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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