Monday, January 31, 2011

An Award, a Card and some Bragging about the Beach

Hi all out there in Blogland!
I hope everyone is doing well and the creative muses have been speaking to you.

I have a couple of things I need to brag about, the first of which is the fact that the lovely Carole of Apples & Pears has been kind enough to drop an award on me!  How exciting is THAT!!!
Apparently, the Leibster Blog (Love Blog) is awarded to new blogs to bring them into the spotlight (a very worthwhile award, in my humble opinion).  And Carole chose me as one of her spotlight blogs.  I am very, very astonished and feeling a little overwhelmed, because to accept the award I had to give you all a link back to Carole's blog (not that that is a hardship *grin*) and then pass on the award to 3-5 blogs with less than 3,000 followers (I inhabit such a tiny corner of the blogosphere that I don't do much following and those folk I follow are well established, in the main).  However, I do want to recommend visiting the following blogs - they fall under the 3,000 followers requirement and they do marvellous work.  So, without any further ado, may I introduce to you:

Kasey, of Kasey's Craft Corner
Peri, of Stuff
Cheryl, of Cottage Creations
Heather, of Rica's Haven, and
Jacqui, of Cat's Whiskers

The next brag is that Guerilla Bay was FABULOUS!  We swam every day (sometimes twice a day) and walked the sand (avoided the blue bottles (nasty jellyfish with a horrible sting, for those who don't know)), then hit the galleries in Tilba Tilba (I spent too much), Cobargo (I spent too much), Mogo (I spent to much) and Bodalla (I spent waaaaay too much - but it was worth every penny!)  And now I am itching to throw paint at a canvas.  I have these huge canvases from one of my old jobs, which got taken over, so the big advertising canvases were up for grabs.  I spirited away two and they have been in my studio ever since (we're talking a couple of years now) and are no further along than being stacked up against a wall.  But, with the kids at my brother-in-law's farm near Cowra this week, I have the time, the inspiration and the material - I think gesso will be hitting canvas this weekend!

And finally, a card I have made, using another fantastic image from Lily of the Valley:

The recipe is:
BV02, BV04 and R32 for dress, tunic and socks
R30 for skin
E25 for dog
YR24 and Y32 for hair
E55 for rope
E74 for seat
G12, G24 and G40 for pillow
E71, E74 and E77 for shoes
Cardstock: Stampin Up! Old Olive
Layer Papers: Prisma 6x6 pad "Jack n' Jill" collection
Nestabilities Ovals and Scalloped Ovals
The sentiment is computer generated, the flowers, brads and buttons are from my stash.

Okay, that's your lot for today.  I am going to wander away and dream of canvas and gesso and wonderful things.

Happy crafting!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guerilla Bay, here I come!

Yes, I am off to the beach for a week with the girls and wow, am I looking forward to it!  I don't know what it is about my body, but it seems recently that every time I am about to take off some time and go on a trip, I come down with something which knocks me out for a couple of days.  This time, I got tonsillitis.  It came on fast and I felt like hell, so I called the doctor from work, managed to get in on someone else's cancellation and whined at the doctor that I was going to the coast and I needed to be fixed ASAP.

My doctor is wonderful.  She prescribed heavy duty, old fashioned penicillin.  My body is not wonderful - it immediately took this as a sign to clear up all my tonsillitis issues and leave me with thrush, due to the overdose of antibiotics.  My body and I had a conversation (while I gulped down vast quantities of probiotic, culture enhanced yoghurt, fermented milk and capsules).  My body has put forward that life isn't fair and I should probably start treating it better.  I have agreed.  My doctor, sniggering quietly in the corner, has suggested that a fortnight before I am to leave on a trip, I start the probiotic, vitamin and mineral supplementation to my diet and perhaps I can avoid the dreaded lurgies which lurk, ready to pounce (and all the sidekicks who stand in line, waiting their turn with my immune system).  I have taken notes and will apply this advice judiciously next time.

So, where has this left me creatively, you ask?  In no-man's land until today, when I had to whip up a birthday card for my brother.  Just so's you're in on the joke, his nickname when we were kids was "Piggy":

The recipe for this one is:
B00 and B000 for the sky
RV32 and RV34 for the pig
E04 and E34 for the trotters
B24 for the balloon
G94, G99 and G24 for the grass and leaves
Y15 for the flowerheads
Cardstock is some very textured burnt orange stuff I had (unknown brand), which has photographed a whole lot redder than it is - it really is a dark orange.
Basic Grey - Green At Heart 6x6 pad (spotty layer), Marrakech 6x6 pad (blue layer)
Stamps: Hambo stamps "Floating Pig" which you can find here, Stampin Up! "Think Happy Thoughts" (happy birthday circle), Sunday International (pig's face in HB circle)
Flowers, letter medallions, garden twine and brads from stash.

The card accompanied a wonderful country style ceramic piggy bank I found while I was Christmas shopping a month or so ago, with a saying on the sides which went "I Smile because you are Family.  I Laugh because there is Nothing you can do about it!", inside of which I put money towards a new leather jacket for him (so he can look awe inspiring while he rides his Harley Davidson motorcycle - and the fact that Harleys are often called "Hogs" has not escaped any of the family!)

We don't leave for Guerilla Bay until Tuesday, so I'm hoping to post again tomorrow before wandering off.  No guarantees, mind, but I'll do what I can.

Until then,
Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hello again

Well, the APB on my mojo was only half successful - I had a couple of reported sightings, but the sodding thing is still out there, living the high life, while I struggle back here, mojo-less and inventing new curse words.

A couple of wonderful friends have been asking for details on the Bon Jovi concert I went to in mid-December.  What can I say except that it was sensational!  They grabbed the crowd and just rocked the stadium.  I think it was about the second song (we were all sitting there politely listening) that Jon Bon Jovi shouted into the microphone “Hey Sydney – this is not TV – get on out of your seats, people!!!” and that was it – the entire crowd just got out of their seats (it was like a stadium sized Mexican wave) and we danced and screamed and sang along with him from then on.  They played non stop for almost 2 and a half hours, with Jon going backstage for one song (which Richie Sambora sang).  And that was it – he sang every other song that night – we’re talking between 20-25 songs in all.  And it was fabulous.  The last song of the night was Living on a Prayer and Jon came out on the catwalk (in a half moon from one edge of the stage to the other) and stood in the middle with just a microphone and the spotlight on him.  The crowd was silent (we thought it had ended with the song before that) and the stage behind him was black.  He started half singing, half talking the first verse of Living on a Prayer.  And 50,000 people sang his song back to him.  I don’t know for sure, but I think he ended up just standing there while we sang at him.  I can’t imagine what kind of high that must have been, for him and the band, to listen to that old song of theirs sent back by so many voices, word perfect.  To know that you have made that kind of impact on people, and that you could probably do that in any city in the world and get the same response.  Wow.  Then the lights came up and the band played and they started the song again from the start and I reckon they could have heard us in the city, we were that loud.  We just roared it out... and it was incredible.

So yeah - anytime Bon Jovi is touring, I'm gonna be there!

Oh - other thing.  I had a girlfriend from Illinois come on over to see me and Australia (yep - in that order - how cool is that!) back in September/October last year and while she was here, we caught the stageshow "Wicked" in Sydney.  It was soooooo good and we raved about it soooo much to anyone who would listen that, even though the show is no longer in Sydney and has moved to Brisbane, I have booked tickets for the entire family to go up and see it in mid-March (hopefully, the theatre will be back to rights by then - I think it was one of the ones fairly badly messed up by those incredible floods which hit Brisbane and surrounds last week).  Really looking forward to it - everything is crossed that it will still be able to happen. 

And so - onto the one and only bit of crafting I've done for a week:  a Hanglar Stanglar image (just a cutie) who got coloured a bit ago and then in a last ditch effort while my mojo was still speaking to me, got created into a card:

Simple, but I think she's pretty and will do nicely for someone's Valentines Day card.

The recipe is as follows:
R46, R43, R27, R17, R32 for the hearts
YR24 for the hair
B93 for the wings
R30 and R22 for the skin
E35, E47, E25 and E13 for the pot
G21 for the tunic
G94 for the trousers
G21 and G94 for the hat
E99 for the shoes
G12 and G40 for her socks
W7, G94 and E25 for the ground

Cardstock: SU! Mellow Moss
Paper and ribbon: unknowns from my stash (the paper didn't have any identification on it (12x12s) - weird, huh?
Sentiment: PSX "With Love" C-2509
And I cut her out using a Nestabilities scallop edged rectangle die.

She's nice and I'm thinking (although only half seriously, because it would be a huge step for me) about entering her into a challenge - I've heard that sometimes challenges lure your mojo back (it gets embarrassed that you've made it to the "big time" while it wasn't there to share the glory, or something.

Anyway, while I keep contemplating doing that,
Happy crafting!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My mojo has gone AWOL...

I have been sitting and pondering, pondering and sitting in my craft room.  I look at the images I have ready to make into cards.  I play with some papers, and wander about holding sheets of 12x12 in my hands.  I rummage through boxes and containers and cases, looking for the right embellishments and additions to make my card "pop".  It's a good thing my family are used to me vagueing out and muttering to myself.  Will keeps me sorted with cups of tea and the girls pretty much keep out of my way while I'm pottering in my room.  I have even gone through back issues of magazines, which for me almost always kick-starts the card making magic.  Yet, in spite of all of that, I still haven't made a card today.  Not one.

So I'm going to share with you one I made about a week ago and haven't got around to posting yet.  I am very happy with him - he looks even better in real life, but you'll have to make do with a photo:

He (the image is just coming across as a he to me, despite the bow on his/her head - I'm seeing that more as tufty feathers poking up, than a bow - for this version, anyway) is from a shop I found on Etsy, called Princess Mi - she has some lovely digi illustrations for sale.

And this is what he became:

Recipe is as follows:

G21, G94 & BG96 (leaves)
B00, B41 (sky) & B23 (blended for wings and bow/tufts)
Y17 (beak)
YR24 & E35 (eyes)
E55 & E74 (body)
E57, E59 & E74 (branch)
Cardstock SU! Choc Chip
Inque Boutique 6x6 pad "#60555 Memoirs"
Provocraft Paper Symphony 6x6 Crafters Cardstock Block 1
Digistamp Owl by HelloAimi at Princess Mi (Etsy)
Sentiment by SU! "Mixed Greetings"
Prima flowers and assorted brads from personal stash
Ribbon SU! Choc Chip satin ribbon (under sentiment - hard to see)

So, that's my owl.  And now, I had better find my mojo, because I have no other cards to share, if it doesn't come back!  I have been thinking it would be a good idea to have a couple in reserve, so if I hit a dry spell, or just get crazy busy, I can still post something new and fresh to keep the blog ticking over. 

Sounds like a good idea in theory (and when I wasn't working, it would have been so much more achieveable), but the reality is that with a job, and kids, and a household to run (not to mention the time of year - we've got six birthdays, Christmas and New Year all packed into one fun filled (!) month, around here) and the additional vagaries life throws into the mix (my youngest came down with some 24 hour gastro thing yesterday and spent most of her time holding (and filling) a bucket, poor little chookie), getting a surplus of anything put aside, be it time, cards, time, money, time, time or time is almost impossible.

I'm posting an APB on my mojo.  If anyone sees it, give it a good talking to and send it back home, will you?  I've got a job or three for it...

Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another offering to the crafting gods....

Hey all,
How's everything going with you?  I have gone back to work this week and have been having a bit of a difficult time getting back into the swing of it, to be honest.  And I've only been there for about 5 months, so there are still little bits and pieces which I am learning.  They chuck them at me at the oddest times, just in case I feel like getting complacent :)

I have done a couple of things I want to share with you all - a complete CASE (Copy And Steal Everything) from the most recent Take Ten magazine - the cards on page 69 by Ali Dufty in Devon, UK.  This is my take on the design (they are little notecards, rather than full size - I thought they would be nice for a gift set for someone - I might even go all out and make envelopes for them!):

I'm not going to bore you with details.  If you absolutely, positively need to know the stamp company or the colours I used, drop me a line - I will be happy to let you know if I can.

The other thing I have been working on is using the DTP backgrounds I did up (mentioned a couple of posts ago).  This is another one which came together pretty easily:

Details are as follows (I had them all written out, but the recipe has gone missing, so this is from memory):

Cardstock: SU! Taken with Teal and Pink Pirouette
Flowers: Mostly Prima
Brads: From personal stash
Inks: Tattered Angel Glimmer Mist in Juneberry Wine and Sapphire; SU! reinkers in Peach Parfait, Daffodil Delight; Stazon in Teal Blue (dragonflies and "specks" on teal card) and Midnight Blue (sentiment).
Stamps: Dragonfly (unknown), Big (Papercraft J7000.02 - Rebekka Erickson Signature Series) and Dots (Stamps by Judith AAA-04)

I am hoping that tomorrow is very busy, creatively.  I have a couple of images coloured up (and their recipes sitting in front of me), which need making into cards, so hopefully, I'll have a lot to brag about tomorrow night.  AND, we're being told it will be rainy, with the chance of a thunderstorm.  Which is the perfect excuse to close the door to my craft room, ramp up the volume on my iPod and get busy!

Until then, happy crafting!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Second last day of freedom

Yes, that's right - second last day of freedom!  I go back to work on 4 January, so I'm making the most of the time left and have been creating up a storm (and going to see Disney's newest film "Tangled" at the cinema - really good, for those interested - both my girls thought it was great and Will and I had a good chuckle, too).

Anyway, onto the creative stuff.  I have been playing with my Prismacolour pencils (neglected recently while I revelled in my newer Copics, so I thought I'd better remind them that they are still loved).  Actually, I went looking for some stash which hadn't been looked at for a while, with this card - remember mulberry paper? (there was a time a few years ago where every second card had some on it), and I also Dimensional Magic-ed up some elements (star, moon and flower heads) in the image after I had finished colouring - another thing that seemed to have fallen out of favour a bit.

So, here in three parts (coloured in pencil, blended with solvent and lastly, the finished product) is my card.  Details to follow:

1014, 1068 and 1069 for the bunny.
901, 933 and 1101 for the sky.
1003 and 1012 for the star, moon, flowers and blended into the hilltop.
924 in the centre of the flowers.
908, 948, 1067, 1096 and 1097 for the hilltop.

Cardstock is unknown.
Layer papers are: Scenic Route Paper Co. "Cool Nights SR040", Southworth 25% Cotton Fibre Gold Parchment Paper, DieCuts with a View Mat Stacks Mulberry "Classic" pad.
Stamps are from Tiddly Inks Hoppy Wishes (find it here) and Stamp-it "Starry Dreams 1789C" (find it here).
Creative Memories "Stardust Maker" punch.
Dimensional Magic, tiny iridescent gold metallic stars, Chroma Archival Odourless Solvent for blending Prismas, and dimensional foam squares for popping up the sentiment.

Got some other stuff that I've been doing, too, but I'll post it up later - I'm feeling in the zone at the moment and I think I'll go and hide in my craft room, grab a cuppa, pump up the music and see what happens.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome to 2011 - Happy New Year!!!

Hello to everyone out here in Blogland and welcome to 2011.  For those of you who haven't quite made it past the date line - hurry up! - you're missing out!  Haa haa!

Okay, now I know I've been totally slack about the whole posting thing for two weeks, but I've managed to get some stuff done which, while still relating to crafting, didn't have a lot to do with postable, commentable achievements.  I have tidied my studio, which was a long, tedious but overdue job and now I have at least some of my table back for actual creativity.  I always find it amazing (and I know it's not just me) that the creating spirit grabs hold of us and gets us into such a frenzy that there is no time to put things away.  So even if you are lucky like me and have table space which is 180 cm square (6x6 foot), you work in a patch which might, if you are very very good about keeping it clear, be the size of a 12x12 piece of paper!!!  We're all insane :)

Have also had time to catch up on a swag of magazines which needed reading and I got some inspiration from the most recent Take Ten.  I have been playing with making my own backgrounds again, with DTP work using dye inks (Adirondacks and spritzes of Tattered Angels' Glimmer Mist mostly - yummy combos).

Throw down a shadow stamp and a sentiment, mount it on to a couple of layers and see what you get:

Not too shabby, huh?!

Now I spose you'll be after some details - and today I actually took notice of what I was doing.  I'll wait for you all to pick yourselves up, now, LOL.

Cardstock is SU! Elegant Eggplant and Blush Blossom
Patterned paper is Black market Paper Society's 6x6 pad called "Let it Bloom"
DTP was done with Adirondack Eggplant and Butterscotch, and Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Antique Brass and possibly the leftover of the Juneberry Wine
Stamps are SU! Just Believe (flowers), Happy Harmony (sentiment) and the dragonfly came from Sunday International - an unmounted rubber sheet set I bought waaaay back when (we're talking 2002, maybe) and I have no idea of the name of the set, or if it's even produced anymore.
And although you can't see it particularly well, I have gone over some of the Eggplant coloured specks with Ranger's Stickles glitter glue "Golden Rod".
The ribbon and brads are from my stash - have no idea which companies - the ribbon was lurking down the bottom of my scarily out of control ribbon mess and peeped out at me, then dove out of sight and had me searching for it for another 10 minutes.  An off cut about 20 cms long, but the perfect colour.  Sometimes it's good to be a hoarder :)

Ooooh, and another thing I almost forgot to tell you:
I made the coolest little flags to put into my little pots of condiments for the Christmas ham - you know what I mean?  The little pots of mustard and chutney and pickle and relish...
Well, they were all looking kind of mushy and unappetizing, plus I didn't want anyone confused over what was available.  I was wondering how to let everyone know what each one was and I had a rush of blood to the head, raced to my studio, punched out 4 tags a big tag punch (Paper Shapers), punched two little holes into the tapered end of the tag with the SU! Double Circle punch, wrote what the condiment was and put a skewer/round toothpick through the holes - it worked a treat:

I received lots of comments telling me what a good idea it was.  And now I'm thinking - flag for a ship card, flag on top of a castle, pennant held by a knight or in some kind of sports themed card (basketball, baseball...).  And then there are little flags with kids (or adults, for that matter) names on them to put into cupcakes to let them know where to sit at the table at parties.  Bling them up a bit, maybe some patterned paper... even get them to make their own - that would keep 'em occupied for a little while.  Oh yeah - I'm having fun with this one...

Okay - enough brainstorming for one day - especially for the first day of the year.

Happy crafting,