Thursday, December 31, 2009

out in the midday sun

The tomato plants are wilting. Any roses left on the bushes are being desiccated in the 35 C heat (and wind).

I am staying around home today but out there is a plant just loving the heat. It seems the hotter it is the happier it is. Its soft petals are still bright.

We know it hates the frost but is does grow readily from bits broken off and pushed into soil. It is making a stunning display today.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

and not just for buttons

Another use for the Kaiser advent calendar is to insert a piece of mirror in the centre section and then use the drawers for jewellery.

To hang on the wall fix hanging loops on the back. You could attach hooks (e.g. open brass cup hooks) along the bottom for chunky necklaces and bracelets.

Monday, December 28, 2009

did you know they are not just for Christmas

... and I am not talking about puppies and kittens.

After making the advent calendar in the Graphic 45 paper style and spending time decorating the small drawers I realised that the Kaisercraft wood and cardboard advent calendar blank could be used for storing small paperarts elements.

I went ahead and decorated one with pages from the K & Co pad Que Sera Sera. The drawers now hold "some" of my button collection.

Making the first advent calendar I learnt there is such a thing as too much paint and glue. The wood the blank is made from is MDF and the water in the paint and glues causes it to swell. All of the paint and most of the paper was applied before I assembled the unit. There are places one should not put the paint to ensure tabs still slide into slots etc.

I played around with pattern matching. Unfortunately I had already used one of the sheets (there are three of each design in a pad) on another project earlier this year so matching was a bit limited.

The drawers pulls were made from buttons with shanks. They started out as cream but then got two applications of denim coloured alcohol ink.

It is very easy to push holes in the cardboard of the drawers with a dressmakers awl. Mind your fingers on the inside though. I used blue jewellery wire to attach the buttons to the drawers.

These button are some of my collection that won't make the inside of the drawers!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a little bit of play

I have been finishing off the sample for the January 2010 Tools + Techniques class. It is all about alcohol inks. There are cliches about the journey and the destination. Working with alcohol inks is such a fun journey and until the article has dried fully you won't discover the destination.

In a very timely fashion a new product arrived at Chandon this week - sparkly clear plastic droplets just like the water droplets you may find on rose petals after a rain shower. I can picture them on the fruit and flowers of Webster's Page papers.

Whilst still in their clear state they look great on photos and printed papers. They respond beautifully to tinting with ... alcohol inks.

The green ones on the left have been coloured with Citrus whilst the ones on the right are Pink Sherbet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moving on

Advent calendars are very popular this year. A friend has just completed one for her son, well really her grandson. Whereas mine travelled to the other side of Geelong Lindy's has now travelled to north Queensland.

This is Lindy's creation.

Still using pages from the Christmas Past collection of Graphic 45 papers she has used the framed image of St Nicholas as the focal point. Lindy has also made something special of the 'spare' 25th box!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

box of drawers

The advent calendar has now gone to its new home, ready to be filled by ... well soon.

I had a lot of fun creating this off the page item even after the heart stopping paint spill. Instead of putting the small pictures from the paper border on the front of the drawers they now line the bottom of each drawer. They add interest when each has been emptied! With all the paint and paper some of the drawers got a bit sticky so I added crystal glass bead drawer pulls. These are also useful for bigger adult fingers.

Making Memories 'Poppy' paint is a really good match for the Graphic45 papers in this series. It is more a rust shade. Like their daffodil paint (a muddy pale yellow) it has the 'wrong' name. This poppy has nothing of the colour of the Flander's red poppy that we know and remember at this time of the year. As a matching ink, Colorbox Fluid Chalk Burnt Siena is a good shade for staining edges of the paper for this project.

I created another layer of the Merry Christmas greeting on foam tape and heavily frosted it with Rock Candy Distress Stickle. Tucked behind it is a stamp made from one of the miniature pictures. It is overstamped with a postmark in sepia ink and covers up the US flag postmark.

The best bit was adding the 3D Santa layers. He is tucked into a slit in the chimney of the second Santa layer. Yes, I went through three sheets of the paper! Three layers were used on the calendar pad in the middle too. Both Santa and his bag have been textured with an embossing tool and supported by silicon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

custom colour

I am in the process of finishing off a Kaiser advent calendar in the style created by Cassie and shown here on the Chandon blog. Already aware if the beautiful Graphic45 Christmas papers I wouldn't have been inspired to create a calendar for the family if I hadn't seen Cassie's creation. She should be proud of her work.

I was at the stage of adding the numbers to the drawers and found in my stash a sheet of craft stickers that was just numbers ... more than enough to get me from 1 to 25. But ... yes there was a but, the sheet was silver not the gold I aspired to. The calendar was already becoming a homage to Tim Holtz supplies when I realised I could recolour the stickers to gold using alcohol inks. Rather than using buckets of ink as I do when recolouring lace and metal objects, this time I applied the butterscotch and gold metallic mixative inks in a rather delicate manner using a felt pad on the blending tool. Not a smudge of colour on my fingers! So unlike me.

PS: The few numbers left over I will keep as they can be stripped back to silver and recoloured to suit another project when and if.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

... more steps ...

There isn't just one kanzashi. There is traditional kanzashi made with silk and rice glue and then there is kanzashi with fabric and thread. The YouTube videos of traditional kanzashi are fascinating to watch.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

... a different journey ...

Our household was selected to participate in the Victorian Integrated Survey of Travel and Activity. We were to complete a diary of the trips made on our designated day, Tuesday 24 November. Today.

From Sunday looking at the week ahead I would have little to tick for Tuesday. As it turns out I travelled to the end of the earth ... and back today, using up 11 of the 'travel stops' in the book of 13.

The most interesting questions me.. were the last two. Who actually filled out this form? When was this form filled out? Accuracy and honesty!!

One doesn't know what is right and wrong about this but it reminded me of one of the fun questionnaires we have been known to run at training programs. First instruction says read ALL the questions first and at the end of them it says put your pen down.

On reflection I observed that the journey I made, at the time I made it, was along a very integrated transport route with very little waiting time between train, tram and bus rides with some exercise thrown in! An ideal journey.

Monday, November 23, 2009

a journey to find the answer

... and I found it.

Maya Road makes beautiful velvet trims for cardmakers and scrapbookers . Last year I used their velvet ric rac trim and for the November card class this year I used the scalloped velvet trim. The dusty pink, espresso and crimson ribbons are all in my collection now.

A while back on a Chandon visit I noticed their current velvet flower collection .

Loving the shape of the petals I wondered how they had been made. After a little bit of Julius Sumner Miller "Why is it so?", the search started. I am familiar with the technique for making pansies from ombre ribbon but this one was a puzzle.

The answer is Kanzashi - the Japanese technique of making flowers from folded fabric.

photo from here

Lots of beautiful samples here.
So far I have tried with some springy gauze ribbon. I think it is time to raid my patchwork fabrics and start with a slightly larger flower.

There is also a book to follow up: Kanzashi in Bloom by Diane Gilleland. I don't think that one will be in the local stores (big or small)!

Now the journey continues ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

all that is left

This is all that is left of the rhinestone bling strips left from making the class samples for the December Christmas card class.

It was fun developing this class and I am still amazed at the different designs I have been able to make from the Belle Collection papers . With the card finished and in the shop all that is needed is for me to write up the instructions.

To book for this class check details here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

tools + techniques workshop

Alchemy with Distress Inks ...

The next Saturday workshop is scheduled for November 28. In this class you will be getting up close and personal with Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Part of the dye ink family it has special characteristics and is very flexible.

Have you been collecting these inks? Are you curious about these inks? The workshop reveals some of the mysteries of the ways you can use it with a broad range of papers, stamping and embossing.

To join the class book at Chandon Craft.

is it true?

Perhaps it is just a rumour but I have heard that Christmas is on its way. Actually the crowds at the local shopping centre on Saturday were a bit of a clue!

I thought these tiny bells would look great on some cards or other artwork.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Come join the November class

There have been lots of great papers brought out for Christmas this year: Graphic 45, Kaisercraft, MM etc. Many of the designs are really, really good for cards. I have been making the most of the Kaisercraft Dear Santa and Belle Collections for the Lend a Hand for Leukaemia classes.

The November card class Window on Christmas uses Hula Hoop from Dear Santa collection. The class will to be held at Chandon Craft on Tuesday 10 November. The sample is in store for you to check out.

The vellum window is a great technique for creating focus on a busy or bright background paper.
The finishing touches come from pearls, the luxurious Maya Road scalloped velvet ribbon and Tim Holtz's Rock Candy.

You will also find out another use for cotton buds!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1 2 3 snip

A while ago I wrote about rubber-dectomies to change the images on rubber stamps. This post about changing its look in 3D!

Roller stamps have come and gone over the last ten years. This collection of roller stamps comes from the current catalogue of Stampin'Up.

Just carefully peel apart the rubber at the join. The tape holding the rubber to the drum will easily rub off the back of the stamp image. Easy!

Use some EZ-Mount to provide the cushioning and grab an acrylic block as the mount.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I am hoping these flowers will grow up to be our crop of edible apples i.e. lots of juicy crisp Cox's Orange Pippin. The branches are covered with pink flower buds. The winds aren't being very kind to the petals of any of the open blooms today.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The greengrocer in the biggest shopping centre in town has been replaced with a discount vitamin shop.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Classes at LH4L

The date of Sunday 8 November, has been set for this year's Lend a Hand for Leukaemia fund raising day. I will be running a card making class, Easy and Elegant Cards and a Gift Holder class that day.

easy + elegant cards
Kaisercraft have created some 6 x 6 inch paper pads in the new collection due out this week. The Belle Collection pad will be used to make three cards in the card class. The designs will be a good foundation to get you started on your Christmas season cards. The class kit includes a full pad of this paper.

gift card holders
Are you planning a specially decorated Christmas lunch table? Or wanting some unusual gift holders. Snowman gift container can be decorated with different papers and colours to match your theme. You could also make crackers and serviette rings to match.

The other holder to be made in this class is one for gift cards. This card adds a little pizzazz to the presentation of a gift card.

Friday, September 18, 2009

paper + ink + heat

The October card class is now complete and open for enrolments. The design started when Raqual showed me the Technique Tuesday stamp set she had her eyes on for her own collection. Just right for a class. The images can be used to create lots of styles. There are other sets of petal stamps in the series that can be used with this technique too.

This class is about stamping, heat embossing and colouring. There is some assembly required too, of course, but I will provide some tricks for that!!

Bookings can be made at Chandon Craft, by emailing
or calling 5223 2003

Thursday, September 17, 2009

following on

Tuesday card class used the Sarah-Jane Paperz ~ Garden Party paper by Bella. I still have the colours in my head. Have bought some deep crimson velvet ribbon that I plan to take into the laboratory and resurrect an old technique. Need to find a rubber stamp with a matching design to suit the roses. Shall report on how new ribbon and old stamps work together.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

seeds + soil + light + warmth

+ plastic
These all started life in a bottle.
beans + snow peas + zucchini

The recycled plastic juice bottles gave them a very good start.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Adventures with books and Bind-It-All

Taking some paper, cardboard, plastic, punches, wire, glue and pearls ...

I decided to use the sheets of Kaisercraft Bushka Doll paper for my Bind-It-All doll book. The dolls are floating on acetate pages with an area on the back of each page for photos and journaling.

To decorate the coverboards I used some Basic Grey Lime Rickey and then went searching through my stash for some polka dots. Had an ah ha moment when I pulled out some perfectly matching red and white polka dot paper out of the box.

The sheet is from an earlier Kaisercraft range called Fun Fair and looked just right.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

tools + techniques workshop #2 - Bind - It - All

We will be making the Love + Happiness book in class this Saturday (12 September).

A key step in the making is the punching and binding with the Bind- It-All.
The book design however can also be used with punched holes and slit rings. You will learn lots of page construction and decorating techniques such as folded pages, pockets, acetate mounts and punched edges.

Bookings can be made at Chandon Craft, by emailing or calling 5223 2003

tools + techniques workshop #3 SOLDOUT

The Cricut Experience workshop has sold out and we are now scheduling a second date.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a different point of view

I dropped in on Manna from Brooklyn's blog and had a look at what recycle/reuse choices she has made recently. This is a recent find she writes of.

To a person from Australia a jar full of creamy Skippy has one set of connotations.

To an American it is a jar of peanut butter!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

psst! new stuff

I was in Chandon Craft today picking up a roll of the X-Press high-tack double sided tape for a new book project.

Whilst there I was shown the new picket fence and rock candy distress stickles I had mentioned in an earlier post. Also had a chat with Jennifer about how she is using the Smooch pearlized accent ink.

There are a lot of creative paths to follow at the moment.

Monday, August 31, 2009

tools + techniques workshop #3

photo from

tools + techniques workshop #3 will a Cricut Experience
Not the bat and ball type or the bug type. More the Cricut Expression electronic cutting machine type. The workshop will be held Saturday October 3 here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

from my desk

Rather than use my new crystal clear acrylic egg holder for eggs I have chosen to use them to store some of the bits on my card making desk.

Well, actually it wasn't bought to hold eggs!

My egg holder was bought here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

tools + techniques workshop #2

The next tool + techniques workshop has been scheduled for Saturday 12 September.
We will be creating Love + Happiness Memory Book using the Bind-It-All tool.

All the printed pages of the book come from the Fancy Pants Sweet Spring collection, including the journaling and quote cards. Look for the Winnie the Pooh quote! I really like this collection as the colours are both bright and smudgy.

Details of the class to be found here soon now .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

desk diary with Bind-It-All

Knowing I am one for 'checking out the shops', early this year a friend asked me if I had seen a diary that was bound at the top with the pages flipping over to the back. It wasn't a design I had come across. The months passed and so did my birthday. One of my gifts was a Bind-It-All machine for binding my own custom sized books.

Last weekend all the pieces fell into place. I bought a normal A5 diary, stripped the cover off and trimmed the pages. Next I applied my book binding skills to create the cover. The diary lies flat for writing in and can then stand up on a desk to show the day's commitments.

I was able to make a birthday gift using my birthday gift and it was a lot of fun to make.

Diary stand detail

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

show and tell ...

For the ladies who attended last night's card class, Spring Wisteria here is a photo of the flowers I mentioned during class.

The 'chrysanthemum' on the right is made from Kaisercraft daisies and the daisy on the left is using a lovely Green Tara flower and some small five petal flowers. The luminous yellow centre is created by colouring white flowers with alcohol ink.