Friday, October 2, 2015

Stampin Royalty #297 - Pinspired

So much for more posting in 2015!  Life has been pretty full on in this household - my daughter in the first year of high school so academic expectations have ramped up, although I think it's the interest in boys and social life that has increased here.  Ballet has been given the flick and it's now all about rowing (sadly seasonal), so we need to find another outlet for exercise.  I think lack of motivation on my part was particularly key to the silence over here.

The highlight of my year, apart from significant birthdays and wedding anniversaries was the trip to Scandinavia which we arrived home from last week.  It has been a part of the world I have always wanted to visit and it didn't disappoint.  A bit over 2 weeks in duration and covering Helsinki (Tallinn for a day), Copenhagen and Stockholm. All charming and unique, the people friendly and helpful and the wealth of history made my heart sing.  The weather was perfect, and all were fantastic walking cities.  The food was amazing, with several memorable meals, the downside was that for Australians, it was expensive, but we went knowing that.


Seaplane Museum, Tallinn



So it was really just a taste, my husband, who has been working in the north of Finland was fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights on 4 nights and took the most wonderful photos.  Need to go back for that.

So to the challenge - Pinspired.  

Suzanne Dahlberg - My Mind's Eye paper (SSS)

With Christmas fast approaching, and card stocks low, there will be a concerted push to create, and create quickly.  I love the simplicity and elegance of Suzanne's card, letting the paper work its magic. I coloured paper with ink as none of my papers match Blackberry Bliss which was my starting point. 

What you need
Cardstock - PTI white;  gold foil
Stamps - Clearly Besotted Sweet Little Sentiments
Ink - SU Blackberry Bliss;  PTI Lavender Moon;  Memento Sweet Plum;  Versamark
White embossing powder

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring Colours

I'll just say - we are hoping for an Autumn.  When summer goes from September to April, we are a bit over sunshine and hot days.  Last year we had no Spring and it will be interesting to see whether we get a proper run into winter.  Even then, it won't be cold by northern hemisphere standards.  

Enough moaning, whatever the season, these remain my favourite colours, so fresh and lovely.  In thinking how I would attack this,  Virginia's layers challenge was a great starting point.  

Initially the plan was to use Copics for the background colour, but I don't get my Distress inks out enough, and I think, they gave a better gradient of colour.  The cover plate I have had for ages and really pleased I thought to use it.  

 What you need
Cardstock - PTI white; SU Cool Caribbean, black
Distress inks - Peeled Paint, Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Worn Lipstick, Picked Raspberry
Die - Clearly Besotted (sentiment);  MFT Cover up
Glossy Accents

On Tuesday, we are off to Ballarat, an hour north west of Melbourne for my cousin's wedding.  If that isn't special enough, my daughter is her one and only bridesmaid. To say she is excited is an understatement, as Catherine is also her Godmother.  Tuesday will be the first time we see her dress.  We know the basic design but it will have to be hemmed and a few final adjustments.

It will be a wonderful opportunity to catch up with our extended family who we haven't seen for some time.  This card is the card we are giving the happy couple, a complete CASE of one of my favourites from Marika Rahtu.  Unfortunately my water colouring was nowhere near her standard so I have resorted to Copics and die cuts.  It is really nice to make a card larger than normal so you can add more layers and detail.

Hope everyone has had a lovely Easter break, and look forward to the Autumn school term!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Staying Positive for Easter

Term 1 down of the first year of high school - and aren't we glad for the break.  It has been an eye opener for my daughter in terms of assessment and a big step up in responsibility.  This has occupied much of my spare time these last few months as well as becoming a rowing mum.  Don't think this new pastime will work too well with dancing, we shall see.

So, while the creativity hasn't been flowing too well, it was great to come across this sketch and an idea immediately popped into my head.

Given that science is my line of work,  I couldn't resist this stamp set from Clearly Besotted and pairing it with "graph" paper (no idea what brand this paper is).  

What you need
Cardstock - PTI black;  Canson gold
Stamps  and Dies - CB Scientifically Speaking
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Black enamel dots

This next card is for my sister in law who has just celebrated a significant birthday and felt she may not have wanted to be reminded of the number.  We will be celebrating with her on Saturday night.  You can't really see it in the photo but instead of sequins or gems I have put droplets of Glossy Accents around the rose.  I can't go past a bit of glitter somewhere, so the black matt has black glitter covering it.

What you need
Cardstock - PTI red, black; X-Press It Blending Card
Stamps - Clearly Besotted Happy Everything, Happy Birthday
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black;  Memento Tuxedo Black
Copics - R27, R39, R59, G21, G24, G28
Glitter Ritz Black
Glossy Accents

This nicely fits with the latest SSS Wednesday Challenge.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Belated Merry Christmas but an on time Happy New Year

The start of 2015 - my goodness 2014 went fast, particularly the last few months for my family.  My daughter had a great school trip to Canberra - a lot came back sick and all were extremely tired but they really enjoyed themselves and it is a great starting point on the road to independence.  This happened in the middle of an impossibly busy school term and preparations for end of year ballet concerts, which was broadly felt to be the best ever.

This is a photo of the wall, at the Australian War Memorial (a very special place) with the names of Australian soldiers who died at war.  This was taken on Remembrance Day (November), covered with poppies.

This is where we were in her absence ... just an hour south of Brisbane but across the road from the beautiful beaches of Burleigh Heads

While she was away, and, with my husband in between jobs, we thought it would be an ideal opportunity for a whirlwind trip for them to the UK to see elderly relatives.  They had time in London,  seeing a sprinkling of sites (a bit of retail therapy at ballet shops in Covent Garden), and a couple of stage shows, all at break neck speed.  Then time with family in the Midlands and on the south coast.  They returned just after Christmas and had our belated celebration a few days ago.

I have been making a few cards in this blog quiet time.  These 3 cards were for my hairdresser's family.  I am not going to pretend that the inspiration for these cards popped into my head - no,  I needed help.  This first one was for his daughter doing a semester at a university in Chicago. The colour scheme belongs to Cristina K. (My Paper Secret) and I was dying to use my new Waltzingmouse stamps.

This one I have reproduced a number of times from Jennifer McGuire, for his elder daughter, still some more tweaking needed to make the perfect shaker card but it does give people much pleasure when receiving them.  

Now, the initial colour scheme and die cut idea came from Laurie Willison but it ended up quite different.  I felt the Art Deco look would make a great card for his wife.

These are the Christmas cards I sent my family away with.  This is not a situation I want to repeat.  I thought (oh so naively) that saying goodbye at the airport would be the hardest.  OH NO!  It was much harder over the next few days, luckily I had lunch with my best friend the next day, and she said - so how are you, (eyes well with tears) - OK not so good, next topic!  (Thank you so much F).  
Again the Jennifer McGuire inspired background. My daughter saw the Mama Elephant stamp set before she left and insisted she have it this Christmas.

My husband's card was an experiment.  I didn't know whether I could heat emboss on foil card.  But yes you can!  We haven't had Christmas Day apart in over 25 years, and even though they were with family (and I was too), it just felt weird.

Ice skating outside the Museum of Natural History (December)

But I wasn't idle over the time they were away.  Pinterest is a wonderful thing, anything I wanted to get sorted there was always several ways to try.  My inks are now organised a la the aforementioned Jennifer McGuire (ink swatches, a great post).  Our bills and budget etc now reside in a beautiful folder by Kikki K (unfortunately it doesn't pay them), and all my new stamp sets have a home in files from Ikea.  We are going there today to get a couple of large frames, one for my daughter's Dr Who print and she wants to put together a frame with tickets and bits and pieces from their trip.  We have done it a few times for previous trips and they are a great art piece.

Deb Frings had a link to these great Dr Who cross stitch patterns from Etsy on one of her Pinterest boards.  I just had to make them, there is another one - the Disappearing Tardis which I made for a couple of her school friends (I really need practice with the finishing touches).  I also had the chance to make some Christmas decor,  these baubles were left over from a bauble wreath I made and love the idea of a topiary.  I then ventured into glass etching with lettering cut with the Silhouette Portrait on the candles, spelling out Noel (hard to see, I know).

I have to add, I have been completely sucked in by the podcast "Serial" from the team at This American Life. It has popped up on my radar a few times as a great series, well written and researched.   I hope they do another season.

So, I would like to say that I resolve to post more in 2015, but resolutions don't have a great history with me and my mojo has been missing for quite some time.  Hopefully, with the re-organisation of my craft room and a general purge, this will re-energise me and use a few more of the craft items I have been hoarding for so long.
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