Monday, August 31, 2009

A Wallet for Dad

"A father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be"
Author Unknown
Well ain't that the truth?!  Not forgetting the receipts too, of course!  So what could be more perfect for a card for Dad than a brand new wallet?
Many of you joined me to make this great project this time last year - just in time for Father's Day in New Zealand.  From all accounts it was well received too - especially when the Dad's discovered it wasn't all receipts inside this time!
We used all chocalate chip card, inked and sponged to give it that worn in look, and completed it with some faux stitching - paper piercing using the mat pack, and then stitching drawn on using a choc chip marker.  A square of acetate was also added to the 'photo pocket' - just like the real thing.  Other pockets are perfect for notes, gift cards, vouchers, perhaps the winning lotto ticket? 
This year I think I may try another wallet card, but this time I am thinking I will try a cool embossing technique I saw a while ago, to make it really look leathery.  If it turns out okay I will be sure to share it.  Otherwise we might just forget about that until perhaps next Father's Day, and be glad that this is the kind of card that can be easily recycled from year to year!

Stamp Club Ladies - check your emails - I just sent you the instructions to make this project - enjoy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

This week my Baby started School.

Not a lot of blogging, or even creating this past week or so.  I have been a little distracted.  School is back, and now I have two school boys.  My baby started school.  My middle baby that is. His first day was Wednesday.  You can be sure that I followed him with the camera for as long as I could, and then met the bus with camera in hand at the end of the day.  So much scrapbooking potential - the photos and the words...
How do you describe this face?
This was after excitment had given way to nerves, and that sick feeling you get in your stomach. 
It was also the beginnings of a minor panic attack...
"Mum, we forgot about my lunch!"
No baby, remember, we put your lunchbox in your bag
(visable relief)
"Oh yeah, I forgot"
He had been thinking that since we had forgotten to pack it, he would have to buy his lunch, but didn't remember his pin number, let alone how the whole buying your lunch thing worked or even how to find his way to the cafeteria in the first place. 
All that on top of the usual first day of school stresses.
Poor Boy, no wonder his face looked like that!
The good news is this is how it looked at the end of the day...
Then there are the words.  You can be sure we gave him the third degree from the moment he got home.  Turns out school was:

  • fun - when he got to play in the toy kitchen - four kids at a time, and he pretended he was a broomer (that would be a person who uses a broom to clean stuff) and asked for a coffee and something to eat.

  • scary - when he was first outside and nobody was playing with him.  Then a 'dude' came over and said 'Hey Dude, come and play' and they played spies and Campbell was the mission leader (and it was back to being fun again).

  • awesome - when he got to play Mr Men on the computer

  • sad - when he couldn't find Hayden after lunch.  We had told him they wouldn't have lunch together (with 600 children at the school, lunchtime is a staggered affair) but had failed to point out that that would mean playing together after lunch would also not be an option.  Turns out that was when the yucky tummy went away.  After he stopped crying (oh no. Crying. Mum's heart breaks!), and started playing with the other 'dude' from his class.

  • funny - when the teacher (a man) was showing them the dressups and modeled a (girl's) hat

  • not to mention - filled with anticipation - he couldn't wait to go the next day, and was most looking forward to playing in the arts and crafts area, and playing with his new friend (that would be 'the dude')
Then there would be the list of after school snacks consumed.  Including, but not limited to, a two egg, potato omelette (and yes, there are photos). 
Yep.  Definitely a LOT of scrapbooking potential.  Now I just have to figure out this new routine of ours (bus stop at 7.15am!) and find some time to sit down and actually do it.  The scrapbooking I mean. And count down the minutes until the bus comes home again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sweet Sunday Masculine Card

Today we have been busy spoiling ourselves just because we can. Because the kids haven't been fighting, because we got our jobs done, because we weren't the family standing on the side of the road in our pjs on Tuesday when the fire alarm went off (at 11am), and we all had to run from our apartments and wait for not one but two fire engines to arrive. We were in our outside clothes, waving to the firemen, and feeling very glad we weren't that family still in their pjs!!

Amongst other things we did to spoil ourselves, I spent some time working on a couple of cards to add to the pile. I wanted to try another sweet sunday challenge, and make a quick, stress free project, and if that could be a masculine project then so much better.

So here was the sketch I had to work with:

Here is the card I came up with. Blocks of patterned paper from the Urban Oasis collection, matted on chocolate chip, with a kraft card base. I love these papers - especially the fact that they work so well for both masculine and flowery projects.

A simple sentiment from the 'Sincere Salutations' stamp set, and a jumbo chocolate chip brad from the new spring mini to finish it off. Super simple, super quick, and best of all, super stress free!
Although, confession time. It wasn't actually the first card I came up with. Here is the first one...

This was also going to be a masculine card, but then I got sidetracked with that gorgeous floral paper, and suddenly it didn't work quite so well for the boys (but I am thinking if the flowers weren't on the top it still may have worked, with a different sentiment, perhaps?)

This time the papers were from the Urban Garden collection, and I sponged the edges of the paper pieces with Not quite Navy ink rather than mat them. Instead of a brad, I added a little bit of paper piercing as a finishing touch. Another stress free project completed - the best kind!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

DIY alphabet background

I debated if I should share this layout or not. If I do, I get to show that I have started and finished a layout, but then I will also reveal how long it took. Although, the actual start to finish did only take a couple of hours. It was the time that had elapsed since Hayden had: 1 - requested the photo, and 2 - requested the layout (essentially the same breath) that was not so impressive.

There is no denying how long that was. The layout gives it all away. You see Hayden is a 'millennium baby' - born in the year 2000 (with a fancy 'millennium birth certificate to prove it!) Whatever year it happens to be now? That will be how old he is.

Cue the layout...
Seven. Seven. Seven.

Yep. He was aged seven, the date was 07.07.07, and the time we took the photo? Why 07:07 of course!

For two years now I have had an idea of what I wanted to do, but just hadn't quite gotten around to doing it. Until now. Time for some more 'DIY patterned paper' for the ultimate one off layout. I love how you can make your backgrounds look exactly the way you want by making them yourself. Remember this one?

I pulled out my alphabet stamps, and started stamping (and you know, when you look at a word for a while, and it suddenly doesn't look right? About half way through I was convinced that seven perhaps wasn't spelt s.e.v.e.n after all - argh!)

I decided to use versamark ink, and then clear emboss the letters, so that they would have a nice shine, and be a little more interesting. It didn't take that long - although I was sure to leave blank the spot that I knew would be covered over by the photo...

I knew I wanted to have the little bit of journaling (age, date, time) in strip form, but when it came time to see how it looked it kind of got lost a little in all those lovely shiny sevens...

I didn't want to cover all those lovely shiny sevens over, so what to do?

Vellum to the rescue. By placing vellum under the photo and journaling, it helped to anchor them all a bit, but didn't cover the background completely. Best of both worlds! Some brads to finish off, and the layout was finally in the album. I think I might be breaking out the vellum a little more often now!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cheep Talk Sweet Sunday Challenge

It feels like it has been a while since I sat down and did some craft stuff, let alone blog about it! This morning was spent helping the boys with their holiday scrapbook projects (and then helping Bridie make her own mini version). This afternoon it was time to do some stuff for me, but I was lacking inspiration. Time for the latest Sweet Sunday sketch challenge from Karen Giron - the perfect kick in the pants!

This was the sketch for this week...

This is what I came up with. It was the first time I had used the 'Cheep Talk' stamp set, and all the inking was done using stampin' markers. Colours used were mellow moss, close to cocoa, so saffron and really rust (with card to match) and I am really pleased with how they look together.

It did take me a little while to settle on a sentiment, and several different stamp sets were trialed, but the final winner was this 'thank you' from the 'Family Phrases' set. It was also a good chance for me to break out one of the lovely new brads from the Spring Mini Catalogue - a 5/8" jumbo choc chip brad, to help balance the card out a bit (it was feeling a little lopsided!).

I must confess that I am finding sketch challenges a little bit, well, challenging! A lot more so than the colour challenges. I find myself tempted to add or subtract elements, or rearrange them all. Not that I don't like the original sketch, just that, I get a little sidetracked! The first version of this card ended up like this...

I really liked the simplicity of it. It was done. Then I realised, it doesn't really match the sketch! Oops, cue version two (but I'm keeping version one too, and best of all, I now have a good start on a set of coordinating cards). Does anyone else have that trouble?

Friday, August 7, 2009

big and bold meets simple and elegant

Well I did manage to do a bit of creating today, but haven't managed to take a photo yet. Since I am determined to get a post done today, I instead went hunting through the photos I did have, and found this card. It may look familiar to some of you - this was one of the cards we made last year for my 'World Card Making Day' event. What a fun day that was!

So anyway, on with the card...

(Oh my, it is not the best photo, but if you do what I obviously did when I took the photo, and lean your head to one side, it does kind of look straight! I might try again in the morning and see if I can do better) * as it turns out the new photo wasn't really any better, so you might need to use your imagination a bit - sorry!

This was actually a very quick and easy card. The background stamping was done with the jumbo 'happy, happy birthday' wheel, inked up using the soft sky inkpad (rather than a cartridge) and stamped on soft sky card, for a nice subtle look.

The main image (which is easier to see in the close up below) was made using the 'Big Bold Birthday' stamp set, and was stamped using soft sky (for the box) and silver (for the bow) and matted onto a square of silver card.

And that was it! I really liked how simple and elegant the finished card looked (and did I mention it was quick?!)

Working on some 'train' stuff at the moment, to share soon, and I really should get some photos developed - I think I am overdue for some scrapbooking (might have to hunt through my photos again, for old projects not yet shared!!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Parisian Breeze Stationery Set

I think I mentioned that last week I was off to a class? - my first one in ages! Well - here it is - a glimpse of the gorgeous stationery set we made - just like a little suitcase, with matching cards and envelopes inside...

We used the oh so beautiful Parisian Breeze Specialty Papers (now available in the NZ/Aust Spring Mini Catalogue). If you haven't used the specialty papers before they are definitely worth a look. Not only are the designs great, but the heavier weight (they feel like cardstock) make them perfect for projects like this, where you need a bit of substance. The fact that they are double sided means it is easy to flip them over and make your own perfectly coordinated trims - like on the outside pockets (you could use those pockets for stamps etc, but a notebook on one side, and chocolate on the other worked for me!)

Some jumbo brads and ribbon for the handles, and a rhinestone brad to finish off the closure made for a truly elegant project. There was more than one small disagreement when I got home, over just who that little suitcase might be for (so far, Mummy is winning!)

Here is a glimpse of the inside - with room for cards and envelopes, or whatever else you want...

Too much fun.

Like this week. When we go off exploring again.

See you at the end of the week!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Spring Mini Catalogue is here...

Okay, so it has only been a few months since we got the new catalogue, but that doesn't mean we haven't been waiting to find out what was in the new mini catalogue right? So if you haven't got your paper copy yet, click on the image below and you can check it out online.

There are of course lots of lovely stamp sets - including some new christmas sets, a great little train set that I know I will get a lot of use from, and some individual stamps including a 'one of a kind' stamp that would be perfect for stamping the back of your projects - especially if you plan to sell them or give them away. Best of all, almost all of the stamp sets are priced around the $30 - $45 mark, so not too much of a budget stretch!

Add to that some new rubons, gorgeous papers, and of course embellishments - including corduroy buttons, flower and jumbo brads, and a candy striped wide ribbon. Did I mention the scalloped oval punch, or white stazon ink yet?

I don't know about you, but my wish list just got longer!

Not a lot of crafty stuff happening around here at the moment. We are still making the most of our last few weeks of holiday, and of course, having visitors. I am hoping to get some projects up here for you very soon though, so watch this space!