Friday, September 28, 2012

Super Star

I took these pictures one day over a very short time period when my granddaughter was out in the backyard playing. She's wearing her Auntie's hat backwards which just looked so cute that I had to take the photos. Little did I know at the time, how photogenic she was becoming.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Halloween Swap Tags

Here are the tags I've created for the Halloween swap on Scrappers Obsessionz Group.

 The line up of all the tags.
 Close up of one of the tags.
 Hand drawn spider web.
 Hand written sentiment (positive poem by Anonymous) written onto a folded paper ribbon banner.
 Stylised, hand cut cat of my own design. Paper - Timeless Black Flocked Paper by Teresa Collins.
Pumpkins punched from distress inked cardstock scraps. Hand drawn face. Twisted pumpkin stalk from light weight jewellery wire.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our New Kitten

I've been sitting on these pictures for a while of our then new kitten going out into our backyard (which looks like a jungle as we back onto native bush) for the very first time. Every now and then I pull them out, move them around the page several times, then put them back in the bag until next time. Finally I put my foot down and said do something with them!!!
It's a very simple page... just lots of photos which we all know can often be hard to decide what to do with. I spent a fair bit of time getting the layout of the photos just so. I wanted it clean but not too uniform... which was easier said than done when you are a perfectionist.
I hand stitched the cross bars to anchor the page then decided it also needed a simple frame as well... good thing I had some videos to watch last night!!!
To finish it off I simply added a title in glitter letters to compliment the grey in her coat before added some pre-made embellishments.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Those Smiles

The tag came about from some of my experimenting... then I found a photo in matched. The page design is based along the lines of the Halloween Class I am teaching at the Caz Dezign Retreat in October. This is the first time I've ever really used such dimensional flowers on a layout but I do quite like the look, particularly when they are teamed with the softness of the skeleton leaves. 
I absolutely love this picture of my darling husband and granddaughter which I took earlier this year.

For more information about participating in the classes you can either contact Carrie of Caz Dezigns who is running the retreat or ask me directly.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2012 Circle Journal

Forgive me readers, it's been a few days since my last post. I do have some goods excuses honestly so hopefully that will appease everyone and I won't be sent to purgatory!!
This week is always hectic each year. It's my sister's birthday on the 10th, mine on the 11th and Dad's on the 12th. We also used to have a few others thrown in the same week but they are no celebrated for one reason or another. My husband has also been incredibly sick this week and it's not so much that he needs all this extra care (no comment about man-flu) it's more just that when he's not well I don't expect him to help out as much around the house and you really notice it when you're the one doing most of it.
Anyway I digress...
I finally received my 2012 Circle Journal back that I have been doing with some of the amazingly talented people from the Crafting Passionz and Scrappers Obsessionz groups. The talent of some of the crafters that I am blessed to know just astounds me and I count my chickens that I am able to have a tiny taste of it all to myself... even though I am sharing it with you.
I know you will love their creations as much as I do!!
In these earlier blog posts I went into a bit more detail about my journal and how I created it. Part 1, part 2 and part 3.
But now to share all the completed pages from the other contributors:
Quick refresher - my cover pages (inside and out), definition page (part of my instructions) and sign in pocket. 
 Quick refresher part 2 - my pages and tag that I created.
Gail's creations
I love the background that Gail created with tissue paper and will definitely have to try something like this myself very soon. I love anything interactive especially in mini-albums so really enjoyed the waterfall journaling, particularly as I'd only ever seen it used on cards before. The other unique embellishment was the butterfly with stick pin attached. I really like this idea because it's so different.
Jude's creations
I love the colours that Jude has used for her background. She has used water-colours so they blend so well together, but I really like that they still have an intensity to their tone without looking washed out as sometimes can happen. I also really like the way the stamping also has a washy look to it rather than having a harsh stamped look. I love all the hand-written journaling as well. And definitely need to get some of these collage stamps that Jude has used.
Tash's Creations
Tash turned the interactive flap for her set of pages into a top-loading pocket with tag. I love that people did take up my challenge to do something different with this element of the album even though I am sure they hated me for putting it in there in the first place. I love the colour scheme, love the background and love the embossed heart with wings. Definitely a favourite of mine!! There are just so many things about these pages that every time I look at them I discover something new and that is truly an indication of someone who is very talented.
Faith's Creations
Another stunning background. I love this colour scheme as it's so very fresh and does remind me a lot of Faith. I really like the different layers Faith has used in her background to make it so interesting and just adore the crumpled flowers. Faith also created a pocket for a tag from the flap, but her's is side opening. I love the tag and really love the gemstone dangles at the bottom of the tag. I never thought of using my bind-it-all (or similar) like this - brilliant idea.
Shar's Creations
I am happy to admit that I was really stunned when I saw Shar's pages. Shar is the queen of chic and shabby and vintage and everything that I am not, so this is so NOT her normal style of scrapping but I couldn't love it more. The simplicity of her monochrome creation is just amazing and so stylish. I love, love, love it... and yes it is definitely my style. And I love that she told me that she knew exactly what she wanted to do as soon as my journal arrived on her doorstep. I love those aha MOJO moments!!
All our sign in tags - back and front
I love these almost as much as I love everyone's pages because they all go perfectly with each person's respective pages.
I can't thank everyone enough who participated in this year's circle journal. It was only the second for the group but I know it will not be the last. If you are interested in joining in next year's circle journal then please leave a message with your contact details and I'll be sure to let you know when sign-ups are announced.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Birthday Card for Dad

I had some left over scraps after I finished making the Wine Journal for my Dad's birthday present. Logic and thrifty scrapping (read cheap skate) led me to using the aforementioned scraps to make a card to match.
And with the present made for him as well. You can see this in more detail here.

Birthday Card - "For You"

Today is my sister's birthday. I've made her a quick card that I have couriered down to her along with my father's birthday card and present. (My parents are spending some time with my sister and her family as it's Dad's 70th birthday this year.)
Here's her card...

I used a technique I played about with some time ago. You can see other samples here and here.
I spritzed over the dried acrylic paint smears with Glimmer Mist before attached some layered flowers. (I misted a white flowers with the same Glimmer Mist I used earlier so they coordinated.)
Finally I finished the card with a quick sentiment in glitter letters.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Halloween Swap Flowers

I've finished the second flower for the Halloween Swap over on Scrappers Obsessionz Forum. You can see a tutorial on the first flower of the pair here.
Today I show you the second flower(s) for the swap.
 Each arrangement is a black pipe cleaner spider web with three felt lilies entwined. The webs and flowers are all individually hand made so each one has a unique look. I've just wrapped the flower stems around the web so that they can actually be removed and rearranged if desired.
I was only able to source fat fluffy pipe cleaners, so each one had to be trimmed to a slimmer version in order to be used to create the web. Each web took two pipe cleaners, so that was a lot of pipe cleaner haircuts!!

Below is the pair of the flowers that each participant in the swap will receive.
I really love the way that both sets of flowers have turned out. And both finished flowers looked exactly as I imagined if not better.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Junk Journals

A while ago I completed a partner swap through Crafting Passionz Forum. This time it was for Junk Journals. If you've never made one for yourself or anyone else they are a great way to use up lots of scraps of paper and oddments of embellishments.
The idea behind them is to create a plain journal with as many pages as you would like using whatever junk you have lying around. You can then use the journal for whatever you like such as an Art Journal, Sketch Book, Ideas Book and the like. Anything you want to put in there, sounds great.
The first journal is the journal that I made to send to Gail in Australia. I made the covers as per my usual technique. It is easy to do and is just about fail proof.
The flowers on the front cover are die-cut from cork sheets using Tim Holtz Sizzix Tattered Flowers die. I inked the edges and then layered the flowers and finished with coordinating rhinestones. I finished the journal off with coordinating ribbons.
This is the journal I received from Gail in return. She covered it with a flocked paper which just looks and feels so decadent. I love the garter used to hold the journal closed. It will be so handy as I start to fill the pages up. I definitely need to remember this for future art journals.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Halloween Stick Pins - Part 2

I have to make two Halloween themed stick pins for a swap on Scrappers Obsessionz Forum. I've already posted about the spider stick pins which you can see here. For my second stick pins, I couldn't resist another tip of the hat to Vampires... particularly as I've just finished watching the first four movies from the Twilight series. As I'm also a huge True Blood fan, my choice was almost a given.
Here are my Vampire inspired stick pins. The pin head (which just looks like a white blob - sorry) is the vampire's tooth and dripping from the pin are the lines of blood. Yes another gruesome stick pin creation from Paula, but don't they just look so cool!!!
Close up of my "Bloody" stick pins.
The two complete sets of stick pins that I will be sending to the host. 
Each participant in the swap, will get one of each stick pin.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wine Journal

I spoke to my parents over the weekend, something I probably don't do often enough, but it was Father's Day so I made sure I phoned them for a catch up. (Make sure I'm still in the good books so I'm not taken out of their wills - just kidding).
My mother happened to slip into the conversation that my dad is going to be 70 this year. His birthday is the day after mine so I have NO EXCUSE whatsoever for forgetting what day it is, though I didn't realise it was a "big" birthday.
The budget is pretty tight here at the moment, but I couldn't send down nothing, so I had a bit of a think and finally came up with a brilliant idea. So this afternoon I sat down and put brilliant idea into action. 
My parents are both wine drinkers though my father in particular takes pleasure in analysing what they drink. I know he keeps records of what wine he buys and what he thinks of it, though I think he does this on the computer at home.
Now that mum has finally retired, they will be hoping to spend a bit more time in their bus (RV with all the mod-cons including satellite TV, toilet and shower). I know they will probably take their laptops and Kobos and whatever other toys they have, but I didn't think dad would take a full copy of his Wine Library with him, so what better present idea than a Wine Journal for the bus for all their drinking while they are away travelling.
I Googled some templates for wine journals and found a selection of different pages. I couldn't get one exactly like I wanted or in the size and orientation to suit the journal I was planning, so I created my own based on a combination of those I had found. I created the template in Microsoft Word and printed two per A4 page doubled sided (so four per page). I cut them in half to give me journal pages A5 size.
The covers were recycled cardboard, covered with patterned paper - same method I have used in the past. I added a stamped title to the front, keeping it very simple.
To finish it all off I bound the journal using my Bind-It-All. (This step took longer than expected as it's been a while since I used it... note to self - make more journals, soon!!)
 Front Cover
 Back Cover
Inside front cover and page template. The inside covers are the opposite to the outside of the covers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Halloween Stick Pins

Let me just say up front that I am no fan of spiders. I hate them, though I am getting a bit better. I can at least get rid of them (unlike my darling hubbie) though my chosen methods may be somewhat strange and unusual.
So given my aversion to the darling little creatures (read eeekk and ugggghhh) why was my first idea for a Halloween stick pin a spider?
Having come up with my brilliant idea, I then had to envisage how to actually make them. A few nights mulling in my sleep and I had the answer.
Now that I have made them I think they have a cute creepiness to them and even if it sounds like I'm getting a big head, I really do love the way they finished up. Perfect for Halloween.

Don't they look so creepy up close LMAO

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Burnt and Folded Flowers

September is the month for Halloween swaps on Scrappers Obsessionz Forum in preparation for the real thing the following month. For a change I'm starting early so I don't have my usual end of the month panic.
I'm doing a number of swaps so am mixing things up a bit, but here is the first of two flowers that I am creating for one of the swaps. They are a combination of a couple of things I seen around the blogs and tutorials together with a touch of my own.
You may have seen flowers created with a burnt edge. I created some red flowers for last month's swap which you can see here, though I didn't show you a tutorial. These red flowers had a hand-scalloped edge which I burnt to create the fluted look of petals. This time around I just used full circles and burnt the edges of these, before combining in a flower making technique using folding to create the petals. This burnt edge gives the flowers a unique look and combined with my own "different" folding technique (just to be different), I really love the way the flowers have turned out.
The step by step is shown for some red and black flowers I created using a 2" circle, where as the green and black "Halloween" versions I made for the swap were created using a 4" circle.

1 - Start by cutting strips of your chosen fabric slightly wider than your circle size. As my circles are going to be 2" in diameter, I cut my strips of organza fabric 2 1/4" in width. I've chosen to make two-colour flowers, but you could make single colour or four-colour flowers if you preferred.
2 - Cut your strips into squares. I found it easier to cut from squares rather than the strips - just more manageable. I didn't measure any of this just eye-balled things using my circle templates. I made plastic circle templates from $2 shop place mats using my Fiskars Circle Template. Each flower has two layers of four petals so for a two colour flower you need 4 squares of each colour.
3 - Hold your circle template on top of each fabric square and use this as a guide to cut out each circle. This meant I didn't have to trace each circle. You don't need to cut out each circle perfectly as the edge is going to be burnt so you will soon hide any small imperfections. (The picture below is half cut out).
This picture shows the progression - square of fabric plus template then cut out circle. Followed by a big pile of cut out circles. From two single strips of fabric I was able to make two flowers. I used 18" wide florists organza which I picked up cheap at an emporium shop for $3.00 per metre. From one metre of a single colour you could probably make four, maybe five two layered 4" flowers or at least 10 - 12 of the 2" flowers.
4 - Now for the fun bit - burning the edge of the circle using a tea light candle. A word of warning - the fabric will burn VERY QUICKLY using the open flame so you need to be very careful. Less is more. Start further away from the candle than you think and gradually moving closer. You will soon find out the optimal distance from the candle to achieve the burnt edge look. One final word of warning - be sure to keep your fingers well away from the flame as well as the melting fabric - both are VERY HOT!!
You can always re-burn the edge if you feel it needs more of an edge but you can't un-burn a hole!!
Here is a progress shot. Circle before, part way through and after the burning process. You can see quite a noticeable difference to the burnt edge. The fibres melt into each other so that the fabric doesn't fray. The principle is the same as sealing the end of a nylon rope using a match. (Gong back to my old Girl Guides days there!!)
I found I would burn an entire circle in about five or six twists above the flame. I got into a rhythm of swirling a circle over the flame, moving my fingers, swirl the next section, move fingers etc until the entire circle was done. Once I got my rhythm sorted, I could burn an entire circle in about ten seconds - very quick process. 
And now a big pile of circles with burnt edges. The circles will all end up different shapes and sizes as there is no way to control exactly how each edge will react to the process.
5 - Now for the folding and putting together part of the process. Fold each circle in half. This is also where you consider how to hide any accidental over burns so no one notices them. (People will never know!!)
6 - This is where my folding differs from all other tutorials I've seen. Most fold the semi circle into quarters. For my flowers I folded the semi-circles into 1/8ths folding in each side to make a quarter flower. (If that doesn't make sense, then hopefully the pictures show what I mean.) Fold in one side...
Then fold in the other side, so you have a "seam line" in the middle which is the two folded edges.
7 - Adhere the quarter circle, point in and folded seam line facing down. For my base I cut out 1" circles from recycled cardboard (tissue boxes) which I covered in glue dots. For the larger green and black flowers I didn't use the cardboard just a circle of double sided adhesive.
8 - Repeat steps 5 - 7 with second circle. As my flowers are going to be red and black I alternated the colours of the petals.
9 - Complete the flower layer with two more petals.
10 - Each flower has two layers so repeat step 5 - 9 again for the second layer.
11 - Finish the flower by stacking one layer on top of the other offsetting them by 1/8th of a turn and hold together using a coordinating brad. The offset disguises the fact the petals may not align completely and it makes them look so much cooler.
For the green and black flowers, I didn't have brads big enough for the look I wanted to I cut out circles of recycled cardstock and adhered double sided adhesive to each side. On one side I adhered black glitter, then I peeled the second side off the back and adhered this directly onto the top of the flower.
Below are the finished flowers. The green and black used a 4" diameter circle and the red and black used a 2" diameter circle. I really love the baudy, garish "Halloween" colours of all these flowers. I hope the other girls in the swap love them as much as I do.