment panel have gold brads. The sentiment is from "Cheery Chat" and was inked up in VersaMark and then coloured with my Really Rust marker....unfortunately I was a bit challenged there and didn't do such a good job covering all the letters, but after I had embossed it with clear embossing powder I really liked the way it is kind of two real life it looks cool and like I meant it to be like that! I put a little bit of Bashful Blue grosgrain ribbon behind the flower and it was done! {the actual colour that matches these papers is Soft Sky, but I had the Bashful Blue bit left over from another project I was working on and thought it looked good...see June I was using my 'scraps'}
I'm not sure if I'll be making too many of these dahlias in the future, but if you want to try it the instructions are on a fabulous tutorial at Splitcoaststampers.....
I had a very creative night last night and I'm looking forward to showing you some of the gorgeous things I made...unfortunately you'll have to wait a bit until the recipients have them...I'd hate to spoil the surprise!!
Right, I'm off to finish up my swap cards and then I might just make a few things for FUN... I love Saturdays!
Have a fantastic day wherever you are,

Friday, July 18, 2008


The second challenge Alisa gave for the cyberstamp on Wednesday night was to use VersaMark on a card (or layout). It could be any technique you liked and I initially thought that I would do emboss resist....but I'm sure you all know what it's start out with a plan to do one thing and end up doing something else entirely!! This afternoon I was lying down, cause my new medication had made me really dizzy...although some people would probably say that's my normal state :) Anyway....I had this idea that I really wanted to use this pink ruffled ribbon from the Ribbon Originals 'Fairytale' pack that Madonna gave me for my birthday. These ribbons are sooooo yummy. Then I thought about the heart from 'Always', one of the new sets that I got from the new mini catalogue (starting August 1st). So, that's how the colour scheme came about. The ruffled ribbon is Regal Rose, so I used that with Rose Red and Silver.

There's lots of silver embossing on this card, along with silver ink for the 'Always' sentiment, and a gorgeous flower silver brad from the new 'Styled Silver' hodgepodge hardware. The silver brads in the corners are from that HPH as well. The corners were punched out with the 1/2" circle punch and I used the 1 3/8" and 1 1/4' circle punches to mount the sentiment.

The card turned out completely different from what I started to make, but in the end I really like it! As usual it's much prettier in real life :( but I guess that's always the way! I'll probably replace the pic tomorrow when I've got better light for a of these days I'll get myself a proper light box for taking pictures at night, but until then you'll just have to put up with my shoddy photography!! {ETA: Have put in a better photo and made a note to myself not to take any more pictures at night until I get the light problem sorted out!}

Anyway, just thought I'd share this with I just have to think of someone to send it to!!

Have a great day


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kristina's Colour Inspiration #16

Tonight we have another colour challenge from Kristina Werner, inspired by these really cute little baby booties...aren't they sweet!
As regular readers of my ramblings know, I have a bit of an issue with Orange, more specifically Pumpkin's a long story that I promise I will reveal in day when I have nothing more interesting to write about ;)
Anyway, here's what I came up with:

Not the best picture...but who expects anything else from me....really? The base card is Certainly Celery and topped with Soft Sky. The fish was stamped in Stazon onto Very Vanilla then coloured with Pumpkin and Celery markers. I then rubbed it all over with VersaMark and embossed it with clear embossing powder to make it shiny. I cut it out, omitting all the fiddly little bits, then stamped it again directly onto the Sky CS and stuck the coloured one on top. The 'seaweed' at the bottom is the jelly fish tentacles stamped upside down {Thanks to Madonna for that cool idea!} in Celery and bits coloured with the Celery marker {both stamps from "Fishy Friends"}. I then sponged the Sky CS with Sky ink and stamped the little fish in the background with VersaMark. The sentiment is a rub on from 'Cherished Memories' on Vanilla CS and punched out with the small oval punch. It's popped into an oval frame from the Styled Silver Hodgepodge from the new mini catty and attached to some Very Vanilla Ribbon with two pale blue rhinestone brads. Oh, and the little bubbles coming from the fish have Crystal Effects on them to make them look like real bubbles...very cute IRL!

I will probably try and get another picture of this tomorrow in the daylight, in the hopes that you can see all the little really is much cuter in real life than in this pic! {ETA: I have replaced the pic with a 'slightly' better one taken in the natural light....still doesn't show how shiny the fish is though...}

Have a great day {or night as the case may be}


July Cyberstamp

Last night we had our monthly cyberstamp over on Alisa's forum. I always enjoy these nights because Alisa always manages to come up with 3 challenges that are....well, challenging. Last night was no exception. The first challenge was particularly difficult for me....
Limited Supplies
You are to create a Card or Layout using only the following
1 Stamp Set
2 Colours 1 Neutral Colour
1 Embellishment (type of embellishment, i.e. Ribbon, Hardware etc) you see what the problem was....ONE EMBELLISHMENT!!!! I complained, but to no avail. So I had to really think about this... in the end this is the card that I came up with:
It uses the new mini catty stamp set A Beautiful Thing....which I have had for a WEEK and not inked up yet...darn real life for interfering with my play time! I also used the matching wheel to make the 'patterned paper' at the back. Now, according to some people {i.e. Madonna!} this was cheating because it's two stamps...but if it's a co-ordinating wheel then it belongs in the set...RIGHT?? Anyway, I used Perfect Plum ink and wheeled it over the Pale plum CS and mounted it onto the Perfect Plum. The sentiment and rows of flowers were stamped in Perfect Plum onto the White and mounted onto Pale Plum and then onto Perfect Plum. There's some paper piercing on the top and bottom of that Pale Plum layer if you look closely.

The 2 step flower was stamped in Pale Plum with the co-ordinating image over the top in Perfect Plum, then cut out and layered onto a Perfect Plum scallop circle which I re-inserted into the punch to give it that cute little edge and then onto a White scallop. For my ONE embellishment I choose a purple rhinestone brad for the centre of the flower.

I was really happy with the end result, and as usual my poor photography skills do not do this card justice! That wheel is particularly nice and I am thinking of making a whole heap of patterned papers with it in different might even replace So Swirly as my favourite!!

I am still working on the other two is easy, to use versamark and I'm trying out some emboss resist techniques...the other challenge it to make a Dahlia with that fiddly little teabag fold technique...let me tell you my Dahlia is a bit wonky looking....but I hope to finish them off tonight....well, that is the plan, but who knows?

Hope you are having a great day


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Birthday Cards

I finally went and got some rechargable batteries for my camera yesterday and so I thought I'd show you all the gorgeous handmade cards I recieved for my birthday.
I'm sure my postman thinks I'm super popular between the birthday cards and goodies I've received and the swap that I'm
co-ordinating...he's had to stop every day for the past two weeks. The hand addressed envelopes are a dead give away that I'm not getting bills!!

Yesterday I also got a little parcel in the mail from the delightful Miss June of Simply Elegant Paper Crafts. Inside it was a "Collage Accent Kit" with so many cute little bits and pieces...I'm looking forward to making some cute cards with those flowers, ribbons and bits of lace...mmmm. But I'm afraid that will have to wait until I've finished my swaps....which I still haven't...and a few other things on my to do list....but I think some of those cute charms will be making their way onto the mini book I'm making for Mama!

Right, enough fun stuff for now, I had better get back to my 'real' job...reading copious amounts of rather boring articles and book chapters...or I'll have my supervisor after me.

Have a great day
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alisa's Colour Challenge #3

Alisa put up another colour challenge this weekend. Purely Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel and Whisper White. I'm still having fun with the new sets I got from the mini catty and I am really loving 'Bloomin' with Beauty'. The flower image is are the others in this set. I can't wait to show you the swap card that I've made using it...different image but they're really nice...if I do say so myself!
Anyway, this is the card that I made for Alisa's challenge...I did *cheat* a tiny little bit by using Mellow Moss for the leaves and stem of the flower...but there was no way I was going to make it brown!!
It's all pretty self explanitory....but how cute is that bee??? I did use the sentiment from Warm Words because the 'bloom' sentiment that comes with this set was too big to fit the sketch I was using...which by the way is Jen's Sketch for you to try from last Saturday.
I've also got good news on the photo editing front...after being annoyed for ages by the HP editing software that came with my printer and being far too cheap to spend money on PhotoShop, I found that Google has a free program called Picasa. It's much better than what I was using and I think that once I get the hang of it my pics should improve too! Well...I can hope anyway.
Ok, that's all for now, hope you have a great Sunday whatever you're doing.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lauren's birthday card

Now that Lauren has finally received her birthday card I can show it here. The reason it took so long was that her and I have hundreds of things in of which is the failure to post cards in a timely manner so that the recipient gets it before their birthday :)
Please excuse the bad picture...or more accurately the bad lighting and my inability to fix it! There's a lot going on in this card...Pretty in Pink, Pink Passion and Pixie Pink CS, some retired SU paper which I never knew the name of, the retired French Script background stamp, So Swirly wheel...mmm what else? Ribbon, buttons and flowers from the PINK smiggle stuff I won, Kaiser birdie rub ons and pink rhinestone brads. It's all very 'Laurenish' and blatantly taken from her paper adventure page on favourite things....she liked it anyway!

I have actually been very busy making things...but they're for a swap and I don't want the girls to see them before I send them out so that will have to wait. I also made a 21st birthday card for my housemate who was off to a party tonight...but forgot to take a pic of it so.....
Anyway....back to the swap making for me....the idea that I originally had for one of the cards is just not working and it's incredibly I'm just going to scrap it and try something completely different. I also have plans to make a little mini book for my Mama with pics of the grand kids...and I have decided to start paper adventure, even though it is half way through...I might catch up with the older challenges or I might not, but it is meant to be fun so I'm not putting any pressure on myself.
Have a great day

Friday, July 11, 2008

Kristina's Colour Inspiration #15

Another Colour challenge from Kristina Werner this week. This bedding is just gorgeous, but these earth elements colours are not really "me", though they're very Mama.
I used Julee's Mojo Monday sketch #45 for the layout, and the CS is obviously Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Really Rust and Whisper White. The ribbon is Certainly Celery and the flower and sentiment are from my brand new 'Bloomin' with Beauty' that's in the mini catty starting August 1st. The sentiment and top of the flower were inked with Really Rust and the stem in Celery. The little Cocoa button is from the Earth Elements and Neutrals buttons and threaded with some hemp twine.
I had intended on colouring the flower, but once I'd stamped it I decided that I really liked it just in outline like that so..... There is a lot of 'white space' on this card...I had thought of putting some DSP from the new Apple Cider range in the background where the cocoa is, but in the end I went with what I like best, clean and simple. One of these days I might just get the hang of the 'busy' card...but usually when I try it just looks like a 5 year old got loose in the craft room!
There's more time left in this challenge, so I may even try again....who knows? Whatever happens I'm going to send this card off to Mama. Last night we were talking about this set and she was saying how much she liked this flower, and they are definitely 'her' colours.
Have a great day

Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to have a great birthday...

1. Eat lots more totally delicious chocolate fudge cake than is good for one person....made by me with Gran's fabbo recipe...hey I love to bake and this recipe is to die for...probably literally when you eat as much as I have....if anyone is interested in the recipe you can e-mail me and beg a little and I might send it to you Purple Smiles

2. Get phone calls from family who sing Happy Birthday really loudly...and rather off key.

3. Get heaps of gorgeous hand made cards from family members and people you've never actually met.

4. Get really cool presents from housemates even after you've told them it's not necessary...think body shop Papaya body butter and purple candles...these girls are so cool.

5. Eat more cake.

6. Take a nap....highly recommended when it's this bloody cold.

7. Intend to eat a substantial amount of your favourite pizza for dinner....followed by MORE CAKE.

8. Play with all your new stamping/paper toys that you bought yourself as a birthday present.

I've had such a nice relaxing day and it looks like getting even better....I had intending on doing some stamping today, but the weird thing is that I have this routine of doing 'real' work during the day and playing with the paper and ink at night time...when it came down to it my brain just wasn't co-operating about being creative while it was still daylight! But I know that I'll have heaps of fun with all those lovely new goodies tonight.

I wanted to show you some of the amazing cards that I received for my birthday, but the stupid camera batteries I bought on Saturday died....took about 6 pics and they're just gone! My Gran put some money in my bank account for my birthday and so instead of buying myself a gorgeous PINK handbag like I intended (yes, I do NEED a pink one) I'm going to buy some rechargeable batteries and a recharger! At least then I shouldn't have to worry about getting dodgy batteries!

I did manage to get two pictures before the camera went...the first is the astoundingly gorgeous creations I got from my incredibly talented sister, Madonna. This card is even more stunning in real life....and she even put on a hat pin from the pretties I KNOW she loves me...LOL. The art journal is for 'thoughts, ideas and general ramblings'...she even stamped the little branch at the bottom of EVERY single page!! The heart on the front is sparkly too!! I totally love Pomegranate with Basic Gray...almost as much as pink and purple....

These next two cards were made by Mama, the one on the left is from her and the one on the right from least she used purple!!!
I wish I could show you some of my new toys, but you'll just have to wait....I got so much stuff I had to totally reorganise my crafting space to fit it all in...I need a room just for this stuff...I swear it multiplies when I'm not looking!

Ok, that's it for now, hope you all have had half as much fun today as I have,


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Now, for something completely different.....

I am waiting on my birthday present to myself to arrive....hopefully tomorrow! A whole heap of delicious new goodies from SU! New stamps from the new mini catty ( sore fingers...yay!), some new inks, papers, rub-ons, buttons, eyelets...ooohhh and a crop-o-dile!! I've been looking at my stuff and while I have some lovely things, I just feel like I need some new stuff to spark my know what it's's an addiction and it needs to be fed!!!

Anyway, tonight I looked through some challenges I'd printed out for my inspiration book and found a couple that I thought I'd incorporate to come up with something completely different... hence the title of this post.

The sketch I used is Laura's sketch 2 from, as I said in the last post, I love these girls sketches...they totally rock...and they're looking for new DT members if you are interested. The colours are from a SCS colour challenge called "Taken with White Wasabi"...not sure what number it is, but it's fairly recent. The colours are obviously Taken with Teal, Whisper White and Wild Wasabi.

I have stamped the butterflies from Garden Whimsy in Versamark onto Vellum CS and embossed them in idea I took from the fabulously talented Teneale Williams, you can see the card she made by clicking on the link. Mine is completely different, she used the butterfly from A Touch of Nature, which I don't have, but I have to give credit where it's due. She is an amazing stamper and I am constantly awed by her talent. The sentiment is from 'Warm Words' and is stamped in Taken with Teal, and the ribbon is double stitched Wild Wasabi. This pic is not very good as I took it at night, but strangely enough this colour combo really appealed to me.

I'm thinking about doing a few more cards tonight....or I might just go to bed and read a book... OMG...I've just seen the weather report and we're expecting snow up on the mountains to the east of here tomorrow...I may just spend the whole day in bed!!! I really hate the cold weather...bring on summer I say!


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