Monday, April 25, 2011

One for the stash, and a quick catch up

Hi all,

Just a quick post today - I was showing my mum (who started off as a scrapbooker, but who has slowly been dragged away from the dark side and is now a stamper who strays every so often) the embossed resist technique onto a piece of newspaper, using a funky fern stamp from Stampin Up from the set "Kind & Caring Thoughts".  I clear embossed onto the newspaper until all the powder has melted, then covered the image over with Ranger's Distress Ink "Pine Needles" using a sponge and buffed off the excess ink so that the clear embossing with the print underneath showed through.  The thick stripe down the left hand side is actually part of the newspaper article and is in a bottle green, which inspired the colour of the ink I used:

Then I made it up into a card, layering the embossed image onto a strip of Bazzil cardstock (a seafoam colour which I stamped with the same stamp using the Pine Needles ink again), then layered onto a piece of 6x6 paper from the Basic Grey pad "Two Scoops" which in turn went over a script stamp by Hero Arts "Old Letter Writing S4878" in Stampin Up's "Whisper White" ink onto a bottle green/dark teal card (brand unknown):

For a quick demo image, it turned into a pretty good card, I think.

More news is that my team was too late by two days to register for the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge I wrote about in my last post.  So that's not happening this year.  Maybe next year. There are a couple of other walking challenges happening this year and as soon as the girls and I are back from our Easter breaks, we'll look into what we can do instead.

My studio concreting was finished and then DH and I did a moderately alright job of covering the concrete with linoleum (not helped by the fact that the lino is years old and when we re-did our kitchen I sourced the last of the stock from the company who made it, which meant that we had to piece the area in the studio together with offcuts I had in the garage, kind of like a crazy quilt).  Let's just say that it does the job and leave it at that, shall we?

The new cupboard/shelving unit went into the studio almost before the glue had had a chance to dry and I have pretty much already filled it all, which means that you can actually see my worktables again (not for long, given how I create, but it's nice to remember what they look like).

And that's pretty much it for today.  I have a three commission cards which I need to complete, but once I have, you'll get to see what I've been doing.  Plus there is a Secret Sister card for April which I can post early next month (can't do it yet, in case my SS sees it here and knows who the creator is before the "big reveal".

I hope everyone has had a good break, whether you celebrate Easter or not. 

Until next time,
Happy crafting!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Violin card and the last two weeks

Hi all,

Such a crazy two weeks it's been.  My eldest daughter turns 10 tomorrow (Monday) and so we had her birthday party today - ice skating (the first time she's done it - a huge OMG moment on my part, as I could see either her or any number of the guests collapsing in heaps to the sounds of broken bones and sprained whatevers!).  Fortunately for her guests and my nerves, the 2 hours passed without major mishap, with only the shivering one associates with ice skating and 14 under-dressed, prepubescent girls (what is it about girls and the need to dress in the most impractical wardrobe imaginable?)  I have no idea where they get their ideas from - I'm an army brat and DH is a country boy - we were raised that when you go somewhere, you wear clothes that are practical to the situation and which save you from being injured - sunburn, frostbite, skinned knees, wind chapping etc.  My girls both rocked up with about 5 layers of tops, jeans, scarves and gloves, so they were fine - but one of the little pretties showed up in shorts and a t-shirt (so did dad and big brother, who were dropping her off - and admittedly it was a shorts and t-shirt kind of day - but for 2 hours of ice skating!?!)

Still, we made it through, and no one went home in tears, vowing never to return, which is the main thing.

I have bought tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert in June.  Both daughters are getting their tickets as birthday presents from DH and I - eldest as a late present, and youngest as an early one (her birthday is in November, so it works out nicely).  DH has opted out of coming with us, so it's going to be a girls weekend with just the three of us - and our seats are absolutely awesome.  Section 2, row A - why couldn't that have been at the Bon Jovi concert in December, or the Pink concert before that?!  Anyway, regardless of who we are going to see, the seats are awesome and the girls are stoked, so it was well worth it.

Now onto the craft :)  I have a lovely stamp by Stamps Happen called "Overture" #90285 which is beautiful to look at and fun to colour.  The colour indexing on the stamp is fairly dark, to my mind, so I've lifted it a little with the colours I used.  I think it makes a fairly unisex card for a music lover :

I stamped it on watercolour paper with Versafine in Black and coloured it with Derwent watercolour pencils.

Then I made it into a card by mounting it onto a piece of cut down sheet music (real, not a printout), and layering it onto a piece of midnight blue cardstock.  The sentiment is StampWorld's "Happy Birthday" A559, on a scrap of the same watercolour paper:

Other news is that I've had some concreting done in my studio.  If you can imagine a horseshoe shape, that used to be the layout of our house.  Then, many years ago, I got the open part of the horseshoe walled and roofed in and that room became my studio.  However, when I had the workmen come in to lay the concrete slab, I had them leave me an almost 2m x 1.5 m area unconcreted.  The grandiose and not well thought out plan (no natural light whatsoever gets into that corner) was to have an inside atrium, allowing me to grow "things".  It had wonderful drainage, was planted up, over time, with hundreds of dollars worth of plants guaranteed to survive even the blackest of black thumbs (they didn't make allowances for me and my no natural light floorplan) and it became the bane of my creative space - a complete waste of an area which ended up housing nothing but dessicated (but previously gorgeous, dark and rich) soil, the odd pot and a garden gnome.  So I have had it concreted over in it's entirety (barring the grate for the drain, which is fabulous for when the creative urge gets messy and I have to hose stuff off - or maybe when I'm having a Dexter moment and need to do clean up) and next weekend will be the laying of the lino and the installing of the workstation for tools (die cutting machine, guillotine etc) and the bookshelf/cupboard for "stuff".  Yayyyy!

Lastly, and not crafting related, is that I am thinking fairly seriously about signing up for the Oxfam Trailwalk at the end of August this year.  The challenge is to walk 100km in 48 hours (that's 62.14 miles, for those of you still working in imperial).  And it's hiking on a trail, not walking on footpaths.  So I've got to start training, if I'm going to do it.  Of course, someone could just put me out of my misery and have a Dexter moment of their own before I have to take part (it would help me save face in front of the other girls on the team).  I keep talking myself into it, and then I do 2 hours on my treadmill and talk myself out of it again.  Still, 19 weeks before the actual weekend we do it, so I've got time to get into some kind of shape.  At the moment, the shape is kind of squishy and nowhere near ready for 13+ hours of walking per day for two days, but in 19 weeks, I can probably get it to the point where I don't start whimpering until...oh, I don't know.... two or three kilometres down the track!  One of the things we have to commit to is raising $1000 in donations, so I will be advertising this pretty hard, the closer I come to doing it.  Just thought I'd warn you.

Until next time,
Happy crafting!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Secret Sister card and one for my stash

Hi all,
I haven't been particularly creative in the last week or so, but I've managed to get my tax done (the 09/10 financial year - and yes - I know it's April - I'm a lazy cow if given the opportunity), and "discovered" a band who has been around for a couple of years, but one of their songs was used on a recent episode of "House M.D." and I just had to have the album.  Black Lab is the band, and the album is "Passion Leaves a Trace".  I know you are probably all yawning and telling me that it's nice I've finally made it into the 21st century, but I'm pretty impressed with their work.  The song which grabbed me was "This Night", and it's playing as I type this entry.

What else have I been up to?  Oh - there is a Secret Sister group I have been part of for a number of years which has started up the 2011 swaps, so I did my first card for that.  We are given themes and a randomly selected name of the person who will be receiving our card that month, and you can choose to use the themes or go with something else - entirely up to you.

March's theme was houses, and this is what I came up with:

The image is by Stampington & Co "Stacked Birdhouses K5151" and I coloured it with Rexel Derwent Watercolour pencils.  I used Versafine in black to stamp onto Stampin Up! Natural Ivory.

Then I made the card:
The friendship circle stamp comes from the Stampin Up! set "Think Happy Thoughts", the bird background paper from the 6x6 paper pad "Earth Love" by Cosmo Cricket.  The rest of the stuff came from my stash.

Secondly, there is a fairy image I made using A Day for Daisies digi-stamp called "Little Nymph".  I did the colouring waaaay back before I had a blog, so have no idea what colours I used, although I do remember I used my Copics (they were still new - that's how long ago I'm talking), and Tammy from A Day For Daisies was looking for cards to put in her new store gallery.  I didn't make it into a card properly until now (I sent Tammy a picture of the image blu-tacced onto a piece of patterned paper - it was definitely amateur hour in my household that day - I was in a rush).  Anyway, the original image was still hanging around, so I finally got it out (inspired by a conversation with my friend Kasey regarding UFOs (Un-Finished Objects) and completed it. 

The leaves and bling are from my stash, the card is Stampin Up Old Olive, the happy thoughts circle stamp is from the Stampin Up! set "Think Happy Thoughts" and the layer paper in that wonderful multicoloured, psychedelic pattern is from the 6x6 paper pad ""Lime Rickey" by Basic Grey.

And that's pretty much it for me at the moment.  The husband and the kids are going visiting tonight, so I have the house just to myself - we'll see what happens.  Now, though, I think I'm off to do some housework and catch up on the boring stuff, so I know I'm free tonight to play.

Happy crafting!